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Mona

I love audiobooks!

New York, NY, United States | Member Since 2010

6
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 7 reviews
  • 36 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 23 purchased in 2014
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  • The Shadow Dragons: Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By James A. Owen
    • Narrated By James Langton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (44)
    Performance
    (26)
    Story
    (25)

    World War II has been raging for three years, but a more terrible evil is just over the horizon. The last stones are falling from the Keep of Time, and the Imperial Cartological Society, led by Richard Burton, has collected doors and is building a new tower at the request of an old enemy: the Winter King's shadow. He has a terrible weapon -- the Spear of Destiny -- that can be used to command the shadows of anyone it touches.

    Mona says: "Very disappointing"
    "Very disappointing"
    Overall

    None of the subsequent books in this series have lived up to the considerable promise of the first volume, "Here There Be Dragons". Unfortunately, this book is poorly written and confusing. Too bad, because for lovers of fantasy there was a lot of unfulfilled potential here. Don't waste your time.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Hide Me Among the Graves

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Tim Powers
    • Narrated By Fiona Hardingham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    Winter 1862, London. Adelaide McKee, a former prostitute, arrives on the doorstep of veterinarian John Crawford, a man she met once seven years earlier. Their brief meeting produced a child who, until now, had been presumed dead. McKee has learned that the girl lives - but that her life and soul are in mortal peril from a vampiric ghost. But this is no ordinary spirit; the bloodthirsty wraith is none other than John Polidori, the onetime physician to the mad, bad, and dangerous Romantic poet Lord Byron.

    Dave says: "One More Mortal Sin"
    "Awful---Mostly Because of the Narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you be willing to try another one of Fiona Hardingham’s performances?

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    This book came highly recommended. But I could not finish it. I got to the next-to-last chapter and gave up. I found the narration really grating---alternately monotonous and histrionic. The characters' voices were awful. There were good things about the book, particularly the period setting in 19th century London and the depiction of the artists and poets of the time, especially the Rossettis. But the narration really grated and honestly the story became more and more implausible and difficult to follow as it went on. I realize this is fantasy, but even in a fantasy novel there has to be some logical plot developement.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Our Lady of Darkness

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Fritz Leiber
    • Narrated By Charles Busch
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (9)

    In this superb novel, originally published in 1977, Fritz Leiber explores the concept of "paramentals." Leiber makes his definitive statement on alienation within the urban environment and the capacity of concrete, steel, and glass to suck up miseries and spew forth monsters.

    David says: "Outstanding!"
    "Dreadful---Badly Written Story, Awful Narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about Our Lady of Darkness?

    Just about everything.


    Has Our Lady of Darkness turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No...this was an exceptionally bad book


    Would you be willing to try another one of Charles Busch’s performances?

    Absolutely not. His flamboyant, pretentious, hystrionic reading distracted from the story and didn't enhance it at all.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Boredom and annoyance.


    Any additional comments?

    This was recommended on a prominent science fiction podcast. There's no accounting for taste.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 1Q84

    • UNABRIDGED (46 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Haruki Murakami, Jay Rubin (translator), Philip Gabriel (translator)
    • Narrated By Allison Hiroto, Marc Vietor, Mark Boyett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3707)
    Performance
    (3229)
    Story
    (3202)

    The year is 1984 and the city is Tokyo.

    A young woman named Aomame follows a taxi driver's enigmatic suggestion and begins to notice puzzling discrepancies in the world around her. She has entered, she realizes, a parallel existence, which she calls 1Q84 - "Q" is for "question mark". A world that bears a question....

    Amanda says: "WOW, WOW, WOW."
    "Unsatisfying, although compelling at times"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    No. There were compelling characters, but the story fell down and the ending was unsatisfying. Also there was a lot of gratuitous sex (i.e., sex scenes that did nothing to propel the story forward and were just there for the sensationalism). There was lots of violence also, although most of the violence was muted.


    What was most disappointing about the authors’s story?

    Even in a fantasy world, the plot has to have a certain logic. It didn't. There were holes in the plot so big you could have driven a truck through. Also there were many loose ends that were never tied up.


    Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

    Fuka Erie


    Could you see 1Q84 being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    Well, there's sex, violence, and romance. All that Hollywood needs for a B grade movie.


    Any additional comments?

    This was such a promising book, but so disappointing. There were scenes and turns of phrase that were wonderful, but overall the book didn't hold together.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Night Circus

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Erin Morgenstern
    • Narrated By Jim Dale
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5801)
    Performance
    (5149)
    Story
    (5142)

    The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

    Pamela says: "The circus of your dreams"
    "A haunting and mesmerizing fairy tale"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This a haunting, dark fairy tale. It's beautifully written and beautifully read. The book is filled with details which awaken all of the senses. For example, the Night Circus is usually described as smelling of smoke and caramel. In simple but powerful prose the author delineates a unique world. It's a magic circus which is only open at night and in which everything is colored black and white. A love story and competition between two magicians is a central part of the story, but around this main tale revolve other sideshows populated by fascinating and vivid characters with strange names. Most of the story takes place in North America and Europe at the turn of the century. The historical setting--in the past, but not the distant past--adds to the exotic appeal of the novel.


    What did you like best about this story?

    What's not to like? The prose is compelling, the sensory details are intoxicating. The central romance is appealing and dramatic. The characters are fascinating.


    Which character – as performed by Jim Dale – was your favorite?

    It's difficult to pinpoint my favorite character, as most of them were extremely colorful and eccentric. But I probably liked the Murray twins, Poppet and Widget, the best. The Irish accents Jim Dale gave them seemed very appropriate. By the way, he was the perfect reader for this novel.


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

    Yes, I was hooked. I couldn't put it down until it was done.


    Any additional comments?

    I gave the story four stars instead of five because the ending somehow seemed a bit contrived. But other than that, it is a masterpiece. I just don't get the negative reviews. Did they read the same book as I did?

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Snow Crash

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Neal Stephenson
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    Overall
    (5017)
    Performance
    (2395)
    Story
    (2440)

    Neal Stephenson is a blazing new force on the sci-fi scene. With the groundbreaking cyberpunk novel Snow Crash, he has "vaulted onto the literary stage." It weaves virtual reality, Sumerian myth, and just about everything in between with a cool, hip cybersensibility - in short, it is the gigathriller of the information age.

    A. Tuck says: "Classic Stephenson"
    "Don't waste a credit on this silliness"
    Overall

    The underlying premise of the book is laughable and there are plot holes big enough to drive a truck through. Still, I gave it 3 stars instead of 2 because some of the characters are interesting (although a number of them are--perhaps deliberately--drawn as cartoonish caricatures). Also, Neal Stephenson is one of the few male authors who does female characters well. However, I'm not certain why this book is so highly recommended.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • A Storm of Swords: A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (47 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By George R. R. Martin
    • Narrated By Roy Dotrice
    Overall
    (13291)
    Performance
    (9989)
    Story
    (10036)

    As opposing forces maneuver for the final titanic showdown, an army of barbaric wildlings arrives from the outermost line of civilization. In their vanguard is a horde of mythical Others, a supernatural army of the living dead whose animated corpses are unstoppable. As the future of the land hangs in the balance, no one will rest until the Seven Kingdoms have exploded in a veritable storm of swords.

    Troy says: "Chapter and part breaks are incorrect"
    "Magnificent and highly recommended"
    Overall

    George R.R. Martin keeps outdoing himself. This was perhaps the best book in his superb series "A Song of Fire and Ice". It's an enormous epic fantasy. The characters are absolutely real and believable. The world he creates has so many rich details that it comes completely to life. It's a world that can be brutal and tragic like the Middle Ages it emulates. But at the end of the day, the phenomenal story telling and compelling characters keep the reader hooked. Even the supposed villains are sometimes portrayed as very sympathetic people. And Roy Datrice's marvelous narration lives up to the standard set by the writing. But this is a fantasy for adults, not children. Its world can be harsh and its characters lewd, cruel, and untrustworthy, as in real life. This isn't a world viewed through rose colored glasses. Nevertheless, there are also many episodes of heroism, loyalty and nobility. 40 hours of spellbinding listening.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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