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Ann Hawkins

Short fuse

Auckland, New Zealand | Member Since 2012

68
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 34 reviews
  • 46 ratings
  • 652 titles in library
  • 54 purchased in 2015
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
2

  • Shadow of Night: The All Souls Trilogy, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Deborah Harkness
    • Narrated By Jennifer Ikeda
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (84)
    Performance
    (76)
    Story
    (77)

    Historian Diana Bishop, descended from a line of powerful witches, and long-lived vampire Matthew Clairmont have broken the laws dividing creatures. When Diana discovered a significant alchemical manuscript in the Bodleian Library, she sparked a struggle in which she became bound to Matthew. Now the fragile coexistence of witches, daemons, vampires and humans is dangerously threatened. Seeking safety, Diana and Matthew travel back in time to London, 1590.

    Amazon Customer says: "Great book, fantastic characters"
    "History plus fantasy and damned fine writing!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Shadow of Night again? Why?

    Read it twice so far, and won't be deleting it in a hurry. It was a joy to have such a thoroughly well-researched novel from a writer who obviously loves her subject. So many other historically based offerings fall down badly with their jarring ignorance of the social mores of the time, but this one actually generates an interest to learn more.


    What other book might you compare Shadow of Night to and why?

    Diana Gabaldon's time-travelling series come close.


    Have you listened to any of Jennifer Ikeda’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have only heard this reader's performance for the first of this (All Souls) series.
    She does an excellent job of reading and although there are a few mispronunciations, she has very good breath control and the ability to recognise punctuation and it's purpose . Overall she captures the personalities of the characters and draws the listener into the story. I would listen to her again with pleasure


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    There were too many moving passages to list here but Diana's jeopardy in the tilt-yard at Greenwich, at the hands of Marlowe and Louisa had high tension, and the bitter-sweet homecoming to Sept Tours left me thirsting for more details.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm really looking forward to the third volume in this series, please make it soon!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Angel of Fire

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Tanya Anne Crosby
    • Narrated By Marian Hussey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (39)
    Performance
    (35)
    Story
    (36)

    Devastated by the death of her father, Norman noblewoman Chrestien de Lontaine vows to see her twin sister wed and then take refuge in a nunnery...but the Silver Wolf has come knocking on their door and treachery is at hand. King Henry's blue-eyed champion has been sent to quell a nation's rebellion. He plans to seal their peace by wedding Gilbert de Lontaine's beautiful daughter, but though the girl with smoky eyes holds his heart in peril, the real danger lurks in unexpected quarters.

    Yvette says: "LIKABLE H/h, but tragic parts a serious downer"
    "Far below this author's standard."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A hastily cobbled together fairy-tale with a rushed and unsatisfying conclusion. I wondered if perhaps this fable had been exhumed from a publisher's "slush-pile" to meet a quota. The narrator was obviously unfamiliar with feudal system terminology, which led to additional jarring moments.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Grim: Tornians Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By M.K. Eidem
    • Narrated By Commodore James, Laura Jennings
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (589)
    Performance
    (550)
    Story
    (551)

    King Grim Vasteri is the strongest and most feared warrior in the Tornian Empire. He is the King of Luda, blood brother to the Emperor, and his line will die with him. He will have no offspring for no female would join with him for once he was scarred he was considered "unfit". The Tornian Empire has been dying ever since the great infection caused the birth of females to become a rarity. Since then they have been searching the known universes for compatible females.

    Candateshia Pafford says: "SO DANG GOOD!!!"
    "OK story ruined by cheesey sound effects."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Listening to this average quality story became an exercise in endurance owing to a surfeit of lengthy primitive sound effects; on top of this a listener also has to cope with sizable periods of background static. (It was rather like being locked in a bathroom with a kettle boiling - very distracting!!) There is already enough going on with 2 narrators delivering the story, so these clumsy attempts to 'gild the lily' only detract from the whole.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Immortal Who Loved Me: An Argeneau Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Lynsay Sands
    • Narrated By Samantha Quan
    Overall
    (283)
    Performance
    (260)
    Story
    (260)

    A few hours ago, Sherry Carne would have sworn that vampires didn't exist. That's before rogue immortals rampage through her store, leaving bloody chaos (literally) in their wake. The kicker comes when Sherry learns that one of the vamps on the bad guys' trail may be her life mate. Her head says it's impossible. The rest of her takes one look at Basileios Argeneau and has much more interesting ideas.

    Malinda says: "Very good addition to the series. :D"
    "Uninspired narrator drags a good story down."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am so disappointed! Normally any titles in this series are a guaranteed source of pleasure, but this narrator is not up to the standard I have come to expect. I will be far more wary in future, despite my affection for the adventures of the fascinating Argeneau family, as such unintuitive reading can render the most lively prose meaningless.

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

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Loretta Chase
    • Narrated By Kate Reading
    Overall
    (86)
    Performance
    (76)
    Story
    (74)

    Leila Beaumont is a gorgeous and talented portrait painter trapped in a loveless marriage with her profligate husband, Francis. Though long ago, Francis very much played the hero, rescuing and wedding the orphaned 17-year-old Leila - Francis' more recent hedonistic lifestyle of drinking, drugging and womanizing has not only earned him quite a few enemies in London, but lost him the love of his wife.

    Moriah says: "Perfect Pairing of Author and Narrator"
    "This one's a keeper."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you enjoyed The Lion's Daughter then this one's for you. The characters are well-developed and narrator Kate Reading does an excellent job bringing them to life.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Lion's Daughter

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Loretta Chase
    • Narrated By Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (66)
    Performance
    (62)
    Story
    (61)

    Gorgeous, stubborn Esme Brentmor, daughter of a disgraced lord, is used to a wild, dangerous life among the tribes of Albania, to whom her father is the legendary, controversial Red Lion whose death she's courageously vowed to avenge - even if it leads to her own. Instead, her quest finds her rescued by the most unlikely (and very reluctant) hero! Lazy and spoiled, Lord Varian St. George has gambled away his heritage and lives on his considerable looks, charm and wits.

    Moriah says: "Perfect Pairing of Author and Narrator"
    "An unlikely hero wins the day."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    An unusual setting and an action packed story keeps the momentum going right to the finale.
    This is one purchase to keep in the audio library to read again.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Captured by the Pirate Laird: Highland Force, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Amy Jarecki
    • Narrated By Paul Woodson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (200)
    Performance
    (184)
    Story
    (184)

    Wed by proxy to a baron old enough to be her grandfather, Lady Anne trudges up the gangway of a galleon that will deliver her into the arms of a tyrant. Crestfallen, she believes her disastrous life cannot get worse - until she awakes to the blasts of cannon fire. Facing certain death, Anne trembles in her stateroom while swords clash and the chilling screams of battle rage on the deck above. When a rugged Highlander kicks in her door, she prays for a swift end.

    Nicole Laverdure says: "A captivating Scottish adventure!"
    "A gigantic over-egged pudding!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Judicious editing could have whittled this down to something worth my time but an overblown story, combined with an extremely irritating narrator, made this audiobook fit only for putting me to sleep.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Shadowheart: Medieval Hearts, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Laura Kinsale
    • Narrated By Nicholas Boulton
    Overall
    (199)
    Performance
    (188)
    Story
    (186)

    A fatally dangerous man...and the woman who stands in the way of all he's ever desired. Beautiful and ruthless, the elegant assassin Allegreto will stop at nothing to regain his rightful place. And the perfect instrument has just fallen into his hands, in the lovely form of Lady Elena - the long-lost princess of the land he intends to wrest back from his enemies. But she is no mere maiden to be possessed.

    ~~ DARA ~~ says: "Another Kinsale Winner!"
    "More plots and excitement from the Middle Ages."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book takes up the story begun in Book ! after a gap in time of around 12 years, and develops the stories of those who were originally minor characters. There is plenty of action and suspense right up to the final pages. Superbly read by Nicholas Boulton, who has the ability to create exactly the atmosphere intended by the author.

    More please from this combination!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • For My Lady's Heart: Medieval Hearts, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Laura Kinsale
    • Narrated By Nicholas Boulton
    Overall
    (386)
    Performance
    (361)
    Story
    (358)

    Pursued by her enemies, flattered and courted for her lands, a powerful, devious princess is desperate to reach refuge. Haunted by the shadow of the young assassin set upon her, Princess Melanthe knows that an ice cold countenance is her only protection. To succumb to love is the greatest danger of all. She can trust only one man amid the lies, the mysterious Green Knight - a true knight who never wavers once he gives his heart; a man who cannot comprehend deceit.

    Jean says: "One Of The Most Authentic"
    "At last! A historical novel with substance."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It was a joy to revel in a complicated plot that had been so well-researched. The characters were well-developed and there was plenty of suspenseful action to draw the reader in, and I particularly enjoyed the characters' usage of authentic sounding language. Nicholas Boulton is a sublime narrator who is a joy to listen to.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Flowers from the Storm

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Laura Kinsale
    • Narrated By Nicholas Boulton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (957)
    Performance
    (894)
    Story
    (893)

    He's a duke. He's a mathematical genius. He can't talk and he's locked in a lunatic asylum. Only a modest Quaker girl can reach him, but when she helps him to escape, she's swept into his glittering aristocratic world, her life torn apart by his desperate attempt to save himself.

    ~~ DARA ~~ says: "~COMPELLING!!~ Love This Author! Love This Book!"
    "Refreshingly different, impeccably delivered."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Great combination of imaginative story-telling accompanied by outstanding narration. I liked this book so much that I sought out more titles by the same writer.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Billionaire's Salvation: The Billionaire's Obsession - Max

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By J. S. Scott
    • Narrated By Elizabeth Powers
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (220)
    Performance
    (200)
    Story
    (204)

    Billionaire Max Hamilton thought he was finally starting to find contentment, more than two years after losing his wife Mia in a tragic drowning accident. He'd been reunited with a sister he hadn't realized existed. Finally he had family again, a reprieve from the pain and loneliness that had haunted him since his devastating loss. Yeah...he was as happy as a man could be, considering he had lost the other half of his soul and most of his heart when fate had torn his wife away from him. Or so he believed...until the day he rescued a mysterious woman in the park.

    Nicole says: "No solid storyline"
    "Prepare to be underwhelmed! YAWN!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Reunited after 2 years apart, the two main protagonists enjoy a lengthy 'pity party' and the occasional bout of sexual intercourse. Most of the book deals with events that have already taken place with the 'real time' action being scarcely more than a hiccup in a rather dull, and quite ridiculous, exposition. I purchased this book based on the author's previous efforts but I suspect she was just fulfilling her contract quota with this lacklustre effort.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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