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Rebecca

bec

Cornwall, NY, United States | Member Since 2011

7
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 8 reviews
  • 37 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 15 purchased in 2014
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  • Misery

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Lindsay Crouse
    Overall
    (395)
    Performance
    (279)
    Story
    (282)

    Thrown from the wreckage of his '74 Camaro, Paul Sheldon, author of a best-selling series of historical romances, wakes up one day in a secluded Colorado farmhouse owned by Annie Wilkes, a psychotic ex-nurse who claims she is his number one fan. Immobilized from the pain of two shattered legs and a crushed knee, Sheldon is at Annie's mercy.

    Renee says: "Excellent narrator plus great source material"
    "Returning this one"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I haven't listened to much of this book because it quickly became clear that the audiobook format was not working for me. There's these weird musical interludes that are annoying, and I think I'd rather read it in print. Aptly named--it's definitely a downer!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Cast in Shadow: Chronicles of Elantra, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Michelle Sagara
    • Narrated By Khristine Hvam
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1313)
    Performance
    (1175)
    Story
    (1173)

    Seven years ago Kaylin fled the crime-riddled streets of Nightshade, knowing that something was after her. Children were being murdered— and all had the same odd markings that mysteriously appeared on her own skin….Since then, she's learned to read, she's learned to fight and she's become one of the vaunted Hawks who patrol and police the City of Elantra. Alongside the winged Aerians and the immortal Barrani, she's made a place for herself, far from the mean streets of her birth.

    Amanda says: "Addicted to the series, but leaves you hanging..."
    "Like Movie Popcorn but Without the Calories"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm surprised that the Elantra books are published by a romance imprint, because there is no romantic or sexual content whatsoever. Instead, this is an immersive fantasy tale. It's a page turner, and while it's definitely guilty of some fantasy cliches, that only improves the pace of the story and the believability of the fantasy world. The races are not the usual vampires or elves, so the world and story feel fresh. The plot reads like a mystery (I think--I don't actually read mysteries), but it unfolds naturally, rather than relying on cheap plot twists.It may not be original or epic, but this is a very darn good listen--thoroughly addictive, like movie popcorn but without the calories.

    The best part of this book, though, is the narrator; her voice is clear, and she easily expresses emotion without overdoing it. Hvam does an excellent job voicing the characters (so you always know who is speaking), and it never feels forced. Khristine Hvam has become my favorite reader on Audible, and this book is perfectly suited to her talents.

    I downloaded this after listening to the free novella, Cast in Moonlight, that Audible had available for subscribers. I'm now working my way through the rest of this series, and all the subsequent books have been satisfying. I highly recommend The Chronicles of Elantra as a series, and this book is definitely the place to start.

    This is a great introduction to a great series, and the NARRATOR CAN'T BE BEAT!

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Ringworld

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Larry Niven
    • Narrated By Tom Parker
    Overall
    (2799)
    Performance
    (1479)
    Story
    (1503)

    Welcome to Ringworld, an intermediate step between Dyson Spheres and planets. The gravitational force created by a rotation on its axis of 770 miles per second means no need for a roof. Walls 1,000 miles high at each rim will let in the sun and prevent much air from escaping. Larry Niven's novel, Ringworld, is the winner of the 1970 Hugo Award for Best Novel, the 1970 Nebula Award for Best Novel, and the 1972 Ditmars, an Australian award for Best International Science Fiction.

    Kennet says: "Genuinely Creative"
    "Starts slow, but ends with a bang!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a really fun book to listen to, and it's stuck with me; I've often found myself reflecting on the story, and retelling parts of it to friends.

    Although this story is science fiction, and it takes place in the future, and it's got aliens, it's very much a book about people and the human condition. All of the characters are likable. The aliens are so creative--no cliches here, which is unusual for science fiction.

    Niven has a remarkable ability to move beyond the mental confines of our subjective reality, and he has created a world that would never occur to most of us, or even to many other well-regarded science fiction writers.

    I really enjoyed the narration. Parker's reading brings out the quirks in the story and the characters, and brings the tale to life.

    The book does start out a little slow, but it picks up quickly once we get to Ringworld. Definitely stick it out until the end, because there are wonderful surprises in store for you.

    This is a classic, and if you're a science fiction fan check don't miss this.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Beekeeper's Apprentice

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Laurie R. King
    • Narrated By Jenny Sterlin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1742)
    Performance
    (1077)
    Story
    (1078)

    In 1914, a spirited American girl named Mary Russell meets a retired Sherlock Holmes in the English countryside. Instantly realizing that Mary is gifted with astonishing deductive powers, the Great Detective emerges from retirement to join her as she tracks down a fiendish assassin.

    Yuriko says: "Wow"
    "Fabulous Reader, Engrossing Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a wonderful re-imagining of Sherlock Holmes, in his later years, as he befriends a spirited and highly intelligent young woman named Mary Russel. The characters seem so fresh, especially since King is not afraid to address the fact that Conan Doyle got some details wrong--this is a whole new, intimate view of the well-loved fictional detective, and it really brings him to life.

    Jenny Sterlin is such a fantastic reader that I would recommend this audiobook even to people who have already read the novel. I'm glad that I chose to listen to this book instead of reading it, because the narration really brings the story and characters to life.

    I listened to this book practically in a single sitting--I couldn't even put it down to vacuum and do dishes, so I was wearing my headphones around the house all weekend! I'm now making my way through the rest of the series, trying to pace myself.

    I highly recommend this book to everybody--male and female, young and old alike, but this would be an exceptionally good book to give to an intelligent young woman who might feel out of place among her peers.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Nineteen Minutes

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Jodi Picoult
    • Narrated By Carol Monda
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2190)
    Performance
    (817)
    Story
    (830)

    Jodi Picoult delivers the riveting tale of one small town's entanglement with high-school violence.

    New York Superior Court Judge Alex Cormier is assigned to preside over the case of the alleged Sterling High School shooter. Lawyer Jordan McAffee represents Peter, the boy who, on the day of the shooting, was found in the corner of the gymnasium holding a gun to his head with a shaky hand. Detective Patrick DuCharme has one star witness, but her story keeps changing. And then there's the biggest problem of all: the star witness happens to be Judge Cormier's daughter.

    Suze says: "Mesmerizing"
    "Not Picoult's Best"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As with the books I've read by Jodi Picoult, Nineteen Minutes is about the inner workings of a dysfunctional family from a small town as they get caught up in juicy legal proceedings. I've learned to expect a twist at the end, but with this book I saw it coming all along--not much of a twist.

    In this book, we have a single mother and her teenage daughter--the mother is a judge and the daughter is caught up in legal proceedings after she is present at a school shooting. I miss the father-daughter relationships that Picoult writes so well. I didn't really feel for the judge or her daughter. We also get an inside peek into the perpetrator's family life, but it also seems superficial.

    A significant part of my disappointment with this book was the narrator. Monda fails to create identifiable voices for each character, so that sometimes it's unclear who is speaking during conversations. Rather than being drawn in by the narration, I was often confused, and even when I was not, I didn't feel the characters' emotions coming through in the reading.

    It's not a bad story, just not the best (I loved My Sister's Keeper and Handle with Care). If you're a big Picoult fan and you're interested in this book, I'd recommend reading it yourself, rather than listening to the audiobook, because the narrator detracts from this story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Mary Roach
    • Narrated By Sandra Burr
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1648)
    Performance
    (902)
    Story
    (894)

    Space is a world devoid of the things we need to live and thrive: air, gravity, hot showers, fresh produce, privacy, beer. Space exploration is in some ways an exploration of what it means to be human. How much can a person give up? How much weirdness can they take? What happens to you when you can’t walk for a year? Have sex? Smell flowers? What happens if you vomit in your helmet during a space walk? Is it possible for the human body to survive a bailout at 17,000 miles per hour?

    Roy says: "Everything You Always Wanted to Know - and More"
    "Fun and Informative"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Mary Roach has done it again, with her offbeat investigations of the lesser-known corners of modern science.

    Packing for Mars is about space travel, but it opens up the mind to many considerations of life here on Earth as well. She begins by covering the psychological and social qualifications for Astronauts, both in the USA and abroad. The cultural differences between US, Japanese, and Russian training programs are illuminating. Another subject I liked was nutrition and waste management in space.

    Sandra Burr's reading--which tends toward professional aloofness, though you can clearly hear the smile in her voice at many points in the story--is very well suited to the writing.

    This is a funny book, and enlightening. It's one of my favorite Audible books, and I've recommended it to others (my mom also loved it). If you're very squeamish, you might find yourself fast forwarding occasionally, but I personally loved the graphic bits.

    Roach brings science and research to life. I definitely recommend this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Cast in Moonlight: Free Novella

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Michelle Sagara
    • Narrated By Khristine Hvam
    Overall
    (1611)
    Performance
    (1347)
    Story
    (1356)

    Barely a teenager, Kaylin Neya is a thief, a fugitive and an attempted assassin. She also has a smart mouth, sharp wits and mysterious markings on her skin. All of which make her perfect bait for a child prostitution sting in the city of Elantra - if she survives her first meeting with the Hawks!

    Jason says: "Great STUFF!!!"
    "Wonderful Novella"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I downloaded this because it was free, and good thing too because this has become my favorite audiobook series. Khristine Vham is a superb narrator; her voice is clear, and she easily expresses emotion without overdoing it.

    I'm surprised that the Elantra books are published by a romance imprint, because there is no romantic or sexual content whatsoever. Instead, this is an immersive fantasy tale. This story is about the young Kaylin Naya, a spirited youngster with special gifts who lands a job in law enforcement, right out of the ghetto.

    The story is well paced and charming. The world Sagara builds feels real (if a little cliched). It's a very fun listen and a great introduction to the world of Elantra.

    The best part of this book, though, is the narrator. Give Vham a listen!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Outlander

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Diana Gabaldon
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (14762)
    Performance
    (9146)
    Story
    (9019)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: An all-time Audible favorite that mixes historic fiction, adventure, and romance with one of the most fascinating literary devices: time travel. Outlander introduces an exhilarating world of heroism and breathtaking thrills as one woman is torn between past and present, passion and love. In 1945, former combat nurse Claire Randall returns from World War II and joins her husband for a second honeymoon. But their blissful reunion is shattered....

    Lulu says: "The Reason for the Existence of Audio Books"
    "Terrible Story--No Action!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Diana Gabaldon and/or Davina Porter?

    I think Davina Porter is a wonderful narrator, and I bought this book because I have enjoyed her work on other books. I would not buy another book by Diana Gabaldon, and I wish I could return this one!


    Has Outlander turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Yes. I thought time travel would involve a lot of back-and-forth through different eras, and a lot of adventure, but there was very little action in this book and it was very boring. A very dull romance.


    What about Davina Porter’s performance did you like?

    Davina Porter's voices, accents, and pacing is all spot-on.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    I was very disappointed with this book because it is a very boring story. I do not plan to finish listening to this book--I stuck with it for several hours because I thought it would pick up, but after a friend told me that it continues to drag on in the same fashion I decided to give up on it.


    Any additional comments?

    Don't waste your money or your credits, especially if you are looking for action and adventure. If you're very in interested in Scottish history you might enjoy this book--it's almost a period piece--but don't expect much action or suspense.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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