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Jane

Chicago, IL, United States | Member Since 2015

933
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 403 reviews
  • 403 ratings
  • 643 titles in library
  • 4 purchased in 2015
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  • Burned

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Karen Marie Moning
    • Narrated By Phil Gigante, Natalie Ross
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (853)
    Performance
    (759)
    Story
    (757)

    Another shockingly suspenseful installment in #1 New York Times best-selling author Karen Marie Moning's Fever series. Burned picks up right where the surprising conclusion of Iced left off, and will feature beloved characters Mac and Dani O'Malley as they embark on another high-octane adventure in the Fever world.

    Felicia The Geeky Blogger says: "Didn't work for me!"
    "Buy the physical book, not the audiobook."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There are two narrators for the audiobook: Phil Gigante and Natalie Ross. Natalie has a good voice for Mac, but a terrible voice for Dani. She uses a high pitched Irish accent for Dani. I couldn’t take it. I quit after the first Dani chapter.

    I don’t know if the story was good or not, so I gave the story an average 3 stars.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Murder of Crows: A Novel of the Others, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Anne Bishop
    • Narrated By Alexandra Harris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (974)
    Performance
    (874)
    Story
    (878)

    After winning the trust of the terra indigene residing in the Lakeside Courtyard, Meg Corbyn has had trouble figuring out what it means to live among them. As a human, Meg should be barely tolerated prey, but her abilities as a cassandra sangue make her something more.

    RabidReads says: "Without equal"
    "Story is not good."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    And I had a major problem with the audiobook narrator.

    This is book 2 in the series. Book 1 was pretty good, but this is skipable. You can probably continue the series without it. It is not romance. It is mostly mystery and catching bad guys. Technically there is a happy ending, but it was not satisfying. I didn’t feel enough suffering by the bad guys.

    Too much talk about giving dog cookies to the wolves. A grown man shifts into wolf form. Then Meg becomes overly patronizing telling him things like “if you behave you get a cookie.” “Only one cookie for you.”

    Most of the mystery was from several psychic readings. The listeners tried to figure out what the words meant. The readings gave partial answers. They were like puzzles. I‘d rather have mystery from the characters and events.

    Twice we are told that the confined girls are raped. There are no details, just briefly mentioned.

    AUDIOBOOK NARRATOR:
    Alexandra Harris has a lovely, pleasant and soothing voice. Her pacing and character interpretations were good. BUT I couldn’t stand her accent. It’s a harsh twang. I think it’s Oklahoma area. I’ve enjoyed other narrators with southern accents, but I can’t take this southwest twang. As an actress I think she should learn to speak the generic TV anchor accent. I would love to hear her read other books without the accent.

    Below are examples of her accent. The written word is in parentheses.
    pitcher (picture), propietor (proprietor), figer (figure), cusedy (custody), prolem (problem)
    dayown (down) tayown (town)
    She does not say the “n” in contractions. They sounded like coulded, woulded

    Narrative mode: 3rd person.
    Genre: paranormal fiction.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Written in Red: A Novel of the Others

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Anne Bishop
    • Narrated By Alexandra Harris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1321)
    Performance
    (1211)
    Story
    (1219)

    As a cassandra sangue, or blood prophet, Meg Corbyn can see the future when her skin is cut - a gift that feels more like a curse. Meg's Controller keeps her enslaved so he can have full access to her visions. But when she escapes, the only safe place Meg can hide is at the Lakeside Courtyard - a business district operated by the Others. Shape-shifter Simon Wolfgard is reluctant to hire the stranger who inquires about the Human Liaison job.

    Angela says: "WOW!!!!! JUST WOW!"
    "3 ½ stars. Enjoyable story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    but I had a major problem with the audiobook narrator. Do the physical book.

    The ideas are creative and different – like vampires traveling as smoke, seasons and weather as beings. When humans arrived on Thaisia (similar to the North American continent) they had to be submissive to the Others – natives already there. The Others have power over the humans – a nice change from the American Indians’ history. The Others include animal shifters, elementals, and weather creatures.

    This story does not have a romantic relationship. This is book #1 in a five book series. It’s possible that a romance may develop later. Book #1 is about Meg, a human with psychic abilities. Meg is on the run and asks for help from Simon the leader of a group of Others. He allows her to stay with them. There is a happy ending for this book.

    MINOR PROBLEMS:
    1. I’m nervous about this author. I don’t know if I can trust her. She killed the heroine at the end of another series. I’m hoping she won’t do that here.

    2. A few times when good guys thwarted or stopped the bad guys, I wanted to see the bad guys suffer, be angry, or be hurt. Instead the bad guys acted happy and said something like “this is good because now we have proof that such and such...” I felt unsatisfied each time something stopped a bad guy.

    3. Heroine does stupid things during the ending climax which put her in danger.

    4. Meg has a psychic vision which tells her the food is poisoned but she does not say who put the poison there. I’m not a fan of psychic visions that give me half answers. This is often done by authors. It’s an easy contrivance.

    AUDIOBOOK NARRATOR:
    Alexandra Harris has a lovely, pleasant and soothing voice. Her pacing and character interpretations were good. BUT I couldn’t stand her accent. It’s a harsh twang. I think it’s Oklahoma area. I’ve enjoyed other narrators with southern accents, but I can’t take this southwest twang. As an actress I think she should learn to speak the generic TV anchor accent. I would love to hear her read other books without the accent.

    Below are examples of her accent. The written word is in parentheses.
    pitcher (picture), propietor (proprietor), figer (figure), cusedy (custody), prolem (problem)
    dayown (down) tayown (town)
    She does not say the “n” in contractions. They sounded like coulded, woulded

    My second problem was hearing her BREATHS. During the first half I didn’t notice any. But in the last half they were frequent. I don’t know if the editor was at fault or something else. I wish she would solve that problem in her future recordings.

    Narrative mode: 3rd person.
    Genre: paranormal fiction.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Watership Down

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Richard Adams
    • Narrated By Ralph Cosham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3294)
    Performance
    (2555)
    Story
    (2568)

    Fiver could sense danger. Something terrible was going to happen to the warren; he felt sure of it. They had to leave immediately. So begins a long and perilous journey of survival for a small band of rabbits. As the rabbits skirt danger at every turn, we become acquainted with the band, its humorous characters, and its compelling culture, complete with its own folk history and mythos.

    B. Cable says: "Still one of the best!"
    "5 stars for kids. 4 ½ stars for adults."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Characters had a variety of strengths, weaknesses, and abilities. I liked the way different characters provided different solutions for problems. This is the journey of a small group of rabbits. It’s written for children and there is a simplistic element. They speak English with each other and other animals, but not with humans. I enjoyed the whole thing.

    The audiobook narrator Ralph Cosham was very good.

    Narrative mode: 3rd person.
    Genre: childrens fiction.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dangerous: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Amanda Quick
    • Narrated By Anne Flosnik
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (249)
    Performance
    (133)
    Story
    (130)

    At five and 20, Prudence Merryweather knew very well the risks a woman took by visiting a gentleman in the dead of night. But bearding the notorious Earl of Angelstone in his den was the only way to stop him from engaging her hot-headed brother in a duel. And that was why she found herself ushered into Sebastian's forbidding presence at three in the morning - and thoroughly kissed before dawn.

    Tanya says: "Enjoyable"
    "Not for me."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Sebastian is an Earl who is bored, so he investigates crimes for fun. A Bow Street Runner brings him crimes to solve. Prudence investigates ghosts for free. She meets Sebastian and wants to participate in his investigative work. She follows him to a bedroom during a party which does not help. Of course they are seen, so they have to become engaged to protect her reputation. Prudence is a Mary Sue character (poorly developed, too perfect and lacking in realism to be interesting). She is a young single lady running around without a chaperone. Some of her actions are silly and stupid.

    There are three or four investigations during the book. The author focused on those instead of developing characters and relationships. There are three sex scenes. There is also a kidnapping and rape scene that is described after the fact. I’m usually ok reading about violence and rape, but this one made me feel sick.

    It doesn’t matter to me if it’s historically accurate or not. But I did not care for Prudence’s overly wordy dialogue. Other characters use the word “ghost.” Prudence calls them “spectral phenomena” to imply her supposedly scientific nature. For example, someone asks her if she’s ever seen a ghost. “For some reason the memory of the presence she thought she had detected in the black chamber at Curling castle flashed into Prudence’s mind. “There was one instance where I believed I might have discovered a genuine example of spectral phenomena” she said slowly. “But I was unable to find any evidence to support my conclusion.” Another example “I believe I may have witnessed some significant evidence of spectral phenomena.”

    Prudence also used the word “my lord” too much. Here’s an example using the word Tom instead of my lord. Are you awake Tom? Would you like some breakfast Tom? What do you want to do today Tom? I saw my sister yesterday Tom.

    Prudence insists Sebastian mend the problems with his relatives. I’ve noticed this author puts family bonds and paranormal in a lot of her writing. They were here.

    AUDIOBOOK NARRATOR:
    Anne Flosnik was very good. She used a variety of voices. He male voices weren’t perfect, but they were better than those by some other female narrators. I like her British accent. It was pleasant to listen to.

    DATA:
    Narrative mode: 3rd person.
    Genre: historical romance with some paranormal.

    OTHER BOOKS:
    I’m not having good luck with Amanda Quick books. I’ve read four and gave them 3 stars or less. However I’ve really enjoyed some Jayne Ann Krentz books (her other name). My favorites of those are All Night Long, Trust Me, Running Hot, Deep Waters, Sizzle and Burn, and Twist of Fate.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Spoiled Brats: Stories

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Simon Rich
    • Narrated By Simon Rich
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (21)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (17)

    >From "one of the funniest writers in America" comes a collection of stories culled from the front lines of the millennial culture wars. Rife with failing rock bands, student loans, and participation trophies, Spoiled Brats is about a generation of narcissists - and the well-meaning boomers who made them that way.

    Jane says: "3 ½ stars. Some clever ideas."
    "3 ½ stars. Some clever ideas."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I didn’t laugh, but I smiled several times.

    This has several short stories. Most or all of them are told in first person. My two favorites were: 1. hamsters in a lower school classroom. When Simon was assigned to feed them for the week, they knew death by starvation was coming. 2. “Sell Out” had an immigrant making and selling pickles. He was advised to hire help, but he didn’t want the expense, so he was told to use interns. He couldn’t believe he was getting 100 applications a day from college students wanting to work as slave labor for him.

    Many subjects related to things kids in their 20's think about. And the dialogue sounds millennial because he uses the word “like” so much. For example he says “I’m like going somewhere.”

    The author narrated his own book. B.J. Novak did this with great success. But I don’t think Simon Rich should do it. His east coast accent is too strong and distracts. Part of it might be his voice. Also, he also should have left greater pauses between stories.

    Narrative mode: 1st person.
    Genre: humorous short stories.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Tilted World: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Tom Franklin, Beth Ann Fennelly
    • Narrated By Brian D'Arcy James
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (74)
    Performance
    (71)
    Story
    (70)

    The year is 1927. As rains swell the Mississippi, the mighty river threatens to burst its banks and engulf everything in its path, including federal revenue agent Ted Ingersoll and his partner, Ham Johnson. Arriving in the tiny hamlet of Hobnob, Mississippi, to investigate the disappearance of two fellow agents who'd been on the trail of a local bootlegger, they are astonished to find a baby boy abandoned in the middle of a crime scene. Ingersoll, an orphan raised by nuns, is determined to find the infant a home, and his search leads him to Dixie Clay Holliver.

    Jen says: "Oh My Word, Oh My Word"
    "Good story. Engaging."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Interesting characters and conflicts. But too many flashbacks.

    FLASHBACKS:
    This could have been 4 or 5 stars, but the frequent use of flashbacks was annoying and kept making me angry. Who is telling authors to use flashbacks?????? It’s criminal. “Stein on Writing” is my authoritative source which says: “Flashbacks break the reading experience. They pull the reader out of the story to tell what happened earlier.”

    Here’s how the flashbacks went. When I say current day, I mean April 1927. We have current day, then flashback to Dixie when she was a teenager, then current day, then flashback to Ingersoll fighting in WWI, then current day, then Dixie when she learned to make whiskey, then current day, then Ingersoll when he was a little boy in the orphanage, then current day. This was happening through most of the book. It was unsettling and unpleasant. I might have given this 5 stars if I wasn’t annoyed so much. I can accept a couple of flashbacks, but this was littered with them.

    AS TO THE STORY:
    This is fiction, but when I first saw it I thought nonfiction – about a flood in 1927. The flood is fact, but it’s merely the setting. This is a good story about fictional characters in a fictional town. Subjects include government agents searching for bootleggers and finding an orphaned baby.

    I loved one idea. Ingersoll is not the best looking. He thinks that if he had met Dixie when she was 16, she would not have been attracted to him. Instead she was attracted to good-looking-smooth-talking Jessie, who turned out to be abusive and bad. So Ingersoll thinks Dixie had to go through the Jessie relationship before she could realize what was important and be able to fall in love with someone like Ingersoll. (Awwwwww....... my heart)

    AUDIOBOOK NARRATOR Brian D’Arcy James was very good. Kathleen on Goodreads said “Agent Ingersoll occasionally played the guitar and sang old folk songs. I wanted the narrator to sing those songs – just a few lines – but he didn’t.” I agree with Kathleen. I would have liked that. There were words written that could have been sung. The narrator spoke them.

    Narrative mode: 3rd person.
    Genre: historical fiction with romance.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Soldier's E-Mail Order Bride

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Cora Seton
    • Narrated By Emily Cauldwell
    Overall
    (36)
    Performance
    (35)
    Story
    (36)

    Staff Sergeant Austin Hall has a brilliant record in the Special Forces - except for one disastrous decision that cost his best friend's life. Now he's heading home to Chance Creek, Montana, where he'd like to spend the rest of his days in the obscurity of his family's ranch. Too bad Great Aunt Heloise won't hand the ranch over unless all four of the Hall brothers marry and one of them produces an heir within the year. Austin is too broken to marry for love, so he places an online ad for a fake wife. What could possibly go wrong?

    Marina says: "Sgt. Austin Hall adds more steamy romance to Crescent Hall"
    "The guilt part was too dragged out."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was furious at Heather’s insensitivity/cruelty. But I enjoyed other parts.

    I enjoyed the relationship, the characters, how they met, and how they acted. But Austin’s guilt was too repetitive and dragged out. In Afghanistan he was unable to save a guy’s life and feels guilty. So he won’t let himself be happy with a wife, child or other good things in life. I was tired of reading about it.

    This is a fake marriage for a year. They agree there will be no sex. But within hours of meeting they have sex, and they continue to have sex. But each time they say “That was the last time. We can’t do that again.” But they keep doing it. It made me laugh.

    The prenup part was not logical. He asked her to sign a prenup, but she didn’t ask him to sign one. She had a lot more money than he did.

    This author is hitting the wrong buttons with me. In the first book (The Navy SEAL’s...”) my anger about Zeke’s debts overpowered the story. In this book I am angry about Heather having a baby and not telling the father for more than 12 years. It’s cruelty to the child and to the father. I don’t mind using Heather as a bad guy. What I mind is there was no emotional satisfaction on that issue. It was not resolved well.

    AUDIOBOOK NARRATOR Emily Cauldwell.
    She was good at general narration and for some women, but she’s bad with male voices. When she lowers her voice for men she loses the emotional element. Austin’s voice was low, rigid, un-sexy, and like a robot. There was no desire. She made Mason sound like a girl, due to his tones and emotions. The narrator should try for emotional interpretation instead of trying to raise, lower, or tighten her voice.

    Narrative mode: 3rd person.
    Genre: contemporary romance.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Navy SEAL's E-Mail Order Bride

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Cora Seton
    • Narrated By Cassandra Livingston
    Overall
    (34)
    Performance
    (33)
    Story
    (34)

    Mason Hall, Navy SEAL, knows all about difficult assignments, but his current mission is one for the record books. Not only must he find a wife - and get her pregnant - or forfeit the ranch his family has prized for generations, he must also convince his three brothers to marry, too - before the year is up. Who knew one city girl and three wayward brothers could put up such a fight?

    Marina says: "Cora Seton's Chance Creek series delivers again!"
    "4 stars for the romantic relationship."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    1 star for something unfair and unjust. Anger overpowered my enjoyment.

    THE SETTING INFURIATED ME.
    My background is taxes and accounting which is probably why I had a huge problem. I’m sure others won’t be as bothered. I value authors trying new things and writing about new things. But this just hit the wrong button for me.

    1. Zeke owns a ranch. He’s a loser. He’s been stripping the ranch for money -- selling appliances, furniture and even the fencing. It’s a small town. So why do a dozen locals lend him money which they know he won’t repay? If they were helping a friend fine. But if they expected to be repaid by Zeke’s relatives, that is unjust and unfair. After Zeke died, the locals went to Mason the nephew to collect. I was so angry! How would you like it if someone came up to you and said your uncle owed me $2,000 and I expect you to pay it? And there is nothing in writing. They could be making this up. Mason barely had enough savings to stock the ranch with cattle and horses. But finding the ranch in disrepair was a huge financial set back. He just got out of the military. He wasn’t rich. And then to find he was expected to pay off Zeke’s personal debts on top of that? Plus, where’s the respect and honor for our military heroes? The locals were fools to loan money to Zeke. But if they’re going to go to someone, it should be Zeke’s son or the aunt, not Mason. Mason was being honorable and paid the debts. It made me sick to my stomach.

    2. The ranch should have been sold with proceeds used to pay Zeke’s debts, including probable estate taxes. Zeke had no will so it gets even murkier as to why the land would go to Heloise, and other tax issues. But I won’t go into that. I was willing to suspend disbelief about the tax things. The part about Zeke’s personal debts is my problem.

    In summary, I don’t mind Heloise requiring the nephews to get married, stock the ranch, and other things. I don’t mind the nephews finding the ranch stripped down requiring them to spend a lot of money to fix it. Those were ok plot devices. But I did not like paying Zeke’s debts. The plot did not need that. It’s already got the downer of financial burden.

    AS TO THE ROMANCE STORY:
    I enjoyed the way the couple met, how they got to know each other, their conversations, how they reacted to the ranch, the things they did, and how they fell in love. And I was delighted to find there was no big-misunderstanding-separation. How nice to skip that formulaic device.

    Because the author did the romance part well, I immediately bought the second book - thinking: at least the Zeke debt subject is done and I won’t have to read that again. But I had a different problem with the sequel “The Soldier’s E-Mail...” I felt there was too much repetition and dragging out about the hero’s guilt. I gave it 3 stars, but again I enjoyed the relationship part.

    AUDIOBOOK NARRATOR – Cassandra Livington.
    She sounded like she had a stuffy nose. Her voice was not as clear as other narrators. She used a southern accent for some of the women which I don’t think was accurate for Montana people. I didn’t mind it, but I kept wondering about it. Otherwise her narration was good.

    Narrative mode: 3rd person.
    Genre: contemporary romance.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Phantom Major

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Virginia Cowles
    • Narrated By Robert Whitfield
    Overall
    (165)
    Performance
    (63)
    Story
    (64)

    In the dark and uncertain days of 1941 and 1942, when Rommel's tanks were sweeping towards Suez, a handful of daring raiders were making history for the Allies. They operated deep behind the German lines, often driving hundreds of miles through the deserts of North Africa. They hid by day and struck by night, destroying aircraft, blowing up ammunition dumps, derailing trains, and killing many times their own number.

    Alec says: "Makes you feel like you're there"
    "4 ½ stars. Great subject,"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    but the book could have used something more. I’d like a different author to do it.

    The greatest thing about this book is the character David Stirling and the unbelievable things he and his guys did. David conceived the idea of the SAS and got permission to train a group of men to go behind enemy lines, onto enemy property, and blow up planes, trucks, and supplies. This book is about the SAS in northern Africa in 1941-1942. I believe it was written from interviews and correspondence with SAS veterans. It is nonfiction enhanced with dialogue. Dialogue from recollections is fine with me. I would not want to read it encyclopedia style.

    I love these guys. I can’t believe the things they did. Their truth is stranger than fiction. They bluff, lie, and sometimes charge their way through German and Italian roadblocks. Many times they are shot at but they get away. David has unbelievable luck. He leads dangerous missions where others die and he gets shot at many times, but he never gets hit, and he survives all of it. Makes me wonder if part of it is making his own luck. Part of his success is that what he does is so outrageous and unexpected that enemy soldiers are not suspicious because they would never do it themselves. For example a group of SAS are lying on the ground behind bushes hiding. A German soldier sees them. One of the SAS makes a loud drunken snore. The German walks away doing nothing.

    The SAS are driving a truck full of explosives. The Germans are chasing them but they get away. Then one of the fuses ignites from going over a bump, so they jump out of the tuck. It explodes and they are stranded in the desert. And they laugh.

    The SAS remind me of fearless mischievous teenagers, seeking danger, excitement, adrenaline, and dares. David has just returned from one raid. He hears about a target and says to his men that sounds fun, who wants to go?

    MY SUGGESTIONS:
    I’d like to see a different author do this book. This was published in 1958. I would hope there is more material that could be researched and added. And maybe add more about David’s personality and character outside of the SAS. I know that he incurred large gambling debts later in life. That fits. He had to be a gambler to do the things he did. I believe he was a poor student in school. I wonder if he had something like ADD. I’d be happy with a longer book and to read more about some of the other characters.

    The audiobook needs a pdf file with pictures and maps. There are maps in the book but none for the audiobook. I think a glossary of some of the military terms would also be good (put in the pdf).

    AUDIOBOOK NARRATOR:
    This was narrated by Robert Whitfield aka Simon Vance in 2001. He did a good job, but at times he spoke a little too fast for me. I wonder if he was shortening the time for cd purposes.

    Narrative mode: 3rd person, plus readings from letters and journals.
    Genre: historical nonfiction, WWII.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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