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Aryn

ratings
801
REVIEWS
88
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
23
HELPFUL VOTES
273

  • Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Steve Martin
    • Narrated By Steve Martin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2391)
    Performance
    (1015)
    Story
    (1010)

    In the mid-70s, Steve Martin exploded onto the comedy scene. By 1978 he was the biggest concert draw in the history of stand-up. In 1981 he quit forever. Born Standing Up is, in his own words, the story of "why I did stand-up and why I walked away".

    Andrew says: "Fantastic"
    "He's still not funny"
    Overall

    I never 'got' his stand up stuff, but enjoyed some of his movies so I decided to see if I'd missed something. I hadn't. He whines; the typical misunderstood boy blah blah blah. I'd think, with his success and wealth, he'd find SOMETHING to be happy about, if not humorous.

    1 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Dead Spots

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs)
    • By Melissa F. Olson
    • Narrated By Amy McFadden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (343)
    Performance
    (313)
    Story
    (310)

    When LA’s vampires, witches, and werewolves make a mess, they call Scarlett Bernard to clean it up. Her ability as a null erases all magical traces from anything — or anyone — that comes within ten feet of her, and keeps humans in the dark about the city’s paranormal activity. One night when she’s called to a grisly crime scene, Scarlett is spied by the all-too-human LAPD cop Jesse Cruz, who strikes up a deal with her: he’ll keep quiet about the supernatural underworld if she helps him crack the case. She agrees, but the city’s chief vampire, Dash, starts to suspect Scarlett is behind the murders and will reveal all she knows of his shadowy empire. Now it’ll take more than Scarlett’s unique abilities to clear her name, keep the underworld underground, and track down the real killer.

    Maria White says: "Entertaining Urban Fantasy"
    "It's different"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I liked the story line; it was different and intriguing. The characterization was well done; they acted within the 'person-hood' established for them by the author.

    Pacing was good; the story neither dragged nor jumped ahead without reason. And the narrator stayed true to that.

    I'm not fond, for the most part, of stories that do not end but are the beginning of the next book, and this one has series written all over it, and not in a particularly deft way. (Although it's not a cliff-hanger either.)

    SPOILER**It's a love triangle, although the female protagonist isn't one of those romance Tall and Blonde and Gorgeous heroines, thank heavens. Relationships develop rather than are thrust on one.**

    All this said, I do not think I'll be going to the next (and the next and the next) book. The set-up seems to indicate more of the same, and she did it right the first time; I don't think I'll need a second helping. But YMMV. If you like the genre and don't need clothes falling off every time the characters get close to each other, you might like this. Not a 'gritty' book although there is violence.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Mothership: The Ever-Expanding Universe, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Martin Leicht, Isla Neal
    • Narrated By Connie Ventress
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    Elvie Nara was doing just fine in the year 2074. She had a great best friend, a dad she adored, and a bright future working on the Ares Project on Mars. But then she had to get involved with sweet, gorgeous, dumb-as-a-brick Cole - and now she's pregnant. Teen pregnancy is never easy - especially when extraterrestrials are involved....

    Aryn says: "Wish my daughters were young enough for this one.."
    "Wish my daughters were young enough for this one.."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Enough world-building to spark my imagination, not so much as to leave me lost and confused. Some of the 'slang' didn't make sense, but it was a mild distraction.

    Lots of different concepts touched on here; 16 and pregnant and shipped off to an off-world school...could have gone so many ugly ways, but it didn't. The violence and blood-shed is left at remove; perhaps too far removed but it wasn't there for entertainment. And the aftereffects of being subjected to violence are nicely ignored. Which isn't a bad thing, in my book. The YAs this book is aimed at don't need another book of angst and guilt, IMHO.

    Options for the pregnancy are touched on without judgement; if you have strong opinions one way or the other, probably it is best for your blood pressure to pass on this book. But were my daughters younger, I would have enjoyed going out for nachos and discussions about this book. Heck, if I knew of an adult book club reading this book, I'd join in a heartbeat. It's one of those, without having it jammed down your throat.

    And the ending is an ending; no cliffhangers and the reader's imagination is left to figure out what happens after the HEA, and I find myself imagining what's next.

    The narrator is capable; characters are fairly well differentiated and the pacing and pronunciation is well done. My complaint, were I to issue one, is that she sounds fully adult, and the characters for the most part are 16. Quite a disconnect for me, although the story is generally enough to carry the occasional dissonance.

    All in all, worth the time and the money, although I probably won't listen to it again unless I find someone to talk about it with me.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • My Life as a White Trash Zombie

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Diana Rowland
    • Narrated By Allison McLemore
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1088)
    Performance
    (1013)
    Story
    (1014)

    Teenage delinquent Angel Crawford lives with her redneck father in the swamps of southern Louisiana. She's a high school dropout, addicted to drugs and alcohol, and has a police record a mile long. But when she's made into a zombie after a car crash, her addictions disappear, except for her all-consuming need to stay "alive".

    Noell says: "I want more and so will you!! *Spoilers*"
    "Entertaining"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    What an unusual, and entertaining, book! The addiction stuff rang true; the characters act like human beings, and the story stays true to the characters as presented--no plot driven people here. Different. The cover makes it look pretty grim, but it isn't overly graphic or nasty.

    And the narrator is PERFECT. The accent sounded spot on, and she made the characters sound true to themselves. Pacing is good, and no weird quirks that narrators sometimes have.

    Altogether, absolutely worth the time and money. And for me, it wouldn't have been nearly as entertaining in print form. Brava to author and narrator, on this one.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Dying Fall: A Ruth Galloway Investigation

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Elly Griffiths
    • Narrated By Clare Corbett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (104)
    Performance
    (87)
    Story
    (86)

    Ruth Galloway receives a phone call that bears shocking news. A friend of hers from college, Dan Golding, has been killed in a fire at his Lancashire home. Her shock turns to alarm when she gets a letter from Dan. He has made a discovery that will change archaeology forever but he needs Ruth's advice. Even more alarming, he sounds vulnerable and frightened. DCI Harry Nelson is also rediscovering his past. Up north for a holiday, he meets his former colleague Sandy MacLeod, now at Blackpool CID.

    Aryn says: "Still a great series"
    "Still a great series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Action, suspense, great characters and a well-written story. I am getting used to the narrator/voices in my head disconnect (you know, when what you're hearing isn't how you thought the characters should sound ); Ms Corbett is absolutely capable-her men sound like men, her accents are amazing, and I like her voice.

    If you're up for a decent forensic series without a lot of gore and isn't going to leave you unable to sleep at night, allow me to suggest this entire series. And I do suggest you start at the beginning to get the full flavor of how things are put together and who these people are.

    And I'm delighted to say that while this series is beginning to flag a bit, it is still a solid 4 stars.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Raven Prince

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Hoyt
    • Narrated By Moira Quirk
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (331)
    Performance
    (298)
    Story
    (299)

    Widowed Anna Wren is having a wretched day. After an arrogant man on horseback nearly crushes her, she arrives home to learn that she is in dire financial straits. The Earl of Swartingham is in a quandary. Having frightened off two secretaries, Edward de Raaf needs someone who can withstand his bad temper and boorish behavior. When Anna becomes the earl's secretary, it would seem that both their problems are solved. But when she discovers he plans to visit the most notorious brothel in London, she sees red-and decides to assuage her desires....

    CAROLYN says: "IF YOU'R LOOKING FOR ROMANCE THEN LOOK NO FURTHER"
    "for me, the narrator made it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The snippets of fiction at the beginning of chapters is, to me, weird. Not complaining, just saying... However, I don't think I've enjoyed a narrator more than Ms Quirk. The story is well done, but repetitive in little ways--I think it was six times in the book that the hero lifted the heroine (and once a secondary female character) seemingly effortlessly. We got it, you're showing us that he is strong. Showing rather than telling is part of good writing, however, twice drives the point home, more than that gives me to understand that the author thinks her readers have poor memories or she, herself, forgets what she's written or perhaps just is over-invested in her hero.

    That having been said, I enjoyed the Raven Prince. I failed to find it particularly witty, but it had charm and, while not historically accurate in speech or setting, it is done well enough not to overly jar this reader's senses.

    And the author has a very good grasp of grammar. Only once was I jarred from the story with a grammar "huh?', but turns out it was correctly written. So she wins a HUGE number of points from me for that. Especially in the oral form when an error is so jarring on both halves of the brain.

    So, to sum up, the narrator reads as though she is actually invested in the story without going over the top and without sounding bored or emitting the verbal equivalent of an eye roll. The author does a creditable job of telling a story (foreshadowing by the chapter introductions notwithstanding) and if you like the genre and are looking for something that might hold your interest for a long car ride, this just might be what you're looking for. Certainly far better than a lot
    of the swill out there. And as always, YMMV.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Grounds to Kill

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Wendy Roberts
    • Narrated By Haley Traub
    Overall
    (20)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (18)

    Barista Jen Hanby's coworkers give her a hard time for bringing coffee and pastries to a homeless man who sits outside her café - but she has a secret. The scruffy man is her father. She's also hiding the little matter of why her palm itches. But how can she explain that her hand has a mind of its own and writes messages from the beyond? Right. That'll get her Employee of the Month. When she finds herself scrawling "Your boyfriend is cheating on you!" to herself on the bathroom mirror, she immediately dumps the guy. But then his little fling - who just happens to be her half sister - turns up dead....

    Aryn says: "Probably one of the New Adult stories"
    "Probably one of the New Adult stories"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The behavior of the protagonist was just too childish for words. She carries dog poop up to a neighbor's apartment because she's mad at her. Yep, that was about the end for me. She may mature, she may not, but I've already done it once and don't want to watch her try. Not that it may not be someone else's cup of tea. I confess to wondering what the missing dog and the palm itchiness is all about, which is why I bought the book. Do not care to wade through the rest. I'll wait til someone else reads it and get see if s/he will tell me.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Robin Sloan
    • Narrated By Ari Fliakos
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2006)
    Performance
    (1807)
    Story
    (1797)

    The Great Recession has shuffled Clay Jannon out of his life as a San Francisco Web-design drone - and serendipity, sheer curiosity, and the ability to climb a ladder like a monkey has landed him a new gig working the night shift at Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. But after just a few days on the job, Clay begins to realize that this store is even more curious than the name suggests. There are only a few customers, but they come in repeatedly and never seem to actually buy anything....

    Susan says: "Fun, thought-provoking, mysterious.... and FUN !"
    "What a lovely and unexpected tale"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The story was not at all what I was expecting, and it was all the better for that. I'm afraid to say anything about the story, because the expectations might ruin it for you. But, no violence, ideas offered, a great imaginative tale that kept me guessing, willingly, til the end. Wish I had a book group to discuss it with. YMMV

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Sweet Talk: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Julie Garwood
    • Narrated By Angela Dawe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (367)
    Performance
    (339)
    Story
    (335)

    When FBI agent Grayson Kincaid first encounters Olivia MacKenzie, she makes quite an impression. The beautiful, tough young attorney has stumbled into the middle of an FBI sting operation and reduced it to chaos. Months of surveillance and careful planning down the drain, Kincaid’s partner is furious and lets Olivia know that she’s ticked off the wrong guy. After all, he’s FBI. But Olivia isn’t intimidated by his partner’s bullying because she’s something even scarier...she’s IRS.

    J. Gilbert says: "Good story but annoying narrator"
    "A sweet introductory scene"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    While the preface wasn't believable, it was fun and I liked it. Chapter one was also worth several grins, although for me the narrator (who can, bless her heart, do humor) puts the emphasis in, for me, unlikely places. I find myself repeating the phrases to figure out why they didn't 'work'. But then, it wasn't distracting enough to make me stop listening.

    If you've read Julie Garwood before, you know what to expect, and you'll get it in this book. It doesn't feel phoned in and, while I may not listen to it again any time soon, it wasn't a waste of time or money, either.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Shunning Sarah: A Riley Spartz Mystery, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Julie Kramer
    • Narrated By Bernadette Dunne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    A young boy's freak accident leads Riley Spartz to investigate a homicide in the closed religious society of the Amish. No women near the small Minnesota town have been reported missing and because the victim's face is damaged, she can't be identified without the help of a forensic artist. When she finally is recognized as Sarah Yoder, a young Amish woman, the police have difficulty investigating the case because the Amish believe in forgiveness rather than prosecution, and no one in the community is talking.

    Aryn says: "Good listen"
    "Good listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Interesting story, well-researched without being a 'snooze', and I like the main character. The story is believable, the characters act like people with real issues and problems. There were a few things toward the end that rather had me scratching my head and wondering if it were believable, but then, this is fiction.

    I've enjoyed this entire series, and while this book stands alone quite well, I'll find myself going back a couple of books to catch up on some of the back story. I suspect those that HAVE read the entire series and have a better memory than I might find some of the frequent references a tad boring.

    The narrator does a wonderful job; the pacing is great and no annoying to me lilts and cadences that tend to grate after a while.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • DNA USA: A Genetic Portrait of America

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Bryan Sykes
    • Narrated By John Curless
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (17)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (12)

    Having worked on numerous high-profile genetic investigations, including one focused on the famed Iceman of the Italian Alps, Bryan Sykes has become a premier authority on human genetics. In DNA USA, Sykes examines the unique fabric of the population of the United States - one of the world’s most genetically variegated countries. His fascinating discoveries offer new insights into the biological profile of the great melting pot.

    Aryn says: "Gotta love DNA"
    "Gotta love DNA"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I read his Seven Daughters of Eve when it came out in print and had a wonderful time with it. So when I heard about this book, I got it. It is, for me, fascinating information and a nice stroll down geek alley. The narrator does a good job of keeping the book at a conversational pace rather than a lecturer's measure. While the book is too technical for me to drive to, it isn't so abstruse as to require a technical dictionary or a degree in BioChem to 'get it'. (I did get rather a jolt from his implication that mitochondrial DNA was co-opted as slave labor rather than the symbiotic relationship I had always heard it was; but that is part of the fun of reading this stuff.)
    Anyway, if you've any interest and want some science in your life, this might be the book for you. Part One of the book is a rehash of Clovis points and stuff you've probably already seen on The History Channel or PBS, and it is said as though it were fact instead of supposition (number of warriors in the chase and women relegated to watching the children play in the water, you know--same old same old) but it paints some worthy word pictures, which was fun.
    Perhaps it would have been better (to my mind) if it had broadened the sweep of information and been less specific as to groups, but I found it a worthwhile book and well worth the time and credit spent.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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