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Anna

Member Since 2010

39
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 28 reviews
  • 230 ratings
  • 445 titles in library
  • 52 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
4
FOLLOWERS
2

  • City of Jasmine

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs)
    • By Deanna Raybourn
    • Narrated By Anne Flosnik
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (6)

    Famed aviatrix Evangeline Starke never expected to see her husband, adventurer Gabriel Starke, ever again. They had been a golden couple, enjoying a whirlwind courtship amid the backdrop of a glittering social set in prewar London until his sudden death with the sinking of the Lusitania. Five years later, beginning to embrace life again, Evie embarks upon a flight around the world, collecting fame and admirers along the way. In the midst of her triumphant tour, she is shocked to receive a mysterious - and recent - photograph of Gabriel.

    Anna says: "Lackluster narative"
    "Lackluster narative"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Deanna Raybourn's strength as an author lies in creating such an atmosphere in her books, that the descriptions transport the reader to places with such richness and depth it's always a pleasure to dwell amongst colourful and unique characters.

    However this time it was not enough to compensate for the authors greatest weakness - romance which has all the maturity of the Twilight series. In every book I have read by Deanna Rayburn the relationship dynamic is always the same - a seemly independent female falls in love with the strong male who "loves" her so much that he belittles, lies to her and generally treats her like a child (in this book Gabriel does in fact call Evangeline "child" several times) all for her own good, of course... Token displays of initiative by the female lead (which inevitably end badly) and some good come-backs are not enough to make this toxic relationship seem either interesting or romantic.

    The reason it was particularly galling in City of Jasmine was because of the lack of narrative. The plot is very threadbare and the characters are simply thrown together with only brief and ultimately meaningless periods of action to relieve the constant bickering.

    I will keep buying Deanna Raybourn's books because of her strengths and because her narratives are usually far better but I for one am sick to death of this type of relationship not only from this author but in the genre in general and I am constantly hoping for something more.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Nox Dormienda (A Long Night for Sleeping): An Arcturus Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Kelli Stanley
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    Nox Dormienda is the award-winning debut novel of critically-acclaimed author Kelli Stanley (City of Dragons), and the first of a series in a new genre: Roman Noir. Featuring Arcturus, a hardboiled protagonist in the best Philip Marlowe tradition, Nox is a different kind of historical mystery, a suspense thriller that combines a classic noir style with the rich texture of the ancient past.

    Rollin says: "Very disappointing whodunit in ancient Brittania"
    "Roman Noir"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is exactly as advertised (for once). Nox Dormienda is in same line as other ancient mystery series but with a unique noir format. The world building, plot and characters were all excellent and it was evident that the author was thorough in his research. The only drawback was the romance which would even make a soap opera fan cringe but mercifully only occupied a small portion of the story. Definitely worth a credit and as soon as the next in the series is available on audible (The Curse-Maker) I'm buying.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Secrets of Sloane House: Chicago World's Fair Mystery, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Shelley Shepard Gray
    • Narrated By Tavia Gilbert
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    Rosalind Perry has left her family's rural farm in Wisconsin to work as a housemaid at Sloane House, one of the most elegant mansions in Gilded Age Chicago. But Rosalind is not there just to earn a living and support her family - she's at Sloane House determined to discover the truth about her sister's mysterious disappearance. Set against the backdrop of Chicago's Gilded Age and the1893 World's Fair, Secrets of Sloane House takes us on a whirlwind journey of romance and mystery.

    Elise says: "Good story! great historical fiction"
    "Christian fiction"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Yet another book premise which appeals to entirely the wrong audience.

    The main flaw (among many) in this book was the main character. Rosalind was such a doe eyed innocent it's hard to believe she didn't' die of fright when looking at her own shadow. Yet we are somehow supposed to believe she leaves her farm, family and small town to move to Chicago to investigate her sisters disappearance? It is baffling that the author decided to make her 23 years old (the author gives no reason why she had not married), if the author had simply made her 16 it would have made her timid, naïve, girlish behaviour more understandable (though not more likeable).

    It took the author almost 15 minutes to describe; Rosalind taking up a tea tray to her mistress then exchanging a few greetings with a male member to the household, after which she had to lean against a wall and breath just to get over the stress.

    The logical inconsistencies in this book kept piling up such as how Rosalind expected to find her sister and how she obtained a job in the household in the first place being an inexperienced milk maid. There were also some editing mistakes such as one of the main characters being introduced twice.

    I recommend to anyone thinking of buying this book to have a look at some of the other titles the author has written (as I should have done) - if Christian fiction appeals to you then enjoy this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Typhoon Lover: Rei Shimura Mysteries, Book 8

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Sujata Massey
    • Narrated By Zehra Fazal
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    A young woman with a foothold in two cultures, Rei Shimura has gone wherever fortune and her unruly passions have led her throughout her chaotic 20s. Now, after the streamers for her 30th birthday celebration have been taken down, the Japanese-American antiques dealer and part-time sleuth finds herself with an assignment to find and authenticate an ancient Middle Eastern pitcher that disappeared from Iraq's national museum.

    kate says: "Rei at her finest"
    "Spoiled brat descibes her life"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The story begins with a pointless party to celebrate (of course) Rei and continues on its journey to banality.

    The writer describes everything in detail but instead of creating an atmosphere or depth it merely acts as clunky and unnecessary exposition. Such as Rei's shopping trip to get rainclothes, what rainclothes, where she got them, why she bought those particular rainboots and how she wrote it off as an expense,
    The actual plot however; (Rei's mission, her career background or any interesting historical context regarding the artefact), is vague, glossed over or omitted entirely. There are also major plot points that do not make any logical sense. and character interactions and motives that are implausible. The writer also appears to have gotten all her information regarding history and archaeology from Wikipedia which is a huge disappointment

    Rei is a uninteresting and shallow character with no redeeming qualities and certain actions she takes make her even more detestable. But then there are no interesting, likable or believable characters in the entire book so she is in good company.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Blotto, Twinks and the Riddle of the Sphinx

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Simon Brett
    • Narrated By Simon Brett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (15)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (14)

    The Dowager Duchess has decided to sell off the less important family possessions. Blotto and Twinks are dispatched to help the valuer. He spies some Egyptian artifacts and in some excitement rushes back to London, leaving Blotto and Twinks alone in the attic, where they are drawn to a sarchophagus decorated with hieroglyphs. Twinks starts to translate: "Anyone who desecrates this shrine will be visited by the Pharoah's curse..." - just as Blotto prises the lid off.

    Anna says: "Verry funny"
    "Verry funny"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Loved this book but after reading some of the reviews on goodreads I though I'd make it clear - it's a comedy, not a murder mystery, if you don't like parodies where everyone refers to each other as "me old banana sandwich" etc you won't like the book.
    In short; listen to the preview as the book is more of the same - funny characters, inventive dialog, solid (if simple) plot.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • China Basin: The Cyrus Skeen Series

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Edward Cline
    • Narrated By Aaron E. Tucker
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    Cyrus Skeen, private detective, scours 1928 San Francisco in search of the man who stole a priceless medieval artifact. The thief, who is also a pathological killer, is not Skeen's only obstacle. The exquisite Frenchwoman and retured British colonel who are searching for the artifact also prove to be obstructions. Helping him in his search is his loyal and adoring secretary, Dilys Jones. Complicating the search are two Yale classmates, one of whom has penned a hit play that is headed for Broadway, but who has a secret about its true authorship. This is the other side of Sam Spade's San Francisco.

    Anna says: "A Great Read!"
    "A Great Read!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A perfect example of the hardboiled detective novel that will appeal to anyone who enjoys a good mystery. The characters are real and interesting each with their own agendas and the story is intriguing right up to the last page. Although a serious novel it is not so gritty that lovers of the cosy mysteries cannot enjoy.
    The reader is good but mispronounces words so often, hence the four stars. However he is such a perfect choice for the voice Cyrus Skeen it becomes a minor gripe.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Girl Is Trouble: Sequel to The Girl Is Murder

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Kathryn Miller Haines
    • Narrated By Rachel Botchan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    Critically acclaimed author Kathryn Miller Haines' debut YA novel The Girl Is Murder received an Edgar Award nomination. Its sequel, The Girl Is Trouble, uses the same exciting blend of mystery and historical detail to keep listeners on the edge of their seats. Iris Anderson is allowed to work at her pop's detective agency as long as she does things his way and learns his method. Yet when she discovers information about her mother's supposed suicide, Iris is thrown headfirst into the most personal case of her life.

    Anna says: "Loved it"
    "Loved it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is a YA mystery and I would normally go near YA books (I don't know why I was expecting otherwise considering the protagonist is a teenage girl but for some reason I did) but glad I made that mistake. I felt for the characters, it was a great depiction of the period, the narrator was a perfect choice for the character and the mystery kept you guessing.

    There are some definite YA characteristics however such as the main characters tendency to make assumptions and leap to hasty conclusions, some high school drama etc - in other words she acts like a typical teenager so no surprises there, but I still managed to like her.

    Recommend to anyone who likes cosy mystery series or period mysteries.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • City: A Guidebook for the Urban Age

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By P. D. Smith
    • Narrated By Steven Crossley
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (9)

    For the first time in the history of our planet, more than half the population - 3.3 billion people - is now living in cities. City is the ultimate guidebook to our urban centers - the signature unit of human civilization. With erudite prose, this unique work of metatourism explores what cities are and how they work. It covers history, customs and language, districts, transport, money, work, shops and markets, and tourist sites, creating a fantastically detailed portrait of the city through history and into the future.

    Anna says: "Commuters companion"
    "Commuters companion"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Before buying this book I saw a review describing this book as a "coffee table book" and I cannot think of a better way of describing it. It is no historical thesis; it jumps from topic to topic in time and place - but as long as that's what your expecting it is enjoyable. It is filled with interesting historical and anthropological facts and is an excellent commuters companion.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Anatomist’s Apprentice: The Dr. Thomas Silkstone Mysteries, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Tessa Harris
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (311)
    Performance
    (274)
    Story
    (277)

    The death of Lord Edward Crick has unleashed a torrent of gossip through the seedy taverns and elegant ballrooms of Oxfordshire. Few mourn the dissolute young man - except his sister, the beautiful Lady Lydia Farrell. When her husband comes under suspicion of murder, she seeks expert help from Dr. Thomas Silkstone, a young anatomist from Philadelphia. Thomas arrived in England to study under its foremost surgeon, where his unconventional methods only add to his outsider status. Against his better judgment, he agrees to examine Lord Edward’s corpse.

    Sires says: "Gruesome but Deftly Plotted"
    "Myster Genre Fail"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am a fan of the genre but hesitated to pick up this book because of the bad reviews on goodreads - and they were unfortunately correct.

    Each small piece of the puzzle was revealed to the audience long before the main character slowly and agonizingly groped his way to the truth. The characters lacked any kind of chemistry, in fact the romance was so forced it was nearly unbearable, making it all the more perplexing since it was completely unnecessary to the story unless it was a failed attempt by the author to raise the stakes. The depiction of the period was nonexistent, where it not for the occasional reference to a tricorn hat I would have forgotten where and when the book was set.

    The narrator was good overall except for some instances where the main female character actually showed some backbone - "spoken through her teeth" somehow translated to annoying whine.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dust to Dust

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Ken McClure
    • Narrated By David Thorpe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    John Motram has the chance of a lifetime. A cell biologist convinced that the Black Death was not caused by bubonic plague but by an unknown virus, he is asked to examine preserved bodies buried under the ancient abbey at Dryburgh. However, Motram’s excavations end up in disaster when he first becomes violent and then dangerously ill after entering the secret tomb.

    Anna says: "Misleading premise"
    "Misleading premise"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is number 8 in the Dr Steven Dunbar series, this is absolutely not an archeological mystery (as I had thought when buying this book) nor does the book focus on history at all.

    Despite being mislead by the premise I did end up liking the series which is about a specialist detective who investigates science-related crimes usually involving a conspiracy or two.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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