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Natasha

AUCKLAND, New Zealand | Member Since 2012

51
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 13 reviews
  • 30 ratings
  • 89 titles in library
  • 14 purchased in 2015
FOLLOWING
1
FOLLOWERS
6

  • Shadows: Ashes Trilogy, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Ilsa J. Bick
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    Overall
    (269)
    Performance
    (241)
    Story
    (238)

    The Apocalypse does not end. The Changed will grow in numbers. The Spared may not survive. Even before the EMPs brought down the world, Alex was on the run from the demons of her past and the monster living in her head. After the world was gone, she believed Rule could be a sanctuary for her and those she’d come to love. But she was wrong. Now Alex is in the fight of her life against the adults, who would use her, the survivors, who don’t trust her, and the Changed, who would eat her alive....

    Aser Tolentino says: "Your Mileage Will Almost Certainly Vary"
    "Exhausting! I couldn't finish."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    First let me say that I think Bick is a very talented writer - that's probably what got me hooked into Ashes. The writing in this is still of a very high quality and I will continue to look out for what she writes in the future. But this book just wasn't to my taste - particularly as an audiobook - and I abandoned it.

    As a lot of reviewers have said - Ashes (the first book in the series) has a distinctly different tone in the second half of the book. Shadows seems to continue in the vein of the second half of Ashes - which is the half that I didn't enjoy so much.

    There was a lot of blood and gore which I understand I should expect from a "zombie book" but it was so relentless it lost shock value and became... a bit gross. It taught me that I probably don't enjoy overly scary or gory Audiobooks - the constant crisis is just too much for me. Listening to it could be a good ploy if you're on a diet though... this book put me off my food a number of times..!

    But one of the main things that caused me to stop listening was the fact that there were so many characters, I just couldn't keep up. This was particularly hard to deal with in audio - as opposed to when you have the hard copy in front of you and you can go back and reread to figure out who's who. There is also no recap of the Ashes storyline so if it's been a while since you read Ashes (as was the case for me) you may have trouble picking up the story again.

    The performance was good, Katherine is obviously a talented actress. Her blood curdling screams terrified me at times but I'm sure if you like the story, you'll be happy with the performance.

    Overall, great writing but too many characters and too much gore for me. If you like gory zombie action - and if you recap Ashes before you start - I think you'll like this book.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • NOS4A2: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Joe Hill
    • Narrated By Kate Mulgrew
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3794)
    Performance
    (3520)
    Story
    (3521)

    Victoria McQueen has an uncanny knack for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photograph, answers to unanswerable questions. When she rides her bicycle over the rickety old covered bridge in the woods near her house, she always emerges in the places she needs to be. Vic doesn't tell anyone about her unusual ability, because she knows no one will believe her. She has trouble understanding it herself.

    Jacqueline says: "Finish to Start Excellent is Novel This"
    "Scary as hell"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up NOS4A2 in three words, what would they be?

    Scary As Hell


    What other book might you compare NOS4A2 to and why?

    Some of Stephen King's scariest.. Joe Hill can paint a creepy scene much like his Dad.


    What about Kate Mulgrew’s performance did you like?

    Great character work - good with suspense filled scary moments.


    If you could take any character from NOS4A2 out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    I loved the character of Lou - it was refreshing to read about an obese character who wasn't comical or written with a tone of disgust or pity - he was a dude with a great heart and I thought he was very realistic and genuinely likeable despite his failings.


    Any additional comments?

    This book reads like some of my worst nightmares in places - scary kids and creepy Xmas carols.. I only listened to it in the day time! Great work by Joe Hill.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Rewire: Change Your Brain to Break Bad Habits, Overcome Addictions, Conquer Self-Destructive Behavior

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Richard O'Connor
    • Narrated By Fred Stella
    Overall
    (401)
    Performance
    (331)
    Story
    (327)

    We humans tend to get in our own way time and time again - whether it comes to not speaking up for ourselves, going back to bad romantic partners, our umpteenth diet, or engaging in any of a range of bad habits we just can’t seem to shake. In Rewire, renowned psychotherapist Richard O’Connor, PhD, reveals why our bad habits die so hard. We have two brains - one a thoughtful, conscious, deliberative self, and the other an automatic self that does most of the work without our attention.

    Julie Simiskey says: "Meh"
    "Helpful, explains self destructive behaviour well"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book helped me understand friends and family with depressive and self destructive tendencies - I have a lot more empathy towards them and myself as a result.

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

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By John Twelve Hawks
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (99)
    Performance
    (85)
    Story
    (84)

    Jacob Underwood is a contract employee of the Special Services Section, a shadow department in the faceless multinational corporation DBG. Jacob is not a businessman...he is a hired assassin...and his job is to neutralize problems deemed unacceptable by the corporation. Jacob is not like other employees, nor is he like other people. Suffering from Cotard's syndrome - a real condition that causes people to believe they are dead - Jacob perceives himself as nothing but a Shell with no emotion...

    D says: "Engaging"
    "Slow in places but satisfying towards the end"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Spark in three words, what would they be?

    Original, Smart, Slow


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    The ending was fairly satisfying - I wanted more of a fairytale ending but that probably wouldn't have suited the story. I would also like a sequence to see what happens to the characters next. The climax showdowns were well written and rewarding.


    What about Scott Brick’s performance did you like?

    He nailed it. He portrayed the different characters very well. In the slow points I may have given up but I quite enjoyed listening to the tone of his voice.


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

    No


    Any additional comments?

    I thought some sequences were unnecessary and dragged the story when I wanted to get to the point where he spent time with Emily. That could've happened sooner for me - I didn't need so much back story on his character. He was an interesting character - I like the way he sees details as colours. Supporting characters were great too, Ms Holquist especially. I would definitely read a sequel to this.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People & The 8th Habit (Special 6-Hour Abridgement)

    • ABRIDGED (5 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Stephen R. Covey
    • Narrated By Stephen R. Covey
    Overall
    (439)
    Performance
    (188)
    Story
    (195)

    This new audio set is a very special abridgement of two of Stephen R. Covey's best-selling business books, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and The 8th Habit, read by Dr. Covey himself. We've condensed the content of two entire books into just six hours of audio, but you'll still enjoy Dr. Covey's lessons on powerful personal change and how to incorporate his ideas into your life to fulfill your ultimate potential.

    R. Whitten says: "Very good"
    "Changed my life"
    Overall

    You have to be ready for this book but if you have the willingness and maturity to understand it, it will change your life :) timeless principles explained simply.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Horns: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Joe Hill
    • Narrated By Fred Berman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1847)
    Performance
    (1381)
    Story
    (1393)

    Ignatius Perrish spent the night drunk and doing terrible things. He woke up the next morning with a thunderous hangover, a raging headache, and a pair of horns growing from his temples. At first Ig thought the horns were a hallucination, the product of a mind damaged by rage and grief. He had spent the last year in a lonely, private purgatory, following the death of his beloved, Merrin Williams, who was raped and murdered under inexplicable circumstances.

    bet says: "people are funny"
    "Excited about this author"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes - but only one who wasn't devoutly Christian! The religion themes get stronger as the book goes along - it's tolerable but a little overdone at times. I'm an atheist so it was no problem for me but may be hard to tolerate for those sensitive to religious themes.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I liked the writing - I'm excited to read more from this author. I always liked his dad Stephen King's stories but not his writing so much. This was the opposite - The story wasn't the best ever but I loved his writing, I found myself smiling at his turns of phrase and symbolism in a way that I do with Gillian Flynn.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I loved the first few scenes when he finds out what the horns do. Such an interesting concept that I think he could have taken even further - it went to far into the Biblical theme for me, I would rather he had explored Ig's new powers further.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Not sure but the theme song would definitely be Devil Inside by Inxs :)


    Any additional comments?

    The writing kept me reading but some scenes felt unnecessary - the story could've been half as long. Will definitely try something else from this author though, seems to me that he has all the best bits of his father.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Warm Bodies: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Isaac Marion
    • Narrated By Kevin Kenerly
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1182)
    Performance
    (1104)
    Story
    (1100)

    R is a young man with an existential crisis—he is a zombie. He has no memories, no identity, and no pulse, but he has dreams. His ability to connect with the outside world is limited to a few grunted syllables, but his inner life is deep, full of wonder and longing. After experiencing a teenage boy’s memories while consuming his brain, R makes an unexpected choice that begins a tense, awkward, and strangely sweet relationship with the victim’s human girlfriend, Julie.

    Charles says: "Surprising"
    "Good zombie fix, dark humour, easy read."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I chose to read this because I loved the movie. It's a great story and well written, but I actually enjoyed the movie better (which is unusual for me!) I just preferred the points they focused on in the movie and the parts of the ending.

    But the performance was very good - he handled the zombie voices well in particular.

    If you like zombie books I think you'll like it - I liked that the narration was from the POV of the zombie. It's quite an optimistic post apocalyptic story and has a bit of humour and romance.

    Overall a good read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found a Self-Help That Actually Works

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Dan Harris
    • Narrated By Dan Harris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3304)
    Performance
    (2867)
    Story
    (2856)

    After having a nationally televised panic attack on Good Morning America, Dan Harris knew he had to make some changes. A lifelong nonbeliever, he found himself on a bizarre adventure, involving a disgraced pastor, a mysterious self-help guru, and a gaggle of brain scientists.

    Patrick says: "Mandatory read before trying any self-help books"
    "Spoke to the cynic in me"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about 10% Happier?

    I loved that it got a cynic like me to actually try meditation and get past my previous belief that there was no way I could ever do it. I really recommend this for anyone who thinks they wouldn't be able to 'clear' their mind or thoughts enough - that is what I thought and it turns out what the author started off thinking too. This book took me on a journey - one that I ultimately enjoyed. I felt like it was taking a while to get to the punchline but I'm glad I stuck it out - because this is the first book to explain mindfulness to me in a way I could understand.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I liked Dan Harris's refreshing honesty about himself and his own ego and mistakes. It made for some funny and also very touching moments, but it also gave me inspiration to be as honest with myself.


    What about Dan Harris’s performance did you like?

    It's great to hear the author of a memoir telling their own story, and his professional experience obviously helps make his performance as good as it is.


    What did you learn from 10% Happier that you would use in your daily life?

    Dan uses some great analogies throughout the book that sat really well with me - my favourite was of your thoughts being like water going over a waterfall and that the trick is not just to flow over with them but to try and sit behind the water and watch it. That really clicked for me for some reason.


    Any additional comments?

    Some people have said this isn't a self-help book but it has really helped me - even tho my meditation practice is slow going, I've just become more mindful of my thoughts and reactions since reading it. I think it will sit well with you if you are interested in meditation as a concept but not keen on the airy fairy incense burning reputation - I like that Dan investigates how to be calmer while not losing your ambition and competitive edge.

    31 of 35 people found this review helpful
  • Dark Places

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Gillian Flynn
    • Narrated By Lorelei King
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (87)
    Performance
    (78)
    Story
    (77)

    Libby Day was just seven years old when her older brother massacred her family while she hid in a cupboard. Her evidence helped put him away. Ever since then she has been drifting, surviving for over 20 years on the proceeds of the 'Libby Day fund'. But now the money is running out and Libby is desperate. When she is offered $500 to do a guest appearance, she feels she has to accept. But this is no ordinary gathering.

    HDJ says: "Not for the fainthearted!"
    "Great story and performance - excellent writing."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Gillian Flynn is an excellent writer - I love her turns of phrase and unique imagery, so I could read anything she writes. This ending was more predictable than Gone Girl but I still enjoyed the ride. The performance was outstanding, my favourite on Audible so far. I was desperate to keep listening (couldn't 'put it down') so would highly recommend this.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Hunger Games

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Suzanne Collins
    • Narrated By Carolyn McCormick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (38005)
    Performance
    (28704)
    Story
    (29112)

    Could you survive on your own, in the wild, with everyone out to make sure you don't live to see the morning? In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by 12 outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

    Teddy says: "The Book Deserves The Hype"
    "Great book - wrong Narrator."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    First up, I love this book - it's the best YA fiction I've read in years. I've already read the whole series and bought the audiobook just to 'read' it again. (I love Hunger Games and Catching Fire, not so fond of Mockingjay).

    But the narration on this makes it only just bearable for me to listen to. I see this on many other reviews for this book - why has Audible not taken notice? This has to be one of Audible's top sellers but I'm sure they lose sales from people sampling the preview and being unable to stomach the narrator's read. I thought I would chance it because I love the book so much but I can't buy the second one now as it has the same narrator - I will be going to itunes or elsewhere for Catching Fire.

    Specifically, the voice is too old. The Hunger Games is written in present tense and is the thoughts of a teenage girl so it should have a young voice for the protagonist.

    I would suggest Emma Galvin as the perfect voice for this book. I loved her performance of Kresley Cole's 'Poison Princess'.

    But it's not just the age of the voice that's distracting. The little girl voice she puts on for Prim and Rue's dialogue - is horrible and extremely grating when she calls Katniss's name. Even the voice she does for Katniss is far too bubbly and ditzy sounding - Katniss is a kick ass heroine fighting for her life, not a ditzy teenage girl.

    And the lullaby!!! Katniss is known for being a beautiful singer! I wish Audible had put some time into sourcing a narrator or a singer to do the lullaby justice.

    I'm sure Carolyn McCormick's narration suits a lot of books - I can see she is obviously a skilled narrator. But she is completely the wrong fit for The Hunger Games and it spoiled my enjoyment of the audiobook. If Audible records the book again with another narrator, I would consider buying it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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