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Natasha

AUCKLAND, New Zealand | Member Since 2012

22
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 7 reviews
  • 9 ratings
  • 45 titles in library
  • 14 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
1
FOLLOWERS
6

  • Dark Places

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Gillian Flynn
    • Narrated By Lorelei King
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (48)
    Performance
    (44)
    Story
    (43)

    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
  • 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
    (619)
    Performance
    (574)
    Story
    (572)

    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.

    Lela says: "insightful, deep and highly entertaining"
    "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.

    5 of 5 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
    (34649)
    Performance
    (25753)
    Story
    (26114)

    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
  • Shadows: Ashes Trilogy, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Ilsa J. Bick
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (216)
    Performance
    (197)
    Story
    (195)

    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
  • Partials

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Dan Wells
    • Narrated By Julia Whelan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (478)
    Performance
    (425)
    Story
    (431)

    The human race is all but extinct after a war with Partials - engineered organic beings identical to humans - has decimated the population. Reduced to only tens of thousands by RM, a weaponized virus to which only a fraction of humanity is immune, the survivors in North America have huddled together on Long Island while the Partials have mysteriously retreated. The threat of the Partials is still imminent, but, worse, no baby has been born immune to RM in more than a decade. Our time is running out.

    Tabitha says: "Action! Romance! Science!"
    "Like (TV series) "Revolution"? You may like this."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    After a slow start, Dan Wells hooked me in and I'm now hanging out for the sequel so much so that I may have to purchase an actual book instead of buying it from Audible! ('Fragments' the sequel doesn't appear to be on audio book yet *sadface*)

    The beginning felt a little weighed down by backstory and medical jargon. But I'm glad I stuck with it. The quality of the writing kept me going at first and then the story kicked up the action and I was hooked. Keira, the main character annoyed me at times but by the end of the book I'd grown to love her.

    My one complaint would be a lack of romance. All the connections are there but I feel like the author fails to give us any really satisfying romantic connections. Still, it makes for good tension and I hope there is some pay off for romantics in book two.

    As for the performance by Julia Whelan - it was my favourite so far of the books I've listened to on Audible. She had just the right tone, I enjoyed her voices and her intensity was spot on. I will look out for more reads by her.

    Overall, a good story about an intriguing world. If you like the new TV series Revolution, you may just like this.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Firelight

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Sophie Jordan
    • Narrated By Therese Plummer
    Overall
    (603)
    Performance
    (516)
    Story
    (523)

    Marked as special at an early age, Jacinda knows her every move is watched. But she longs for freedom to make her own choices. When she breaks the most sacred tenet among her kind, she nearly pays with her life. Until a beautiful stranger saves her. A stranger who was sent to hunt those like her. For Jacinda is a drakia descendant of dragons whose greatest defense is her secret ability to shift into human form.

    Felicity Fairchild says: "Took my breath away"
    "Lots of potential but didn't quite deliver"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    After reading the first few chapters I was excited for the story to develop but after a while it began to go round in circles. The characters and setting were intriguing and held so much promise but after some great external action at the start, it turned quite internal with the main character Jacinda constantly at war with herself. I would have preferred more action but perhaps the sequel delivers that. I'm unsure if I'll read it yet though, I loved the premise but didn't quite connect with the characters. I felt there were a few inconsistencies which caused too many questions for me.
    The performance was very good.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Angelfall: Penryn & the End of Days, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Susan Ee
    • Narrated By Caitlin Davies
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1036)
    Performance
    (954)
    Story
    (963)

    It’s been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her 17-year-old sister, Penryn, will do anything to get her back. Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel. Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl. Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival.

    Brooke says: "Creep-tastic!"
    "No Hunger Games but who cares?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Angelfall rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is one of the best audiobooks I've listened to, not for the performance unfortunately, but for the story. I really enjoyed Susan Ee's writing. The performance wasn't terrible but it was a little distracting at times.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Angelfall?

    I really enjoyed all the interaction between Penryn and Raffe the Angel. I saw one review that mentioned there was little romance in this book but I preferred it that way - because it was chock full of UST (unresolved sexual tension!). Penryn's observations of Raffe were potent but never cheesy. The ending gave me just enough satisfaction about Raffe and Penryn's relationship and still left me wanting more.


    What aspect of Caitlin Davies’s performance would you have changed?

    The performance was fine but I didn't really like the voice Caitlin put on for Raffe. Also, I found her narration a little too cheery for an apocalyptic setting - it seemed too lighthearted for the situation at times.


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

    Yes! I couldn't 'put it down'. I was trying to make it last longer (to use for my workouts!) but I couldn't resist listening to it more often and finished it in a matter of days.


    Any additional comments?

    I really enjoyed Angelfall and am looking forward to the sequel.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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