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Sharon

I am an Australian woman who enjoys reading many different styles of books, from history to sci fi and mystery to poetry. I also love to listen to the same whilst not paying attention to other things. I aim for my reviews to be short and succinct so that they are easy to read.

Brisbane, Australia | Member Since 2011

21
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 89 reviews
  • 89 ratings
  • 477 titles in library
  • 26 purchased in 2014
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  • Recovery Man: A Retrieval Artist Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Kristine Kathryn Rusch
    • Narrated By Jay Snyder
    Overall
    (313)
    Performance
    (144)
    Story
    (142)

    On Jupiter's moon, Callisto, a mysterious Recovery Man kidnaps Rhonda Shindo after he terrorizes and then abandons her brilliant 13-year-old daughter, Talia. While authorities on Callisto search for Rhonda, her employers at the Aleyd Corporation try to gain custody of Talia. Somehow, Callisto authorities realize, she's part of the crime, even though she was left behind.

    Melisa says: "I hope there will be more."
    "3.5 stars across the board"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    These are detective stories in space. No great strain on the brain matter and some gaping holes in the plot. I felt that I made a mistake buying the entire set after the first one thinking that the author was going to build on that story. She didn't really, The characters continue on with a series of detective stories that are not especially thrilling. I listened to them all and cannot say that I was inspired, but I enjoyed them for what they were, fairly bland. I wish we had 1/2 stars, these books only deserve three and half, the four is misleading but three would have been too low.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Skinwalker: Jane Yellowrock, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Faith Hunter
    • Narrated By Khristine Hvam
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2534)
    Performance
    (2136)
    Story
    (2136)

    Jane Yellowrock is the last of her kind-a skinwalker of Cherokee descent who can turn into any creature she desires and hunts vampires for a living. But now she's been hired by Katherine Fontaneau, one of the oldest vampires in New Orleans and the madam of Katie's Ladies, to hunt a powerful rogue vampire who's killing other vamps.

    Mobilis says: "How refreshing"
    "Penny dreadful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is probably a little unfair for me to write this review as I only made it one third of the way through this book. It really was one of the most stereotypical, boring, predictable, badly written pieces of trash I have read.

    Story - Strong woman with supernatural abilities. Has to be bisexual, has to ride a motorcycle, of course has black hair and wears black... get the picture? Actually succeeded in making me slightly angry because of the stereotype.

    Narrator - I suppose this was ok but because of the story any talent was lost.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Fishing for Stars

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Bryce Courtenay
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower
    Overall
    (425)
    Performance
    (263)
    Story
    (264)

    Nicholas Duncan is a semi-retired shipping magnate who resides in idyllic Beautiful Bay in Indonesia, where he is known as the old patriarch of the islands. He is grieving the loss of his beautiful Eurasian wife, Anna, and is suffering for the first time from disturbing flashbacks to WWII, the scene of their first meeting and early love. His other wartime lover is the striking Marg Hamilton, a powerful and influential political player in Australia who has remained close to Nick.

    Louise says: "Okay Bryce I Just Finished Fishing For Stars"
    "Who cares about these people?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A beautiful heroin addict, a bored housewife looking for a cause and a misogynistic ex-pat with PTSD. Do you want to know their story? I thought I did but I quickly became totally bored with the three of them.

    Story: The beautiful and successful heroin addict, what a joke. Heroin addicts have to buy cut heroin and the ravages upon their physical being are obvious. This was my first annoyance. Then this ex-pat who has sex with multiple women and then "lets them go". You're kidding right? Women are so disposable and willing to involve themselves in such relationships so easily?? Don't even get me started with the bored housewife and her Kegal exercises!! Ugh!

    Narrator: Oh Mr. Bower! I bet you wish you had never read this trite rubbish! Still a great job! Thankyou for being the only saving grace.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Family Frying Pan

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Bryce Courtenay
    • Narrated By Melissa Eccleston, Humphrey Bower
    Overall
    (116)
    Performance
    (66)
    Story
    (65)

    Mrs. Moses is a small woman with a big heart and enormous courage. The only survivor of a Cossack raid on her village, she takes with her a big cast-iron frying pan, so heavy that she can only sling it over her back. Yet this is no ordinary frying pan, it's The Family Frying Pan, blessed with a Russian soul.

    Johnnie Walker says: "Bad Narrator Decision!"
    "Not an inspiring or interesting book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I did not warm to this book. It was a letdown, I felt that it was a book written for money and little else.

    Story: Because of the way in which this story is told the characters are not people that I cared about. The story is told as the group stops to chat during their escape. Each person tells how they came to be amongst the persecuted and felt the need to escape from their country of origin. I only cared for one of the characters and that was the one that loved her husband a little too much. I think that perhaps Mr. Courtenay has failed here is because the story is someone else's, not his.

    Narrator: Even Mr. Bower seemed bored by this. Perhaps I am mistaken and it was just that I couldn't wait for it to be over. But this wasn't his usual standard. Still better than most but not his greatest work.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • April Fool's Day

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Bryce Courtenay
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower
    Overall
    (192)
    Performance
    (83)
    Story
    (82)

    This is Bryce Courtenay's moving tribute to his son, Damon, a hemophiliac who died from medically acquired AIDS on April 1, 1991, at the age of 24. April Fool's Day is controversial, painful and heartbreaking, yet has a gentle humor. It is also life-affirming, and, above all, a testimony to the incredible regenerative strength of love: how when we confront our worst, we can become our best. This tragic yet uplifting story will change the way you think.

    Louise says: "This is A Love Story"
    "A sad book that has lessons"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is not a book for everyone. This is a book that tells of a dying son and the father's journey through the death and dying. It is a true story of Bryce Courtenay's sons haemophilia and eventual death from AIDS.

    Story: The story is well written and tries to tell the story from a number of people's points of view. This is successful in some ways but mostly it is Mr. Courtenay's story about his anger and fight on his sons behalf. I became a little angry at times having lived through a similar thing and also being a part of the medical establishment that Mr. Courtenay rails against. Some of the things that he says are simply wrong and others are interpreted by a grieving and angry father. The story should be read by every medical student in an attempt to prevent the "God Complex" that is such a problem with this profession.

    Narrator: As usual Mr Bower does a superlative job. Does this man ever read a story in a bad way????

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Dust: Silo Saga, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Hugh Howey
    • Narrated By Tim Gerard Reynolds
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (519)
    Performance
    (480)
    Story
    (484)

    Wool introduced the silo and its inhabitants. Shift told the story of their making. Dust will chronicle their undoing. Welcome to the underground.

    Tango says: "Meanders, then races to a satisfying conclusion"
    "Such a good conclusion"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved these books and this was a good albeit trite conclusion.

    Story; The story was a conclusion to the two previous books. I enjoyed all of them very much indeed. They were interesting and the characters were well drawn. If you like your science fiction a little quirky then this is great for you. If you like stories of struggle and survival then this is one for you.

    Narrator: The narrator does a fine job. The accents are not over the top. There are no distracting noises, like smacking of lips or heavy breathing. Sometimes he seems a little flat but I think that just lets you go into the story by yourself without being led.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Doctor Sleep

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    Overall
    (56)
    Performance
    (56)
    Story
    (56)

    Stephen King says he wanted to know what happened to Danny Torrance, the boy at the heart of The Shining, after his terrible experience in the Overlook Hotel. The instantly riveting Doctor Sleep picks up the story of the now middle-aged Dan, working at a hospice in rural New Hampshire, and the very special 12-year old girl he must save from a tribe of murderous paranormals.

    Ian says: "King By The Numbers"
    "Revisit The Shining if it's been a while"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Seriously, I liked this book but I did feel that I wish I had re-read/listened to The Shining before listening to this one.

    The Narrator - Will Patton does OK. His accents are alright but I got the feeling that there was no great love of Stephen King. Maybe I am wrong but I always felt that if I were to listen to one of these stories it would be read in a New England accent. "Heya" etc. Having said that the narrator does not impose himself and lets the story tell itself. So that is good.

    The Story - The story was alright. You really expect something extraordinary from Stephen King. Even though he has written nothing extraordinary for a long time, you still expect it. It's kind of like going out with a friend who you used to laugh with a lot. Then the friend got old and bitter. You still go out with them because you remember that you used to laugh a lot and there is always a chance that things have improved. This book is like that. I bought it because Mr King entertained me all those years ago. This book only just did that. It's not great but it's still better than most.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Dance with Dragons (Part One): Book 5 of A Song of Ice and Fire

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By George R. R. Martin
    • Narrated By Roy Dotrice
    Overall
    (256)
    Performance
    (227)
    Story
    (228)

    This is Part One of A Dance With Dragons. The fifth volume in the greatest epic work of the modern age, George R R Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire, this recording is unabridged and split into two parts. The future of the Seven Kingdoms hangs in the balance. In the east, Daenerys, last scion of House Targaryen, her dragons grown to terrifying maturity, rules as queen of a city built on dust and death, beset by enemies.

    Ian says: "What happened here?"
    "I am getting sick of this narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Story - This is a continuation of a series and the last in the series to date. This book feels a little drawn out with some "filler", which is a bit disappointing. However it is still a great story and I look forward to the next installment (if Mr. Martin ever stops the book tours etc and gets down to writing again!)

    Narrator - The narrator makes every woman or girl sound like an old crone and every man or boy sound as if he is in his fifties. It hasn't really bothered me until this book. The accents are still getting on my nerves. I am glad that the series has ended (so far) because now I can have a break from this reader.

    I think a listener might be well advised to space out listening to this book only because of the narrator. The only problem with that is that the listener may forget the more intricate plot lines.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Things Fall Apart

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Chinua Achebe
    • Narrated By Peter Francis James
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (74)
    Performance
    (53)
    Story
    (52)

    Okonowo is the greatest warrior alive and one of the most powerful men of his clan. Determined not to be like his father, he refuses to show weakness to anyone - even if the only way he can master his feelings is with his fists.

    Chris Reich says: "Took a While But..."
    "Not to my taste"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was recommended this book by a book club where everyone thought it was a great work of fiction. I am not so sure of this. I think the current fad for African fiction has lead us astray somewhat.

    NARRATOR – The narrator does a good job of rendering this story. He has appropriate inflections and his accent is a good one for reading. He does not bring the story to life as a great narrator does, but he moves it along and allows the story to unfold on it’s own. I don’t mind this (see my reviews for Roy Dotrice) with a story that interests me. I felt that a better narrator could have made this a much more enjoyable experience.

    STORY – I understand that stories of foreign cultures undergoing change appeals to many people. For me I find the premise interesting but the promise is often lacking. This for me is true with this book. I just could not get into it. I found the characters underwhelming and the story telling a bit of a bore.

    My own preferences are showing in this review. This story was simply not to my taste.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bartleby, the Scrivener

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 38 mins)
    • By Herman Melville
    • Narrated By B.J. Harrison
    Overall
    (57)
    Performance
    (48)
    Story
    (49)

    The life of a Scrivener can be a dull one. After all, your entire occupation has to do with the handwritten copying of law documents. But when Bartleby arrives, he turns the office upside down with the enigmatic phrase: “I prefer not to.”

    Darwin8u says: ""I would prefer not to REVIEW""
    "I loved Bartleby"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is another one of those books that you think “I’ll get round to this one day”. I never did so decided to listen instead. I am glad I did.

    NARRATOR – The narrator does a very good job with this book. He has the voice for a Dickensian novel. His voice is commanding and his accent frightfully English. His voice differentiation is great so there is no confusion. His accents are appropriate which can sometimes be a trap with this period. His inflections keep the story moving along without being overly dramatic, but maintain the drama nonetheless. I enjoyed the rendition very much indeed.

    STORY – This story is a classic for a reason. Sometimes a character out of a book will stick with you, Bartleby has certainly done that. The author has drawn him and his compatriots so well you can almost see and smell them, and thanks to the great narration you can hear them.

    I would recommend this book unreservedly to anyone that loves great characters in their storytelling.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Cuckoo's Calling: Cormoran Strike, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Robert Galbraith
    • Narrated By Robert Glenister
    Overall
    (188)
    Performance
    (182)
    Story
    (181)

    When a troubled model falls to her death from a snow-covered Mayfair balcony, it is assumed that she has committed suicide. However, her brother has his doubts, and calls in private investigator Cormoran Strike to look into the case.Strike is a war veteran - wounded both physically and psychologically - and his life is in disarray. The case gives him a financial lifeline, but it comes at a personal cost: the more he delves into the young model's complex world, the darker things get - and the closer he gets to terrible danger...

    Jane says: "Hopefully this is the first of a series"
    "3.5 stars for an above average outing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoy the odd crime novel and this one was no exception.

    NARRATOR – The narrator does a good job with this book. His voice differentiation is great so there is no confusion. His accents are appropriate and inflections keep the story moving along without being overly dramatic. Well done.

    STORY - I would not say this story held any real surprises for me, but I enjoyed it anyway. The characters were great and the suspects numerous. However half way through the book one in particular started to seem a bit more “fishy” than the others and almost gave the game away for me.

    I would recommend this book to readers of light mystery books. I would listen to another if this was part of a series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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