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Lowell1

Inyokern, CA, United States | Member Since 2010

8
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 13 reviews
  • 72 ratings
  • 198 titles in library
  • 41 purchased in 2014
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  • The Gods of War: Book 3 of the Republic Series

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Jack Ludlow
    • Narrated By Nick Boulton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (21)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (19)

    Lucius Falerius is dead, and Rome in its entirety mourns the passing of its most powerful senator. It falls to his son Marcellus to carry out his father's legacy and restore the rights promised to the defeated Sicilian slaves, yet there are those who will not see the honour of Rome compromised and the slaves assuaged.

    Lowell1 says: "Disappointing"
    "Disappointing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    While the narration is acceptable, the author plays fast and loose with history. Many anachronisms exist in the story. It is unfortunate, as it would have set up well as a comparison to the Populares vs Beni politics of Caesar???s time. The series doesn???t break well in the books. None of the characters are particularly well rounded, nor can one sympathize much with any of them.


    What was most disappointing about Jack Ludlow???s story?

    A true historical type fiction such as found in Sayer's books or in Colleen McCullough's books would have been very interesting. Instead, one is presented with a story that is mildly interesting but lacks any real historical footing.


    What three words best describe Nick Boulton???s voice?

    acceptable, understandable, clear.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    no.


    Any additional comments?

    Well researched historical fiction is a joy. Sadly this series falls short.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Bones in Her Pocket

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 56 mins)
    • By Kathy Reichs
    • Narrated By Linda Emond
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (126)
    Performance
    (116)
    Story
    (117)

    When a fly-covered canvas bag floats to the surface of North Carolina’s Mountain Island Lake, forensic anthropologist Tempe Brennan is called to the scene. Animal remains? Or could this be related to bone fragments from a human male found nearby? To Tempe’s surprise, the decomposed body indicates the person was a female young adult. The profile fits the description of a missing graduate student named Edith Blankenship.

    Beth Sanders says: "I live in Gastonia!"
    "expected better"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I've got the entire Reichs series and was disappointed in this short story. First, we have the usual problem of a forensic pathologist playing active investigator. This is usual, but how many times can the heroine act as "i'll just go and physically play the police" before she mucks up a crime scene or gets herself (or someone else killed)? She is NOT "law enforcement". The second problem was the preachy end of the story with the diatribe on "puppy mills". The issue of inhumane treatment of animals (canine or otherwise) was more or less stuck into the story with no real justification other than to provide a motive (which had nothing to do with the rest of the story) and a reason for an evangelistic type plea -- as if all breeders of dogs were inhumane. Dog breeders include groups like the Seeing Eye (who breed their own guide dogs). The "out of thin air" motive and diatribe not only put me off this particular book, it rather poisoned the entire series.


    Has Bones in Her Pocket turned you off from other books in this genre?

    yes


    What three words best describe Linda Emond’s performance?

    Nothing wrong.


    Any additional comments?

    no preaching, please. If you are going to investigate, take a trained policeman. Or should the heroine invite her Canadian friend to practice forensics?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Devil's Breath: Dr. Thomas Silkstone, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Tessa Harris
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    Overall
    (68)
    Performance
    (61)
    Story
    (62)

    Eighteenth-century anatomist Dr. Thomas Silkstone travels to the English countryside to unravel a tangled web of mystery, medicine, and murder in this captivating new novel from Tessa Harris. A man staggers out of his cottage into the streets of Oxfordshire, shattering an otherwise peaceful evening with the terrible sight of his body shaking and heaving, eyes wild with horror. Many of the villagers believe the devil himself has entered Joseph Makepeace, the latest victim of a "great fog" that darkens the skies over England like a biblical plague.

    Lowell1 says: "good but not great"
    "good but not great"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    The book was worth getting, but it's probably not one I'll listen to a second time as I might re-read a book. While the concept of a killer fog is quite good (and historically accurate), the doctor seems to be rather slow on the uptake on much of it. Also, the heroine is again notable for her incredible lack of backbone.


    Would you recommend The Devil's Breath to your friends? Why or why not?

    It's worth getting if one is interested in historical mystery/ fiction. But it could be a lot better with less transparent villains and a stronger female character. The idea that one can instantly love a child one never knew for 6 years is a bit hard to believe.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The mentor managing to slip both the formula and a sample of the drug to the doctor in the midst of an arrest.


    Could you see The Devil's Breath being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    possibly, if the characters were strengthened.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Doctor Who: The Invasion

    • ORIGINAL (3 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By BBC Audiobooks
    • Narrated By Frazer Hines
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    Patrick Troughton's Doctor encounters the Cybermen in London in this classic soundtrack adventure, narrated by Frazer Hines. Arriving on Earth in 1975, the Doctor, Jamie, and Zoe discover that the component manufacturers International Electromagnetics has a vice-like grip on the world's technology.

    Lowell1 says: "good classic who"
    "good classic who"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    yes as the story is good


    What did you like best about this story?

    the story


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    not entirely. Sometimes the narration seemed flat.


    Any additional comments?

    Background noise made this audiobook somewhat harder to hear than most.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Dead Shall Not Rest: A Dr. Thomas Silkstone Mystery, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Tessa Harris
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    Overall
    (94)
    Performance
    (88)
    Story
    (89)

    In 1780s London, it is not just the living who are prey to criminals and cutpurses. Corpses, too, are fair game - dug up from fresh graves and sold to unscrupulous men of science. Dr. Thomas Silkstone abhors such methods, but his leading rival, Dr. John Hunter, has learned of the imminent death of eight-foot-tall Charles Byrne and will go to any lengths to obtain the body for his research. Thomas intends to see that Byrne is allowed to rest in peace, but his efforts are complicated when his betrothed, Lady Lydia Farrell, breaks off their engagement without explanation.

    barbara says: "good but not as good as #1"
    "could be better"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does The Dead Shall Not Rest rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is a good listen and well told.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    The issue of Dr. Hunter could have stuck with history. The murderer being the abortionist would have been more appropriate. If Silkstone had studied under Hunter, Hunter being under suspicion would have increased the mystery and the challenge. It's hard to believe Silkstone would NOT have known Hunter if he studied in London. Silkstone is an American during the Revolution -- yet it's glossed over. Silkstone comes across as a bit unrealistic in his objection to body snatching -- during this period, anyone studying anatomy would have dealt with "resurrection men" providing the bodies. In fact, it would have made for a stronger moral dilemma.

    The heroine is pretty hopeless. She clearly has not got the kind of inner strength found in her American contemporaries like Abigail Adams or Martha Washington. Her "secret" is pretty flat too. Give the girl some backbone.


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

    good


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

    The portion of the giant being harassed while trying to find his girlfriend.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Corpse Reader

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Antonio Garrido, Thomas Bunstead (translator)
    • Narrated By Todd Haberkorn
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (54)
    Performance
    (48)
    Story
    (48)

    Cí, a young scholar-turned-gravedigger in medieval China, has survived enough horrors and pain to last several lifetimes. He finally has the chance to return to his studies - only to receive orders from the Imperial Court to find the sadistic perpetrator of a series of brutal murders. With lives in jeopardy, Cí finds his gruesome investigation complicated by his old loyalties - and by his growing desire for the enigmatic beauty haunting his thoughts. Is he skilled enough to track down the murderer? Or will the killer claim him first?

    Jody says: "A serious disappointment"
    "very disappointing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made The Corpse Reader better?

    a character who was not a total idiot


    Has The Corpse Reader turned you off from other books in this genre?

    yes.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Todd Haberkorn’s performances?

    yes. the reader was acceptable, but the story was so poor I did not finish the book.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Corpse Reader?

    The scene where the main character decides he has to save his brother who tyrannized him and who committed murder (we only LATER learn he questioned the story. Initially, it is only said that the main character wants to save his brother, which is unbelievable.). Most of the story is not believable. If the hero believed his brother innocent, then saying so as a reason for him trying to save his brother might make sense. Saying this as an afterthought just makes the story not credible. I've read the Judge Dee stories and they are excellent. This is just pathetic.


    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Silver Falcon

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Katia Fox, Aubrey Botsford (translator)
    • Narrated By James Clamp
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (12)

    Despite his mother’s insistence, young William knows he is destined not to toil with a swordsmith’s hammer in his hand, but rather to stride the open country with a falcon on his fist. And when he rescues a magnificent bird of prey belonging to King Henry himself, the boy finds in His Majesty’s favor a golden opportunity. Neither the stigma of a clubfoot nor the powerful influence of prophecy will keep him from fleeing the smoky smithy to run the open fields… in the shadow of the sky’s winged masters.

    kalista says: "THE FACOLN SOARS"
    "a bit simplistic, but acceptable."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Katia Fox and Aubrey Botsford (translator) and/or James Clamp?

    yes.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    Twist at the end was good. Some of the story seemed to drag a bit.


    What three words best describe James Clamp’s voice?

    a bit flat.


    Did The Silver Falcon inspire you to do anything?

    no.


    Any additional comments?

    Acceptable but not intellectually challenging book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Heresy of Dr Dee

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Phil Rickman
    • Narrated By Seán Barrett
    Overall
    (20)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (18)

    It's 1560, and rumour shrouds the death of the one woman who stands between Lord Robert Dudley and marriage to the young Queen Elizabeth. Did Dudley's wife, Amy, die from an accidental fall? Or was it murder? Even Dr John Dee is uncertain. Then a rash promise to the Queen sends him to his family's old home on the Welsh Border in pursuit of a crystal credited with supernatural properties. With Dee goes Robert Dudley. They travel with the entourage of a judge sent to try a Welsh brigand with a legacy dating back to the Battle of Brynglas.

    Lowell1 says: "disappointing"
    "disappointing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about The Heresy of Dr Dee? What did you like least?

    While the story of a search for a scrying stone was of interest, the portrayal of Dee as a bungling, incompetent idiot made it extremely difficult to enjoy. Even the title is misleading -- while Dee was historically accused of heresy, the most that occurs are some references to this.


    What could Phil Rickman have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    A much stronger story would have been a straightforward search by Dee into if a scrying stone worked and his efforts to obtain one. The side story of Dudley, his wife's death and Queen Elizabeth was only distracting. That a man of known intellect and education might search for the truth behind visions, foreseeing and other occult matters is a story that that still holds sway today. Instead, the search for the stone isn't a real quest, it's simply a bungling effort to avoid Cecil and Q. Elizabeth. The issue of "did Dudley kill his wife" is another mystery that would have been interesting, but at the end, a simple "the Spanish and Cecil did it" is provided with no effort at all by the protagonists. The relationship between Dudley and Elizabeth is assumed to be one of great passion-- yet no discussion is made of the historical question regarding Dudley's ambition and Elizabeth's reluctance to marry and lose her power.


    Did Seán Barrett do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    The story is a narrative by Dee so that differentiation is not extensively required. The other characters are reasonably portrayed, but sometimes Barrett changes Dee's tone and manner of speaking with no particular good reason.


    Could you see The Heresy of Dr Dee being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    No, unless the basic story were severely rewritten.


    Any additional comments?

    A disappointing historical fiction even though it is largely based on actual known facts about Dee (he did search for the unknown, he was a well known scholar, he did work for Queen Elizabeth.).

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Out of the Black Land

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs)
    • By Kerry Greenwood
    • Narrated By Paul Garcia, Emily Bauer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (20)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (19)

    Eighteenth Dynasty Egypt is peaceful and prosperous under the dual rule of the Pharaohs Amenhotep III and IV, until the younger Pharaoh begins to dream new and terrifying dreams. Ptah-hotep, a young peasant boy studying to be a scribe, wants to live a simple life in a Nile hut with his lover Kheperren and their dog Wolf. But Amenhotep IV appoints him as Great Royal Scribe. Surrounded by bitterly envious rivals and enemies, how long will Ptah-hotep survive?

    r4punz3ll3 says: "False Advertising or an Honest Mistake?"
    "A serious story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I've loved the Haney and Robinson "Ancient Egypt" stories. This one is equally well researched and well presented. Even though a historian knows the overall "what happens", the author's view of HOW it might have happened is excellent.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    The means of tying historical fact and characters to the story was excellently done and presents a new take on things.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    The stories of some of the minor characters could have been explored, but overall, this was well done.


    Any additional comments?

    One hopes this author will write another.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The First Murder

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By The Medieval Murderers
    • Narrated By Paul Matthews
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (9)

    Oxford, 1154. When the first performance of The Play of Adam ends in tragedy, the author pens a grim warning for the generations that follow: ‘Beward the sins of envy and vainglory, else foul murder ends your story'. But his words are not heeded, and as the play is performed in many guises throughout the ages, bad luck seems to follow after those involved in its production…

    S. Wells says: "Good Drama"
    "disappointing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from The Medieval Murderers and/or Paul Matthews?

    I would try the authors again but only because I have already read other books by them and know this one is not typical of the quality.


    Would you ever listen to anything by The Medieval Murderers again?

    yes, but only because I had already read other books by them.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Paul Matthews’s performances?

    not really. Delivery was very flat.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The First Murder?

    theater scene for the Rosetta stone story dragged on and on and ON.


    Any additional comments?

    None of the authors' usual characters are present; the story connections are at best improbable; only one of the short stories was entertaining. It would be interesting for these authors to try a connecting artifact that has good qualities or is pivotal in solving a mystery. In this case the "evil play" was just unbelievable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Doctor Who: Adventures In History

    • ORIGINAL (4 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Donald Cotton, John Lucarotti, Gerry Davis
    • Narrated By William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, full cast
    Overall
    (41)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    This great collection contains the soundtracks of three television adventures in which the Doctor and friends travel back in Time and get caught up in events in history.

    Derek says: "Good Who"
    "good classic who"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Doctor Who the most enjoyable?

    revisiting some of the early Dr. Who stories


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Steven -- as one of the Dr.'s early companions, he is quite different from Rose and others, yet one sees similarities too.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The dr complaining about the horse was pretty funny


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

    Two -- both times leaving while chaos took over


    Any additional comments?

    worthwhile for anyone who is interested in early Dr. Who.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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