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ChellyBelle

Dundurn, SK, Canada

ratings
114
REVIEWS
19
FOLLOWING
2
FOLLOWERS
1
HELPFUL VOTES
110

  • Timeline

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Michael Crichton
    • Narrated By John Bedford Lloyd
    Overall
    (2398)
    Performance
    (685)
    Story
    (698)

    Modern science meets feudal France...dinosaurs still walk the Earth...a secret world of killer gorillas...only in a Michael Crichton thriller! Check out our full selection in our Crichton store!

    Charles Stembridge says: "Narrator"
    "Mediocre Crichton"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Timeline is a decent book with a fun premise.

    The characters are shallowly drawn, but I'm not sure it matters very much; the book doesn't come across as a pompous attempt to change the world (I'm looking at you, State of Fear), but it's a fun adventure story.

    The narrator does a good job, and all in all, it's well worth the listen.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Rook: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Daniel O'Malley
    • Narrated By Susan Duerden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1872)
    Performance
    (1693)
    Story
    (1694)

    Myfanwy Thomas awakes in a London park surrounded by dead bodies. With her memory gone, her only hope of survival is to trust the instructions left in her pocket by her former self. She quickly learns that she is a Rook, a high-level operative in a secret agency that protects the world from supernatural threats. But there is a mole inside the organization - and this person wants her dead.

    Ethan M. says: "Harry Dresden meets English bureaucracy"
    "Trying too hard, but still..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is one of those rare mediocre reads, where you know you've wasted some of your life listening to it, but you don't really mind all that much.

    The premise is fun and fairly original, but the execution is like that guy in your high school Spanish class who tried really, really, REALLY hard to be funny and cool, and succeeded JUST enough to keep from getting beaten up.

    If there's a follow-up book, I'll probably give it a listen. If there's not, well, I'm okay with that, too.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Flowers in the Attic

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By V.C. Andrews®
    • Narrated By Alyssa Bresnahan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (449)
    Performance
    (409)
    Story
    (408)

    This best-selling thriller has captivated over 4.5 million readers of all ages; V.C. Andrews’ fans know her mixture of vivid characters and ominous moods is highly addictive. Flowers in the Attic is the first book in a gripping series featuring the Dollangagers - a family haunted by a remorseless, demonic history. This tale of obsession, also made into a haunting movie, has made V.C. Andrews’ name synonymous with the best in dark suspense.

    Marthe says: "Awesome!"
    "Still creepy after all these years!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I picked up the audiobook version of this book on a whim; as a young teenager, this was my go-to book for all my angsty moments. I read it so often that, listening to the audiobook, I found myself able to recite some passages by heart.

    Still, the book is as cold and creepy as ever, with it's slow downward spiral and stilted language, and I loved every moment.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ashes: Ashes Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Ilsa J. Bick
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (745)
    Performance
    (672)
    Story
    (677)

    An electromagnetic pulse flashes across the sky, destroying every electronic device and killing billions. Alex hiked into the woods to say good-bye to her dead parents and her personal demons. Now desperate to find out what happened after the pulse crushes her to the ground, Alex meets up with Tom, a young soldier, and Ellie, a girl whose grandfather was killed by the EMP. For this improvised family and the others who are spared, it's now a question of who can be trusted and who is no longer human.

    Aser Tolentino says: "Another Readable Story About the End of the World"
    "Overall, a disappointment"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The premise of the book is really interesting, and the prose is really well done. It's pretty gory, but I have no problem with that.

    My main issue with this book revolves around the protagonist. She's supposed to be a smart, capable YA character (about 17). She appears that way initially, but as the book progresses, any success she has ends up attributed to the guys she meets. Unlike similar YA books, like Divergent and the Hunger Games, where there are threads of romance, but the female protagonist mostly stands on her own two feet, this girl needs a boy to help her make even the most basic decisions, and that... kind of sucks.

    The other issue I had was with the pacing. The first third of the book is really, really exciting, the second third, somewhat less so, and the last third is really, really dull. I know that this is the first book in a trilogy, and had to end in a cliffhanger, but frankly, by the end of the book, I was so bored that I didn't really care what might happen next.

    Those two factors combined make it really unlikely that I'll bother reading any of the other books in the series.

    7 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • The Cypress House

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Michael Koryta
    • Narrated By Robert Petkoff
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (449)
    Performance
    (191)
    Story
    (191)

    Arlen Wagner has an awful gift: he can see death in the eyes of men before it strikes. He's never wrong. So when Arlen awakens on a train one hot Florida night and sees death's telltale sign in the eyes of his fellow passengers, he tries to warn them. Only 19-year-old Paul Brickhill believes him, and the two abandon the train, hoping to escape certain death. They continue south, but soon are stranded at The Cypress House - an isolated Gulf Coast boarding house run by the beautiful Rebecca Cady - directly in the path of an approaching hurricane.

    Michele says: "Great book read by a great narrator!"
    "Wait... What?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I just couldn't get into this book. The sound effects drove me nuts, the characters weren't people I could relate to or understand, or even like just a little, and I just kind of thought the whole thing was... overwrought.

    The closest comparison I can think of is either 'Key Largo', or 'Lisey's Story', both by Stephen King. Like those two, this book is well-written, and based on interesting ideas, but overall, the only appeal is that I like the author enough to give all his books a try, but this one just didn't pan out well for me.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Pacific Glory

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By P. T. Deutermann
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (119)
    Performance
    (82)
    Story
    (83)

    Marsh Vincent, Mick McCarty, and Tommy Lewis were inseparable friends during their naval academy years, each man in love with the beautiful, unattainable Glory Hawthorne. Only Tommy wins her heart and marries Glory after graduation. Different skills set the three men on separate paths in the Navy, but they are all forever changed by the Pearl Harbor attack on December 7, 1941.

    Glory, now Tommy’s widow, is a tough Navy nurse still grieving her loss while trying to save lives at the Pearl Harbor naval hospital.

    Hill says: "A real hit"
    "A fantastic listen!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've always been a Deutermann fan, but seldom read much WWI or WWII fiction - it's just not my thing. That said, I found this book to be exceptional in every way; the characters are extremely well written and fleshed out, and the story is funny and sad and scary and exciting in all the best possible ways.

    On the narration side, I was very pleased; I've always been a Dick Hill fan, but in the past, have found his rendering of female voices to be kind of whiny and grating; for me, this book was a huge improvement.

    Overall, I highly recommend this book, even if you think the topic isn't one you're normally interested in.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Best Served Cold

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Joe Abercrombie
    • Narrated By Michael Page
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1123)
    Performance
    (753)
    Story
    (769)

    It's springtime in Styria. And that means war. There have been nineteen years of blood. The ruthless Grand Duke Orso is locked in a vicious struggle with the squabbling League of Eight, and between them they have bled the land white. While armies march, heads roll, and cities burn, behind the scenes bankers, priests, and older, darker powers play a deadly game to choose who will be king.

    Lore says: "Solid, but not as good as the First Law trilogy."
    "Thrillingly Horrible, not Horribly Thrilling"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed this book more than I am willing to admit. Indeed, the author seems to really loathe his protagonists, and subjects them to all manner of horrible situations, but darned if it doesn't just work, somehow.

    The sex scenes made me feel slightly ill, the fight scenes also made me slightly ill - they went on forever and were needlessly gory. The motivations of every character were suspect and ridiculous, and the narration was painfully overdone.

    That said, I thoroughly enjoyed the book, and really hope that there's more ahead for this group of characters.

    17 of 19 people found this review helpful
  • The Book of Spies

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Gayle Lynds
    • Narrated By Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (295)
    Performance
    (183)
    Story
    (180)

    Ann Blake, a rare-book expert and conservator, was imprisoned for a drunk-driving accident that she doesn't remember, one that resulted in the death of her husband, a famous rare-book expert. But she is freed from prison by CIA undercover agent Tucker Anderson in exchange for her help and expertise on the Library of Gold, a legendary collection of books that have been lost to the world for over a century.

    Meggin says: "Another copycat book"
    "Meh"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a book worth downloading only if you have an extra credit kicking around. I picked it up on a whim, and kind of wish I had my credit back.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • The Windup Girl

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Paolo Bacigalupi
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3362)
    Performance
    (1766)
    Story
    (1776)

    Anderson Lake is a company man, AgriGen's Calorie Man in Thailand. Under cover as a factory manager, Anderson combs Bangkok's street markets in search of foodstuffs thought to be extinct, hoping to reap the bounty of history's lost calories. There, he encounters Emiko...Emiko is the Windup Girl, a strange and beautiful creature. One of the New People, Emiko is not human; instead, she is an engineered being, creche-grown and programmed to satisfy the decadent whims of a Kyoto businessman.

    Marius says: "Al Gore nightmare meets Blade Runner."
    "Dark, Disturbing, and Thought-provoking"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Windup Girl starts off a little slowly, and the introduction of characters is a little cumbersome, but it's well worth the wait.

    This is probably a four star book, but I rated it at three stars for a couple of reasons. One, the graphic rape scenes were, IMHO, totally unnecessary to furthering the story. I got the picture after the first one; I didn't need the second, more extended and brutal scene to prove the point.

    Two, it was never really explained why there were only two kinds of energy available; coal and stored kinetic, with no wind or solar energy. In a story where the world has completely accepted that burning fossil fuel is directly related with climate change, I found it very hard to buy into the idea that most electricity in the story was generated with mutant elephants turning cranks.

    On the other hand, the story itself is interesting and intriguing, and the ending is eminently suitable to the story itself, which I found immensely satisfying.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Breathless

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Dean Koontz
    • Narrated By Jeffrey Cummings
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (596)
    Performance
    (152)
    Story
    (154)

    Grady Adams lives a simple, solitary life deep in the Colorado mountains. Here the 35-year-old carpenter works out of a converted barn, crafting exquisite one-of-a-kind furniture. There's little about this strong yet gentle man to suggest the experiences that have alienated him from the contemporary world. But that is about to change.

    Michael says: "Lifeless"
    "WTH, Dean Koontz?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book not only failed to leave me breathless, it barely qualifies as a book at all.

    Instead, it's a compilation of three extremely dull but very nicely written short stories, haphazardly patched together to make one volume of largely uninteresting crap.

    I am a HUGE Dean Koontz fan, and was very excited to download this. The prose is very nice, but the premise and the execution are a complete waste of a credit.

    It's not exciting, not creepy, not interesting, not thought provoking, not sweet, not bitter, not anything. It's the Book Of Nothing At All.

    13 of 15 people found this review helpful
  • The Gathering Storm: Book Twelve of the Wheel of Time

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Michael Kramer, Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4791)
    Performance
    (2581)
    Story
    (2597)

    Rand al'Thor, the Dragon Reborn, struggles to unite a fractured network of kingdoms and alliances in preparation for the Last Battle. As he attempts to halt the Seanchan encroachment northward - wishing he could form at least a temporary truce with the invaders - his allies watch in terror the shadow that seems to be growing within the heart of the Dragon Reborn himself.

    D. Ramirez says: "I normally wouldn't, but..."
    "A very pleasant surprise"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    After learning that Brandon Sanderson was going to be finishing the WoT series, I downloaded two of his books, and didn't enjoy them at all. The ideas were great, and the magic was great, but I really disliked his "voice", the way his characters acted and interacted; to me, it sounded like very forced comedic scenes interspersed with long, convoluted planning sessions.

    That said, I am a HUGE Robert Jordan fan, and really need this series to end, so I went ahead and downloaded TGS about five minutes after it came available on the 27th, and started listening immediately.

    I'm exceptionally pleased to report that I really enjoyed this book. Everyone important is in it, if only for a chapter or two, and for the most part, Brandon Sanderson has adapted his style to fit into Robert Jordan's world a little better.

    That said, you can absolutely hear his voice, particularly in the sections of the book which feature Matt Cauthon. I found those sections a tiny bit offputting, but I think maybe that comes from personal bias rather than any actual fault in Brandon's treatment of those sections.

    I felt that some of story arcs were actually improved in this book; RJ used to hop around a lot more, splitting a plotline in halves or thirds and then shuffling other things into it, creating mini-cliffhangers. In this book, it seems that we stay with some of the main arcs for much longer, often to their ultimate conclusion, and I found that to be very, very satisfying.

    I'm looking forward to the next two installments.

    9 of 11 people found this review helpful

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