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Tiffany

Corona, CA, United States | Member Since 2005

134
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 37 reviews
  • 60 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 19 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
9

  • The Historian

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Kostova
    • Narrated By Joanne Whalley, Dennis Boutsikaris, Rosalyn Landor, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2709)
    Performance
    (1063)
    Story
    (1074)

    Late one night, exploring her father's library, a young woman finds an ancient book and a cache of yellowing letters. The letters are all addressed to "My dear and unfortunate successor", and they plunge her into a world she never dreamed of: a labyrinth where the secrets of her father's past and her mother's mysterious fate connect to an inconceivable evil hidden in the depths of history.

    Branden says: "Phenomenallly detailed..."
    "Great Treasure Hunt !"
    Overall

    Granted, it started out a little slow, and if you are looking for horror a la Stephen King or Dean Koontz, you won't like it. If you liked the treasure hunt aspects of the Davinci Code, you'll love The Historian.

    This story is intricate and has about 4 levels of stories within stories and some of it is very ancient, and I personally could not put it down (stop listening, rather). I have no idea whether any of it is accurate or is even supposed to be, but it is fiction and the author weaves a very good story. Not terribly frightening, but definitely eerie. I can see how others might find it too long, but I was sorry to see it end.

    I would love to see more stories like this one, weaving ancient legends with historical events and secret societies leading into the modern.

    The Historian kept my commute almost enjoyable for at least a few weeks!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Good House

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Tananarive Due
    • Narrated By Robin Miles
    Overall
    (1144)
    Performance
    (564)
    Story
    (558)

    Tananarive Due, author of The Living Blood won the American Book Award and is praised as Stephen King's equal by Publishers Weekly. In The Good House, Due sets a story of ancient powers and modern retribution in a small Pacific Northwest town. When a young woman returns to her grandmother's empty mansion, she is pitted against demonic forces that have poisoned her family for generations.

    Rebecca says: "FABULOUS!"
    "Great Horror Story!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love horror stories that make me shudder. This one is excellent. A family moves to a small Northwest town and Angela's grandmother's house and has to fight the evil that lives there.

    First, I want to warm people that it starts off with the suicide of a teenage boy. Having a son that age I was thinking of stopping right there. I am so glad I stuck with it. It starts off a little slow then gets going so well that I could not stop listening.

    The prose is wonderful and the story went places I did not expect. The end is amazing! I did not know how she was going to get there, but Tananarive Due made it happen in a way that made me love it. Lots of twists and turns. You can tell she gave the story a lot of thought when you see how it fits all together in the end.

    The narration is very well done. At times I forgot I was listening to someone talk because the narrator just put the pictures in my head like reading a book does. That's the sign of a good narrator to me. It is interesting how the story moves from the main character Angela, to her son Cory, and her husband and you get a feeling for their thoughts and feelings.

    The story reminded me a little (and not in any copy cat sort of way) of Stephen King's Rose Red, because these two stories are the ultimate haunted houses. As in Rose Red, not everyone makes it out OK. Some people succomb to evil.

    I also really loved the perspective. The family in the story is clearly African American and their perspective is different from mine. A good novel can take you into someone else's life and the author does this well. Loved seeing how other families have the some of the same and some different issues and how they go about handling them.

    I can't say enough good about this book. Extremely well done! If you like the horror genre you shouldn't miss this one.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Those Across the River

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Christopher Buehlman
    • Narrated By Mark Bramhall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (110)
    Performance
    (101)
    Story
    (101)

    Failed academic Frank Nichols and his wife, Eudora, have arrived in the sleepy Georgia town of Whitbrow, where Frank hopes to write a history of his family's old estate - the Savoyard Plantation - and the horrors that occurred there. At first, the quaint, rural ways of their new neighbors seem to be everything they wanted. But there is an unspoken dread that the townsfolk have lived with for generations. A presence that demands sacrifice.

    Barbara says: "Recording glitches, but a great gruesome tale"
    "Good Horror Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I felt unease from the first few minutes listening to this story. It took a bit of listening to place it in time. I guess if I had looked at the Publisher's Summary I would have seen that it was 1939, but I didn't so I had to try to figure it out, which I did eventually.

    At first the unease is in the relationship between Frank and Eudora. The author does a good job to give you a sense that there is something off about the relationship, and you discover later that the start of their relationship has created chaos and trauma for them both.

    Then there is Whitbrow, and that place is odd and so many things make you uneasy that you know something is going on. The town has a strange ritual of sending pigs across the river as a sacrifice and when they decide it's a silly ritual and to stop, things go haywire.

    A good horror story makes me uncomfortable as this one did. There is one scene towards the end that still makes me a little ill thinking about it, but it is what the one thing that allows Frank to make a decision about what he is going to do and is crucial to the story.

    Well written, nice prose, and a sense of unease that blooms into terror. What more could you want from a horror novel?

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

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Kate Alcott
    • Narrated By Susan Duerden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (222)
    Performance
    (190)
    Story
    (192)

    Tess, an aspiring seamstress, thinks she's had an incredibly lucky break when she is hired by famous designer Lady Lucile Duff Gordon to be a personal maid on the Titanic's doomed voyage. Once on board, Tess catches the eye of two men, one a roughly-hewn but kind sailor and the other an enigmatic Chicago millionaire. But on the fourth night, disaster strikes. Amidst the chaos and desperate urging of two very different suitors, Tess is one of the last people allowed on a lifeboat. Tess’s sailor also manages to survive unharmed, witness to Lady Duff Gordon’s questionable actions during the tragedy.

    Victoria says: "Good story, awful narrator"
    "A Guilty Pleasure"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Funny, I didn't find the narrator nearly as bad as so many have said. I thought Tess was kind of a flighlty character and the narrator fit her well. It didn't bother me at all.

    I titled this "A Guilty Pleasure" because I can see that it's not really a great book, but I enjoyed it all the same. It's kind of like a romance novel with the "steamy" parts cut out, which is fine with me. Girl runs away to America, gets on the Titanic, survives, must choose between two men, and deal with a talented but demanding dress designer and her empire. That about sums up the whole story.

    I have to say, though, when I was reading the part where the Titanic was sinking I was absolutely riveted. I was so involved in what was going on I have no real memory of driving home. That part was definitely worth the credit. The author did a nice job of weaving fictional characters into a story with real events and real characters. The designer Lady Lucile Duff Gordon was a real person who survived the Titanic sinking and was credited with starting one the first off the rack clothing lines and Tess' story revolves around her. Some of the trial is included in the story and intrigued me enough to look online for the transcript of the trial, which you can read in its entirety.

    If you want a kind of Summer at the Beach listen this might be a good story. If you want something more substantial, I'd say pass.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Devil's Queen

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Jeanne Kalogridis
    • Narrated By Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (89)
    Performance
    (40)
    Story
    (40)

    Catherine de Medici is one of the most maligned monarchs in history: blamed for the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre in which hundreds of innocents died. What motivated this Renaissance woman who was born of Florence's most powerful family, and one day came to rule France?

    allison says: "Very interesting twist on this infamous queen"
    "Yawn"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love historical fiction and thought I would like to read about Catherine de Medici. I guess I picked the wrong book. I almost did not go beyond the first part of the download. I could not stand the character as a child and found her to be so simpering and annoying that I wondered why anyone would write about her, let alone want to read about her.

    It picked up a bit in the middle section, and then lost me again in the end. Too much intrigue, too much astrology ( and I can't believe I would say that, but I was tired of it), and too much of poor decision making that led to disasterous consequences. It took me quite a bit longer to get through this story because I found my mind wandering and I kept having to repeat sections to get caught up. I'd rather read something that keeps my attention.

    Again, it's personal preference but this story just did not hit the mark for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Rose Garden

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs)
    • By Susanna Kearsley
    • Narrated By Nicola Barber
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1510)
    Performance
    (1319)
    Story
    (1344)

    Acclaimed author Susanna Kearsley's previous works have won the RT Book Reviews Reviewers Choice Award, and finaled for both the UK Romantic Novel of the Year and the RITA awards.

    Eva Ward is a modern woman thrown back three centuries to 1715 - only to find that might be exactly where she belongs. There, she finds true love with Daniel Butler, but the discord surrounding Hanoverian King George plunges the lovers into a world of intrigue, treason, and romance.

    Angel Claire says: "Amazing story."
    "Enjoyed This Story - Good but Not Great"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm not sure why the reference was made to Outlander, because this is certainly not the saga that Outlander was. Maybe because of the time travel element. I did, however, really enjoy this book. It's fairly light. Some of it is sad because it starts out explaining how Eva is feeling all alone in the world and why she travels to Cornwall where she spent some wonderful Summers as a child.

    It's interesting mode of time travel portrayed in this book, sort of a merging between two worlds that Eva has access to, but cannot control. Plus there is an addition of another time traveler and a few twists that make it a really interesting read. The author made an interesting point that in our modern world the idea that time cannot be changed is so ingrained that we believe it to be true, but she wonders if it is actually true. Events in the book lead you to make a guess at her conclusion.

    It's not Diana Gabaldan if that's what you are looking for, but it's a nice listen and I kept wanting more. In fact, I was sorry when it ended. I would like to have seen what happened next.

    The narration was well done. Nothing outstanding, but I think the narratot's voice fit Eva's character well.

    I believe I will try another of this author's stories. These kinds of books make my commute much more enjoyable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Thérèse Raquin

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs)
    • By Emile Zola
    • Narrated By Kate Winslet
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (819)
    Performance
    (746)
    Story
    (737)

    Once upon a time, a teenaged Kate Winslet (The Reader, Titanic, Revolutionary Road) received a gift that would leave a lasting impression: a copy of Emile Zola’s classic Thérèse Raquin. Six Academy Award nominations and one Best Actress award later, she steps behind the microphone to perform this haunting classic of passion and disaster.

    Jean says: "worth a listen"
    "Great Narration, Poor Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As another reviewer said, the narration of Kate Winslet was wonderful and I enjoyed listening to her, I just wish I had enjoyed the story more. I understand it is a study in jealousy and in how people handle guilt and remorse, but the writing style just failed to keep me interested. The idea behind this reminded me very much of Poe's Tell-Tale Heart.

    Of course it is a matter of personal preference, but for me I found the story extremely boring and the characters so flawed that I didn't care what happened to any of them. In fact, most every character is so flawed that they become cookie cutter "bad," like the proverbial villian in the black clothing of old movies.

    As much as I love listeining to Kate Winslet, the story just didn't catch my interest.

    19 of 21 people found this review helpful
  • Beautiful Creatures: Beautiful Creatures, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl
    • Narrated By Kevin T. Collins
    Overall
    (3185)
    Performance
    (2679)
    Story
    (2693)

    Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

    FanB14 says: "Adequate for Adults"
    "Nice Young Adult Adventure"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I listened to this one well past my commute and on the weekends becaue I wanted to see what happened. As others have said, it was a fresh perspective from the male point of view.

    Lots of goof stuff ging on here, a little history, little soul mate idea, and a little magic rolled together with Southern "charm" (and sometimes not so charming.) The characterizations were well done and well rounded.

    The narration was quite good as well. Yes, it got little cheesy at times, but it's young adult andI think at 16 we all felt that our first love was the end all be all of the universe, so it works.

    Bottom line was it was really a good listen. Oh, and this one had some sound effects thrown in so it was a nice change of pace.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • The Winter Palace: A Novel of Catherine the Great

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Eva Stachniak
    • Narrated By Beata Pozniak
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (129)
    Performance
    (109)
    Story
    (108)

    Her name is Barbara - in Russian, Varvara. Nimble-witted and attentive, she’s allowed into the employ of the Empress Elizabeth, amid the glitter and cruelty of the world’s most eminent court. Under the tutelage of Count Bestuzhev, Chancellor and spymaster, Varvara will be educated in skills from lock picking to lovemaking, learning above all else to listen, and wait for opportunity. That opportunity arrives in a slender young princess from Zerbst named Sophie, a playful teenager destined to become the indomitable Catherine the Great.

    Cookie says: "Not a bodice ripper!"
    "Did I listen to a Different Book?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    After reading so many great reviews I was excited to listen to The Winter Palace. Historical fiction is hands down my favorite genre. I love seeing an event in history woven into a story. When well written, I almost feel I was there. I also very much enjoy stories of Russia and have been very happy listening to Russian Winter and The Romanov Bride.

    The Winter Palace fails on so many levels. First, as others have said, the narration was terrible. It's not only the accent, it's more the odd way the narrator emphasizes her sentences. With a good enough story it could be overlooked but this story was boring, boring, boring. I almost didn't finish it.

    Next was the poor character development. Catherine the Great is seen as a simpering, crying, and maipulated fool, and her husband is a man who never grew up and a total idiot. The Empress Elizabeth is cruel and horrible. Who could care what happened to any of them? Historically accurate or not (no idea), I could not have cared less about any of them. Even the protagonist was a shallow, weak woman who only took control at the end of the story and by then I was just happy for it to end. Was there nothing redeeming about any of these people? We never see any inkling of why Catherine was named The Great.

    Another issue was how the author continually used foreshadowing that never went anywhere. I found it annoying to hear the narrator say "I later wished I had noticed the bitterness in his voice." So I expected that to be explained "later," but it never was. Either the editing was terrible or the author just doesn't weave a story well.

    And I was so often distracted with the dullness of the story I found myself lost with who was who and had to rewind to listen to pieces to figure out what was happening, which generally wasn't very much. The author also has a tendency to refer to people by two names and it gets confusing to whom she is referring. In the first half of the book the Chancellor of Russia is important character, and then in the second half he loses his position and is refered to by name. Somewhere along the line I missed his name and so I was continually trying to figure out if this guy was the former Chancellor or some other male character. I don't think the reader/listener should have to work that hard.

    Finally, this book just failed to grab my attention or keep it for any length of time. Just a disappointment overall. Hopefully my next credit will be a much better listen!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Whistling Season

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Ivan Doig
    • Narrated By Jonathan Hogan
    Overall
    (539)
    Performance
    (277)
    Story
    (280)

    When a widowed rancher hires a housekeeper to help with his three young sons, he finds her to be cheerful and competent. Yet she is concealing a colorful and infamous past. Filled with humor and hardship, this novel sings with what the author calls "a poetry of the vernacular". A finalist for the National Book award, Ivan Doig, who has published 11 books, has been hailed as the "West's preeminent literary novelist" by the Denver Post.

    Rick Just says: "Wordplay"
    "Little House on the Prarie revisited"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book kind of meanders along when Rose shows up to help a widow keep his house and help with his three boys. Her brother comes along and you can't help but be facinsated by his character as well. Of course they have a secret which in the end is the focal point of this coming of age story.

    I kind of wondered if it was just going to be a set of vignettes and never really get anywhere, but all the little pieces fall into place as it goes along. If you find it slow at first, just keep going (although sometimes it's easier to just move to something else.) The author did an excellent job of weaving the facts of the time with his historical fictional characters, such as Hailey's Comet.

    I must admit I hated the narrator at first. And yet the longer I listened to the story, the more the narrator seemed to fit into it. So if you like Little House types of stories, this may be a good one for you. By the end I was excited to get in the car and listen and I found myself sitting in the driveway for extra time to listen befor heading in the house. I thought about this on long after I finished reading it.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • A Discovery of Witches

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Deborah Harkness
    • Narrated By Jennifer Ikeda
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9084)
    Performance
    (6615)
    Story
    (6654)

    Deep in the stacks of Oxford's Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library.

    Barbara says: "A feast for the mind and imagination"
    "Well Done!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed this book. I thought the handling of the witches, vampires, and demons was excellent. It is only similar to Twilight (as others have stated) in that a vampire and a woman (in this case a witch) fall in love and that is forbidden in this society. The vampire Matthew has quite a history and it is interesting to watch that part of the story weave itself into the main story.

    Diana is a flawed character, which I much prefer to a perfect main characater, and her flaws just enhance the course of the story. A witch that can't perform any magic doesn't make any sense until the pieces start to fall into place.

    I especially love the house where Diana's aunts live. It's alive and full of ghosts, and everyone just accepts it. Really a lot of fun.

    I recommend this to any fan of supernatural fiction. It's interesting and just fun. I can't wait for the next book. The ending screams for a sequel.

    27 of 34 people found this review helpful

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