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Jacqueline

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Denver, CO, USA

ratings
519
REVIEWS
104
FOLLOWING
6
FOLLOWERS
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HELPFUL VOTES
738

  • The Accursed

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Joyce Carol Oates
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (80)
    Performance
    (71)
    Story
    (69)

    Princeton, New Jersey, at the turn of the 20th century: a tranquil place to raise a family, a genteel town for genteel souls. But something dark and dangerous lurks at the edges of the town, corrupting and infecting its residents. Vampires and ghosts haunt the dreams of the innocent. A powerful curse besets the elite families of Princeton; their daughters begin disappearing. A young bride on the verge of the altar is seduced and abducted by a dangerously compelling man - a shape-shifting, vaguely European prince who might just be the devil.

    Jacqueline says: "Social Issues Abound in Mixed Genre--"
    "Social Issues Abound in Mixed Genre--"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Looking for a spooky vampire/ghost book? This isn't it.

    How about an easy book to listen to that flows smoothly? Nope.

    Anyone who reads Joyce Carol Oates knows that isn't what she is about. Nothing is ever really black and white. This is a massive undertaking by Oates which took decades of research and writing (it apparently was developed over 30 years.) Still, I think it kind of fell flat.

    I don't even know if I could really call this work by Oates enjoyable. I loved some prior novels like We Were the Mulvaneys and The Falls. This one takes work to get through.

    SOCIAL INJUSTICE is front and center - social issues which still exist today. Racism, sexism, (lots of sexism) class hostility, and issues with the meat processing industry thrown in for good measure.

    The "meat" of the book:

    There is a Curse raging in Princeton, NJ against the elite blue-bloods. Told from the point of view of an amateur historian, the main character throughout is Rev. Winslow Slade and his family. His children are picked off one by one as they fall prey to demons or spirits. Of course, they are not the only casualties of the vampire/ghost things. All told with a metaphorical slant.

    Although the book is basically historical fiction, there are real people involved in actual events from that time (1905-1906) -along with fictional characters to round out the drama.

    Some of the real people involved were Woodrow Wilson, Upton Sinclair, Jack London, Grover Cleveland and Theodore Roosevelt. Mark Twain and Sherlock Holmes even make appearances. What do all these people have to do with each other? Not a lot.

    There was an interesting exchange between Upton Sinclair and Jack London after Sinclair wrote The Jungle and he tried to engage London to help him with his social causes. London had also just written a best seller, and came to speak at a book event at the request of Sinclair--which didn't turn out as Sinclair had hoped.

    Also, a lot of political maneuvering- some involving Woodrow Wilson and his mentor, Rev. Slade. Wilson was the President of Princeton University at the time, and had a lot of problems with the staff and students. He felt there were underhanded challenges to his authority, and looked to Slade for suggestions.

    I found the spiritual/demon sprinkling throughout to be unnecessary and not very effective.

    At times I was frustrated and disappointed with the sections that dragged (60%)
    I found some of it interesting, when I would have a "finally" moment (20%)
    Some of the novel could have been eliminated without losing content (20%)

    I got through the whole thing partly due to the excellent narration by Grover Gardner.

    Even so, I don't think I could give this a favorable recommendation unless you are a complete Oates die-hard fan--and are prepared to be bored a large part of the time.


    14 of 16 people found this review helpful
  • The Long Way Home: Chief Inspector Gamache, Book 10

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Louise Penny
    • Narrated By Ralph Cosham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (90)
    Performance
    (81)
    Story
    (80)

    Happily retired in the village of Three Pines, Armand Gamache, former Chief Inspector of Homicide with the Sûreté du Québec, has found a peace he'd only imagined possible. On warm summer mornings he sits on a bench holding a small book, The Balm in Gilead, in his large hands. "There is a balm in Gilead," his neighbor Clara Morrow reads from the dust jacket, "to make the wounded whole." While Gamache doesn't talk about his wounds and his balm, Clara tells him about hers. Peter, her artist husband, has failed to come home. Failed to show up as promised on the first anniversary of their separation. She wants Gamache's help to find him. Having finally found sanctuary, Gamache feels a near revulsion at the thought of leaving Three Pines. "There’s power enough in Heaven," he finishes the quote as he contemplates the quiet village, "to cure a sin-sick soul." And then he gets up. And joins her.

    Jacqueline says: "Better Than Therapy"
    "Better Than Therapy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Louise Penny knows how to transport us physically as well as mentally to places we have never been before. She is uniquely in touch with the human soul and all the anger, joy, angst, hatred, loyalty, betrayal, and love and support that we can imagine.

    A very different story than her previous novels, this one is free from the tension and battles surrounding Gamache and others who were determined to ruin his life. It is a more peaceful novel in many ways, but still held my attention completely.

    This story answers the questions about what happens with Peter and Clara Morrow. It starts in Three Pines with Clara confiding in Inspector Gamache, who is now retired and living in Three Pines with his wife, Reine-Marie. They take us on a journey with the help of a few other Three Pines residents through some of the earlier years of Peter's life. Art, of course, takes the stage front and center as layers are peeled back to expose the players and motives to bring us to the present. After finishing, and all was revealed, I went back to re-listen to some chapters, as I wanted to see what clues I might have missed. This is masterful storytelling!

    The consistent voice of Ralph Cosham through all 10 books is just wonderful. He is the perfect narrator for this series.

    Note to those who have not read any of this series--this book will not stand alone, It is the culmination of many previous books, and would probably not make much sense at all if you are not familiar with the characters. A fantastic series, it is well worth starting from the beginning and listening straight through to this one.

    Highly recommended!

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Broken Harbor: Dublin Murder Squad, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Tana French
    • Narrated By Stephen Hogan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2353)
    Performance
    (2009)
    Story
    (1997)

    In Broken Harbor, all but one member of the Spain family lies dead, and it’s up to Mick “Scorcher” Kennedy to find out why. Mick must piece together why their house is full of cameras pointed at holes in the walls and how a nighttime intruder bypassed all the locks. Meanwhile, the town of Broken Harbor holds something else for Mick: disturbing memories of a childhood summer gone terribly wrong.

    Amazon Customer says: "Best in the Series"
    "Absorbing Mystery--Somewhat Disturbing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This novel grabs from the beginning and doesn't let go. I think it is the best of this series so far, with In The Woods being my second favorite. Tana French definitely has the gift of knowing how to build suspense.

    Great storyline with a murder scene which is like a jigsaw puzzle. Three members of this loving, happy family are dead with no signs of a break-in and no murder weapons. The remaining family member is hanging onto life by a thread. The house is kept in pristine condition-- except for those unsightly holes in the walls everywhere and baby monitors set up in odd places.

    The only issue I have is the ending was too long and drawn out and perhaps a little implausible. It would have been a complete 5 star rating if the ending had been wrapped up a little tighter.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Son: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Jo Nesbø
    • Narrated By Gildart Jackson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (526)
    Performance
    (481)
    Story
    (479)

    Sonny Lofthus is a strangely charismatic and complacent young man. Sonny’s been in prison for a dozen years, nearly half his life. The inmates who seek out his uncanny abilities to soothe leave his cell feeling absolved. They don’t know or care that Sonny has a serious heroin habit - or where or how he gets his uninterrupted supply of the drug. Or that he’s serving time for other peoples’ crimes. Sonny took the first steps toward addiction when his father took his own life rather than face exposure as a corrupt cop. Now Sonny is the seemingly malleable center of a whole infrastructure of corruption....

    Mary says: "Much more than I expected!"
    "One of the BEST Crime/Mystery Authors"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Long time fan of the Harry Hole series, I know this author can really write. His stand alone novels are always just as good--and this one kept me listening straight through.

    The desire for revenge can be powerful and all consuming, which is the case here. The son is determined to make sure other's pay for what they have done, and he overcomes a damaging drug addiction to do so. I also liked the narrator - his voice did not distract me and that is always a good thing.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Silkworm

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Robert Galbraith
    • Narrated By Robert Glenister
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2339)
    Performance
    (2173)
    Story
    (2168)

    When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, Mrs. Quine just thinks her husband has gone off by himself for a few days - as he has done before - and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home. But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine's disappearance than his wife realizes. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows.

    H James Lucas says: "A well-worn genre enlivened with fresh characters"
    "Entertaining Whodunit"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Who knew the world of writing and publishing could be so savage?

    This second novel in the series kept me engaged from the beginning. Detective Cormoran Strike takes on a missing person case of quirky author, Owen Quine. His wife, Leonora, is sure he has just gone off to a writer's conference or to be by himself, and just wants him to come home (it's been 11 days, after all.) As it turns out, his latest novel, Bombyx Mori, had been finished right before he disappeared, and it apparently was a "tell all" containing damaging information about a lot of people.

    Strike will come to know the complex and pretentious lives of several members in the publishing industry, all of whom could have motives for doing away with the unlikeable author. With his smart and pretty sidekick, Robin, they sort through each possible lead, even as someone is threatening Strike's life.

    As for the argument of listening to novels over reading them, this book is an excellent example. Robert Glenister is brilliant as the narrator. He brings each character to life, male or female, and has perfect pacing. When he coughed and wheezed his way through the chain smoking agent, I felt myself needing to take a deep breath.

    I hope Rowling/Galbraith will keep this series going, as I suspect it it will only get better. Cormoran and Robin make a great team, and are beginning to know each other more personally. We care about them, faults and all. Bringing in their family members and love interests makes them more believable as characters. When Cormoran and his self-involved fiancé ("she lies the way other women breathe") call it quits, we find ourselves hoping it is ended for good.

    In reviewing the book I asked myself 3 questions:

    1. Did I want to keep listening straight through? Yes
    2. Was it a well-done mystery with enough suspense and surprises? Yes
    3.. Did I enjoy the narrator--Yes.

    One last note - to the squeamish - some may need strong control over their "gag reflex" at times, but this is a small part of the novel.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The River of Souls: Matthew Corbett, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Robert McCammon
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (285)
    Performance
    (267)
    Story
    (266)

    The year is 1703. The place: The Carolina settlement of Charles Town. Matthew Corbett, professional 'problem solver,' has accepted a lucrative, if unusual, commission: Escorting a beautiful woman to a fancy dress ball. What should be a pleasant assignment takes a darker turn when Matthew becomes involved in a murder investigation.

    J. Kelly says: "Dare I say it - a tad lazy."
    "In too Deep to Quit Now-----"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Several reviews have noted a disappointment with this Corbett novel, # 5 in the series. I, too, felt there was something just "not right" with this one, but didn't know what. There are a couple of big differences between the first four and this one:

    1. Very short- just about 8 hours. McCammon has filled his previous novels with rich atmospheric detail, and a lengthy build-up to get to the main event. The River of Souls felt very abrupt- he jumps right into the story with both feet--the entire novel seemed rushed and unsatisfying at times.

    2. The narration seemed much more direct and "in your face" - that is the only way I can think of it, as Ballerini is usually more soft spoken in these novels--while still getting his point across.

    Other than that, I did enjoy the story, but not as much as the previous four. I didn't really care that much about the murder victim, as that character lasted about 10 minutes. Also, Matthew didn't meet with much resistance in his investigation, where normally he would have.

    This one leaves a giant cliff hanger at the end, which maybe was the hook to keep us interested in # 6. I am in too deep to quit now, and will definitely get the next one, however, I really hope the author returns to the flavor of the first two in the series, which I felt were the best.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. Mercedes: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3676)
    Performance
    (3451)
    Story
    (3456)

    In the frigid pre-dawn hours, in a distressed Midwestern city, hundreds of desperate unemployed folks are lined up for a spot at a job fair. Without warning, a lone driver plows through the crowd in a stolen Mercedes, running over the innocent, backing up, and charging again. Eight people are killed; fifteen are wounded. The killer escapes. Mr. Mercedes is a war between good and evil, from the master of suspense whose insight into the mind of this obsessed, insane killer is chilling and unforgettable.

    Marci says: "King and Patton create a winning combo"
    "Classic Cat and Mouse"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Every now and then King gives us a story that is free of vampires, ghosts, and monsters --this is one of them. Think Shawshank Redemption. If you expect a typical horror novel--this is not it.

    A retired detective (Ret Det) slogs through his days with his Lazy-boy, afternoon tv with "Judge J" and "Dr. P" being his only goals in life. Contemplating his situation, he often holds his revolver while watching these mind benders, and has just about come to a decision- when he is pulled back from the brink by a letter that sparks new meaning and adventure to his life. One of his last cases was never solved, and he now gets the opportunity to do something about it.

    This smartly crafted story of "catch me if you can" is edge of the seat suspense at it's best. As it developed, I become more engaged in the outcome, and cheered all the way for the (Ret Det) and his two unlikely helpers. King has a way of making any situation seem plausible, and any person becomes a hero in his ability to raise them to a level of action they never knew they had. I really cared about what happened to them.

    This was not the most intricate plot ever thought of, but that isn't necessary for the story to grab you and not let go. Watching the detective and the "perk" try to outwit each other was worth the price of admission.

    One last note--Will Patton was exactly the right voice for these characters. Well Done!

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Providence Rider: A Matthew Corbett Novel, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Robert McCammon
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (767)
    Performance
    (688)
    Story
    (688)

    The Providence Rider is the fourth installment in the extraordinary series of historical thrillers featuring Matthew Corbett, professional problem solver. The narrative begins in the winter of 1703, with Matthew still haunted by his lethal encounter with notorious mass murderer Tyranthus Slaughter. When an unexplained series of explosions rocks his Manhattan neighborhood, Matthew finds himself forced to confront a new and unexpected problem. Someone is trying - and trying very hard - to get his attention.

    bionichands says: "This is a fun series"
    "What a GEM of a Series!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Thanks to Audible for making these available!

    Absolutely one of the best historical fiction series I've read. Each installment is new, fresh, and still completely engaging! This is the 4th in the series, and another is coming out soon. My only issue is they keep getting shorter (the first was around 30 hours, and the next one is around 8. I hope I'm wrong, but I'm thinking it may be the closing novel for this series, and how I will miss listening to the adventures of Matthew Corbett, "professional problem solver.'

    The right narrator can make listening to books much more enjoyable than reading- and in this instance it is as if Edoardo Ballerini was destined to read this series. He IS Matthew Corbett, and I never get tired of that velvet voice!

    In this novel Matthew meets the evil Professor Fell, in a way that wasn't what I expected. There are also some new characters introduced that I think will carry over into the 5th novel-- perhaps a female "professional problem solver" to work with? We will have to wait and see.

    If you have not listened to the series, I think you must start with the first one and listen to each - in order - for the full enjoyment of Mr. Corbett and his world.

    Highly Recommended!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Kraken Project: Wyman Ford, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Douglas Preston
    • Narrated By Scott Sowers
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (220)
    Performance
    (205)
    Story
    (207)

    NASA is building a probe to be splashed down in the Kraken Mare, the largest sea on Saturn’s great moon, Titan. It is one of the most promising habitats for extraterrestrial life in the solar system, but the surface is unpredictable and dangerous, requiring the probe to contain artificial intelligence software. To this end, Melissa Shepherd, a brilliant programmer, has developed "Dorothy", a powerful, self-modifying AI whose true potential is both revolutionary and terrifying. When miscalculations lead to a catastrophe during testing, Dorothy flees into the Internet.

    Jacqueline says: "Kraken Project? Not Really!"
    "Kraken Project? Not Really!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    What happened to the old Douglas Preston who could be relied upon to turn out interesting and compelling novels written for adults? Not that his prior Wyman Ford books were that well-done, but this one really fell apart. In my opinion, his best work is with co-author Lincoln Child.

    This novel starts out with promise--and made me want to read more. It is all about "The Kraken Project" and the great experiment in space with AI- HOWEVER, the remaining 95% of the story has nothing to do with "The Kraken Project." Very misleading title.

    The entire book reads like a very YA story to me, as there is a lot of teenage type interaction between a boy and his robot, and very tame dialogue throughout. Nothing wrong with that--if that is what you are looking for.

    Also, Scott Sower's narration didn't work for this book-- however, I don't think any narrator could really have made it better. The writing is just not very good.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Watching You

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Michael Robotham
    • Narrated By Sean Barrett
    Overall
    (368)
    Performance
    (333)
    Story
    (333)

    Marnie Logan often feels like she's being watched: A warm breath on the back of her neck, or a shadow in the corner of her eye that vanishes when she turns her head. She has reason to be frightened. Her husband Daniel has inexplicably vanished, and the police have no leads in the case. Without proof of death or evidence of foul play, she can't access his bank accounts or his life insurance. Depressed and increasingly desperate, she seeks the help of clinical psychologist Joe O'Loughlin.

    bernadette says: "Wow!"
    "Chilling, Suspenseful, Well Done!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    When trying out a new author, there is always a risk of wasting time and credits, and getting very annoyed. Not with this one!

    It was an enjoyable listen from the beginning--the narrator has a great voice and really brings on the creepiness when needed. About 3/4 of the way through, I was pretty proud of myself for figuring out who the killer was, and how it all tied together. I put the iPod down and left if for a few hours thinking "well I've solved this one"

    NOT EVEN CLOSE!

    If you are looking for a good mystery that keeps you guessing until the end-this is it. I now will try other books by this author, and hope they are just as well written as this one.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Police: A Harry Hole Novel, Book 10

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Jo Nesbø
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (557)
    Performance
    (473)
    Story
    (477)

    The police urgently need Harry Hole…. A killer is stalking Oslo's streets. Police officers are being slain at the scenes of crimes they once investigated but failed to solve. The murders are brutal, the media reaction hysterical. But this time, Harry can't help.... For years, detective Harry Hole has been at the center of every major criminal investigation in Oslo. His dedication to his job and his brilliant insights have saved the lives of countless people. But now, with those he loves most facing terrible danger, Harry is not in a position to protect anyone. Least of all himself...

    Charles Atkinson says: "Simply the Best Detective Series In any Language"
    "Please keep them coming Mr. Nesbo!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved this book. Police procedurals can all start sounding like one another, but Nesbo brings such a fresh approach with Harry Hole--and his writing skills are so unique--can't wait for the next one.

    Of course I miss Robin Sachs wonderful voice, but John Lee does a pretty good job. I can't really think of another narrator who could take over for Robin and still give us the same rough, tough guy voice.

    If you have not listened to the series on Harry Hole before, I recommend starting with the first book and continuing in order. When I listened to my first one, it was already far into the story, so I have had to back track somewhat. You will benefit from starting at the beginning, but just remember, they get better - much better - as they progress.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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