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Stephanie K. Wittenberg

Just a reader

Lakeville, IN, US | Member Since 2010

10
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 3 reviews
  • 27 ratings
  • 335 titles in library
  • 31 purchased in 2014
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  • Antony and Cleopatra

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Colleen McCullough
    • Narrated By Sneha Mathan
    Overall
    (99)
    Performance
    (41)
    Story
    (39)

    Mark Antony, famous warrior and legendary lover, expects that he will be Julius Caesar's successor. But when Caesar is murdered, his 18-year-old nephew, Octavian, is named as his heir. No one, least of all Antony, expects Octavian to last; but his youth and slight frame conceal a remarkable determination and a sharp strategic mind. Under Octavian's rule, the empire is divided, with Antony responsible for the fabulously rich East. There he meets Cleopatra.

    Amazon Customer says: "Not in the least disappointed"
    "Thinking in Ancient Roman"
    Overall

    As ever, Colleen McCullough captures the very flavor of an ancient culture. Anyone interested in the lives and events of the Roman Empire should be fascinated, as I was, with this and all her novels of that world-changing city-state. The sense of adventure is a constant in her telling of history and the characters have distinct personalities. Just when you start feeling a familiarity with one, their response or actions in a given circumstance will sharply demonstrate how different the thinking and mores were. This is one of the most thoroughly enjoyable historical novels I have ever read. For readers who agree with me, I also heartily recommend "First Man in Rome."

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Sunshine

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Robin McKinley
    • Narrated By Laural Merlington
    Overall
    (484)
    Performance
    (248)
    Story
    (249)

    There are places in the world where darkness rules, where it's unwise to walk. Sunshine knew that. But there hadn't been any trouble out at the lake for years, and she needed a place to be alone for a while. Unfortunately, she wasn't alone. She never heard them coming. Of course you don't, when they're vampires.

    Amazon Customer says: "An absolutely riveting, addictive tale"
    "Something Old is New Again"
    Overall

    If you are truly a fan of vampire fiction, as opposed to vampire romance novels, do NOT miss Robin McKinley's "Sunshine." I enjoyed this book from first line to last.
    In this genre, most new vampire books - especially vampire series - are simply a version of Harlequin-style romances in which the word "vampire" has been substituted for the word "earl," or "pirate," or "plantation owner." They tend to be a set of more or less explicit sex scenes loosely connected by predictable plot line and sometimes rather ghastly attempts at humor.
    "Sunshine" actually has something new to say about vampires and their relationship with the human race. The world of "Sunshine" is original and contains a consistent internal culture. Delightfully, it is not obvious in the first paragraphs, and the unfolding of it was a pleasure. There is a plot, there are characters and character development, there is conflict, and there is a marvelous amount of tension.
    It is the best new vampire book I've read since Laurel Hamilton's first few novels.
    I can only hope Ms. McKinley writes more!

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Conspirata: A Novel of Ancient Rome

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Robert Harris
    • Narrated By Simon Jones
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (718)
    Performance
    (336)
    Story
    (334)

    On the eve of Marcus Cicero's inauguration as consul of Rome, the grisly death of a boy sends ripples of fear through a city already wracked by civil unrest, crime, and debauchery of every kind. Felled by a hammer, his throat slit and his organs removed, the young slave appears to have been offered as a human sacrifice, forbidden as an abomination in the Roman Republic. For Cicero, the ill forebodings of this hideous murder only increase his frustrations and the dangers he already faces as Rome's leader.

    David says: "Enjoyable Read"
    "Politics and Prestige"
    Overall

    "Conspirata" is the story of Cicero during and after his Roman consulship. It was a period of intrigues and power plays, with patricians and plebes struggling for dominion. Winding though all the plots is the crafty and subtle hand of Julius Caesar, carefully building towards replacing the government of the Republic with his autocratic rule. In these times, courts were influenced not merely by facts in a case, but by the legal representatives oratatorical skill, dignitas and authoritas. Cicero is portrayed as complex character of faults and honor. He overcomes humble ancestry with superior ability and a genius for oratory. This is, in my opinion, an excellent and consistently fascinating novel.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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