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Christa

Decatur, Georgia, United States | Member Since 2011

ratings
103
REVIEWS
31
FOLLOWING
1
FOLLOWERS
6
HELPFUL VOTES
77

  • Theft of Swords: Riyria Revelations, Volume 1

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Michael J. Sullivan
    • Narrated By Tim Gerard Reynolds
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4916)
    Performance
    (4525)
    Story
    (4522)

    Acclaimed author Michael J. Sullivan created instant best sellers with his spellbinding Riyria Revelations series. This first volume introduces Royce Melborn and Hadrian Blackwater, two enterprising thieves who end up running for their lives when they’re framed for the death of the king. Trapped in a conspiracy bigger than they can imagine, their only hope is unraveling an ancient mystery - before it’s too late.

    Magpie says: "Two books in one - keep listening!!"
    "Fun adventure fantasy!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Theft of Swords is a compilation of the first two books of this series, "The Crown Conspiracy", and "Avempatha". "Crown" is a nice introduction to our main characters, Royce and Hadrian, the best thieves in the realm, Princess Arista, who is clever in some ways, but very naive in others, and Ezra Hardin, the mysterious ancient wizard bent on finding a mysterious missin heir to a long-gone Empire. There is also a powerful Church, also seeking this heir, for reasons of their own. Mainly the first book is a fast, fun romp.

    "Avempatha" starts giving the characters and the situation more complexity. We learn some things about Royce's and Hadrian's pasts, and more about the Church's plans. The plot revolving around Thrace and her father and the monster destroying her village is less interesting and a bit predictable, except for the end.

    I hope Audible gets the rest of the series up soon! I want to know what happens next!

    30 of 33 people found this review helpful
  • Shattered Pillars

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Bear
    • Narrated By Celeste Ciulla
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (5)

    A winner of multiple Hugo Awards and a Locus Award, Elizabeth Bear crafts mesmerizing tales of science fiction and fantasy. The second novel in her Eternal Sky trilogy, Shattered Pillars continues the epic saga of politics, war, and magic that began with Range of Ghosts. Temur the exiled heir and Sarmarkar the Tsarepheth wizard must gather all their strength to fight the dark forces determined to conquer every great empire along the Celedon Road.

    Christa says: "An Epic series in the making."
    "An Epic series in the making."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is part two of a series. Part one is 'Range of Ghosts'. Hopefully Audible will list them as a series soon.

    The followers of the Eternal Sky seem to be based on the Mongols, at the time when their empire was being torn apart by a war of succession, and other characters are from neighboring empires based on those along the Silk Road, but in this world, there are hungry ghosts, djinn, ghuls, rocs, clever magicians and dark sorcerers. Bear's characters seem very human, and she's got a real talent for description. Once you're immersed in their gritty, day to day lives enough to almost feel the gait of a steppe pony beneath you, the supernatural seems to fit right in.

    Truly excellent fantasy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Black Ship: Crosspointe, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Diana Pharaoh Francis
    • Narrated By Michael Goldstrom
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    Thorn is a member of the Pilot’s Guild - those who possess the magical ability to navigate Crosspointe’s deadly seas. When a malevolent master within the Guild bans him from the sea, it seems his life is over. Then he is kidnapped and forced to serve aboard the rogue ship Eidolon - pitch black from bow to stern - and Thorn finds himself battling a mad captain, a mutinous crew, and the terrifying magic of the sea. But there is a saboteur on board, trying to make sure the Eidolon never arrives safely in port. Thorn begins to realize his kidnapping may have been no mere chance....

    Christa says: "Shaping up to be a decent fantasy series."
    "Shaping up to be a decent fantasy series."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed this one better than the first book in the series, and I have to admit to being intrigued by the world-building and the story arc that seems to be developing, but there's just something about the characters that falls short. They just don't behave quite realistically sometimes, and I find it a bit jarring. I think I'll continue with the series, though, to find out what happens.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Murder of the Century: The Gilded Age Crime That Scandalized a City & Sparked the Tabloid Wars

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Paul Collins
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (995)
    Performance
    (819)
    Story
    (818)

    In Long Island, a farmer found a duck pond turned red with blood. On the Lower East Side, two boys playing at a pier discovered a floating human torso wrapped tightly in oilcloth. Blueberry pickers near Harlem stumbled upon neatly severed limbs in an overgrown ditch. Clues to a horrifying crime were turning up all over New York, but the police were baffled: There were no witnesses, no motives, no suspects. The grisly finds that began on the afternoon of June 26, 1897, plunged detectives headlong into the era's most perplexing murder.

    deborah says: "Great look at NYC crime, forensics, and journalism"
    "Hearst, Pulitzer and the Headless Body Trial"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Sometimes it is good to be reminded there really never were any good old days, that crime is not worse now, and the way the press covers it is not a whit more irresponsible or sensationalized than it used to be.
    This in-depth, well-researched book provides a glimpse into New York City's past, and both the murder case and the newspaper rivalry were fascinating subjects.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Young Men and Fire

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Norman Maclean
    • Narrated By John MacLean
    Overall
    (77)
    Performance
    (34)
    Story
    (34)

    Norman MacLean spent the last 14 years of his life determined to sift through grief and controversy in search of the truth behind the Mann Gulch tragedy, one of the worst disasters in the history of the Forest Service. Young Men and Fire is the culmination of his investigations. It is a story about honor, death, compassion, and the human spirit.

    Crazy CT Marmot says: "Great read, very good listen!!"
    "In-depth Portrait of a Tragedy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It is obvious that the Mann Gulch Fire deeply affected Maclean, and stuck with him his whole life. Once you've read this book, it will stick with you too.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Cipher: Crosspointe, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Diana Pharaoh Francis
    • Narrated By Mozhan Marno
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    Distant member of the royal Rampling family, Lucy Trenton's ability to detect majick has embroiled her in a dangerous intrigue that threatens her very life. Her only hope lies in her most persistent suitor, ship captain Marten Thorpe, but Lucy isn't sure she can trust him...

    Christa says: "Interesting set-up, lazy ending"
    "Interesting set-up, lazy ending"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Spoilers Spoilers Spoilers!



    I liked the world building, and the characters were interesting. My main gripe with this novel is that after going to the trouble to build up an intriguing plot, the author winds up solving everything by just tossing aside the rules of the first 2/3 of the story, making the hero and heroine super-powered, and fixing everything like 'ta-da, Magic!'

    Still, the world of Crosspointe was interesting, and I plan to give the next one a chance to be better.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Archangel: Samaria, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Sharon Shinn
    • Narrated By Tamara Marston
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (251)
    Performance
    (144)
    Story
    (146)

    A tale of the distant future by the author of The Shape-Changer's Wife brings listeners to a world in which the fate of all life rests on the voice of an angel.

    Paul says: "A great story, narrrated well"
    "Angels, intrigue, but mostly a romance."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed this book, with just one little quibble. The heroine was just too contrary and it occasionally got annoying. Towards the end, I just wanted to shake her and tell her to stop being so self-absorbed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Hallowed Hunt

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Lois McMaster Bujold
    • Narrated By Marguerite Gavin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (608)
    Performance
    (243)
    Story
    (246)

    The half-mad Prince Boleso has been slain by a noblewoman he had intended to defile. It falls to Lord Ingrey kin Wilfcliff to transport the prince to his burial place and to bring the accused killer, Lady Ijada, to judgment. The road he travels with his burden and his prisoner is fraught with danger. But in the midst of political chaos, magic has the fiercer hold on Ingrey's destiny, and Ijada herself may turn out to be the only one he dares trust.

    Rose says: "Magic and Kingship in the Land of the Five Gods"
    "Not Bujold's best work."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I adore most of Bujold's novels, be they Chalion, Vorkosigan or Sharing Knife. I have both read and listened to most of them multiple times, and intend to listen to them again. The stories are so good that I enjoy listening to them even though I am so familiar with them that sometimes I can recite along with the narrator in my mind.

    But sadly, not this one. I don't know why. It's just flat, for some reason. Only the main character made a real impression, and I was let down by the ending. It's not a terrible book, but I can't really recommend it.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Heir of Novron: Riyria Revelations, Volume 3

    • UNABRIDGED (31 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Michael J. Sullivan
    • Narrated By Tim Gerard Reynolds
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3532)
    Performance
    (3247)
    Story
    (3264)

    On the holiday of Wintertide, the New Empire plans to burn the Witch of Melengar and force the Empress into a marriage of their own design. But they didn’t account for Royce and Hadrian finally locating the Heir of Novron—or the pair’s desire to wreak havoc on the New Empire’s carefully crafted scheme.

    Ron says: "Spectacular fantasy series"
    "Very happy with the ending!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've been in love with this series since the first book, and I am so happy that the ending didn't disappoint. Of course, most listeners will have figured out a lot of what will happen, but there are enough surprises to keep you from getting bored!

    Sullivan's writing is pretty straightforward, and he doesn't waste a lot of time on pretty prose or description, but the story gallops along with verve and enthusiasm. The whole series is just plain fun. We get conspiracies, betrayals, love, sword fights, adventure on the high seas, elves, goblins, assassins, thieves, war, royalists vs imperialists vs nationalists, friendship, impending doom and redemption. Who could want more than that?

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Range of Ghosts: The Eternal Sky, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Bear
    • Narrated By Celeste Ciulla
    Overall
    (20)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (17)

    Multiple Hugo Award winner Elizabeth Bear enthralls fans with this compelling first book in the Eternal Sky series. In a world where wizards are unable to procreate, Temur, heir to his empire’s throne, flees to avoid assassination. Once-Princess Samarkar, formerly heir to her own empire’s throne, gives up everything to seek the wizards’ magical power. Drawn together by fate, Temur and the Once-Princess must stand against a cult inciting strife and civil war in all the empires.

    Christa says: "Bite down solid fantasy."
    "Bite down solid fantasy."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Elizabeth Bear has clearly done her history homework. Not that this is history, or even alternate history, but more a hero's tale knitted from impressions of history. In a world where various empires have come and gone, battling gods have shattered the very sky. The war rising to sweep across nations begins with a reluctant claimant to a his grandfather's throne, stumbling alone off the battlefield after having been left for dead.

    Temur doesn't want to rule, he only wants to live and maybe find a new family with the woman he loves, but his uncle wants him dead, and a distant cult bent on sowing chaos and destruction wants to use him, or his unborn child.

    Once-Princess Samarkar has given up her fertility to find power of her own. Now she must put her skills and wits to use in aiding Temur's cause, as that seems the best course of stopping the cult using necromancy and black sorcery that is seeking to spread war to every realm under the shattered sky.

    The story moved along at a good speed, and I found the characters believable, earthy and easy to care about. Just be warned that this is part one, and the end will leave you desperately wanting to know what happens next.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Od Magic

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Patricia A. McKillip
    • Narrated By Gabrielle de Cuir
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (129)
    Performance
    (37)
    Story
    (40)

    Brenden Vetch has a gift. With an innate sense he cannot explain to himself or describe to others, he is able to connect to the agricultural world, nurturing gardens to flourish and instinctively knowing the healing properties each plant and herb has to offer. But Brenden's gift isolates him from people and from becoming part of a community - until the day he receives a personal invitation from the Wizard Od.

    Carol says: "Magic and mystery"
    "Beautiful prose, so-so story and terrible narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    McKillip's imagery is rich and dense, and I enjoy the way she paints pictures with words, though I suspect the surrealism and dream-like quality of some scenes will wear on some people's patience. Unfortunately, the reader seems inspired by this aspect of the prose to read in a slow, sing-song voice like a bad actress playing a person under hypnosis.

    As for the story, I thought it had potential, but it never seemed to grow complex. The characters didn't evolve enough, especially Brendan Vetch, who seemed originally meant as the protagonist, but seems the least interesting character by the end. We are presented with a supposedly dangerous mystery, and character conflicts, but just as everything is coming to a climax, Od, the ancient wizard who everyone respects and no one will defy, steps in and fixes everything like a teacher sorting out squabbling children.

    If it weren't for the narrator, I'd say it was still worth a listen, so I recommend listening to the sample before buying.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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