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L. Ward

l_ward

USA | Member Since 2006

5
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 5 reviews
  • 78 ratings
  • 292 titles in library
  • 30 purchased in 2014
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  • Unraveled

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Courtney Milan
    • Narrated By Nicole Quinn
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (141)
    Performance
    (132)
    Story
    (127)

    Smite Turner is renowned for his single-minded devotion to his duty as a magistrate. But behind his relentless focus lies not only a determination to do what is right, but the haunting secrets of his past - secrets that he is determined to hide, even if it means keeping everyone else at arm's length. Until the day an irresistible woman shows up as a witness in his courtroom. Miranda Darling isn't in trouble - yet. But she's close enough that when Turner threatens her with imprisonment if she puts one foot wrong, she knows she should run in the other direction.

    CAROLYN says: "A GOOD BOOK TOTALLY RUINED BY THE NARRATOR"
    "The narrator is terrible"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The narrator is terrible and so is the production quality.

    The sound levels change from high pitched to very low at almost radom intervals so you cannot even keep a consistent volume.

    The narrator's character voices are cringeworthy and irritating, and as narrator she sounds quite old (which is an odd choice for the relatively young characters of a romance). In short, the narration is VERY BAD.

    I love Courtney Milan novels and really wanted the last of the Turner Brother Trilogy. The trilogy has been wonderful. The narrator of this one, however, is terrible.

    Read the book instead.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Husband Trap

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Tracy Anne Warren
    • Narrated By Bianca Amato
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1082)
    Performance
    (847)
    Story
    (857)

    Winner of a RITA, a National Readers’ Choice Award, the HOLT Medallion, and the Golden Quill, New York Times best-selling author Tracy Anne Warren is among the most acclaimed and popular Regency romance storytellers. In The Husband Trap, the reserved Lady Violet Brantford agrees to swap identities with her vivacious sister. Before she knows it, she’s married to the Duke of Raeburn, who finds himself pleasantly surprised with his charming new wife.

    SIMARA says: "Passionate and emotional narration..."
    "Cliches everywhere"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made The Husband Trap better?

    It would've been greatly improved had there been any evidence of a sense of humor. Any book that is this full of cliche desperately needs to at least wear those cliches lightly. This plays an astonishing number of them in a stunningly unoriginal, perfectly serious way. The heroine is a prim pretty pink princess who literally rescues drowned kittens and puppies, reads Greek, Shakespeare, Descartes (in the original French, of course), studies art, architecture, flower arranging, reads novels, has a way with animals, is brilliant, sweet, humble, demur, and is generally unerringly perfect in nearly every way while simultaneously being the unappreciated ugly duckling to her IDENTICAL TWIN. (I'm not sure how one goes about being the ugly duckling to one's own identical twin, but the perfectly perfect heroine manages to do so). The hero is the standard allotment of romance hero cliches (A perfectly condescending gentleman of impeccable breeding and deportment with a sexually domineering presence) without the individuality or personality to become anything more than the sum of his generic parts.

    I like romance novels. I just like ones that attempt to do develop individual characters and expand beyond cliches. This one is basically a 1980s Barbara Cartland novel with ephemism-ridden love scenes.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    No clue. I'll probably go back to a re-listen of GRRMartin's "A Storm of Swords." Although Martin, like the author of this book, spends entirely too much time telling me what the characters are having for dinner.


    Have you listened to any of Bianca Amato’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    The narrator did a pretty good job. If she were reading Austen (or even just a Courtney Milan romance novel) I would've had no complaints.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Husband Trap?

    I would've begged the author to update her playbook. Give the hero traits beyond the cliche. Give the heroine some self-esteem. Give them both a sense of humor. Give them enough verbal interaction that they have a relationship that clicks and isn't just about physical connection. And it's really okay to stay within the genre and yet break a romance novel trope every now and then.


    0 of 0 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
    (9980)
    Performance
    (7453)
    Story
    (7493)

    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.

    haesel says: "Where was this woman's editor?"
    "Tedious"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Other reviews are correct, this is a romance novel in the vein of Twilight. In fact the condescending, dominating "hero" seems every bit as offputting as the stalking Edward in Twilight.

    So I guess if you loved Twilight or 1980s romance novels, you might like the book.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    I'm listening to Peter Clines "14" now. It's not the haunted house type of story that I thought it would be, but it's a neat mystery with some Lost undertones.


    Have you listened to any of Jennifer Ikeda’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I've never listened to this narrator before, but she did a good job.


    What character would you cut from A Discovery of Witches?

    I would make the "hero" less of a Marty Stu (the male version of a "Mary Sue" too perfect and precious to be believed character).


    Any additional comments?

    Other than "The Historian", I've never read a book where the characters eat so often. What on earth is the author's fixation with having the heroine fed every five minutes? I also find it rather bizarre that I'm constantly told what vampires smell like... which is cloves and cinnamon. Apparently in this fictional universe, vampires smell like pumpkin pie spice. (I cannot imagine why).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Fault in Our Stars

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By John Green
    • Narrated By Kate Rudd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (11861)
    Performance
    (10874)
    Story
    (10935)

    Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten. Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning-author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.

    FanB14 says: "Sad Premise, Fantastic Story"
    "Wonderful book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Fault in Our Stars in three words, what would they be?

    Smart. Snarky. Heartbreaking.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The protagonists are very endearing. They are not maudlin about their fate but still struggle with it. They are very human and it is easy to be moved by them.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Probably the pre-funeral where they read the eulogy to somenone who has not yet died.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Some infinities are bigger than other infinities.


    Any additional comments?

    Don't let the subject matter put you off. The story transcends the "cancer genre". It's a story about life, and what it means to live.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Gone Girl: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Gillian Flynn
    • Narrated By Julia Whelan, Kirby Heyborne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (18410)
    Performance
    (16433)
    Story
    (16488)

    It is Nick and Amy Dunne's fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick's clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn't doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media - as well as Amy's fiercely doting parents - the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he's definitely bitter - but is he really a killer?

    Teddy says: "Demented, twisted, sick and I loved it!"
    "Interesting read, weak ending"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about Gone Girl? What did you like least?

    The narration is quite good.

    The plot is interesting and fast paced.

    The characters are, for the most part, unlikable but are interesting despite that.

    Overall, I think it's worth listening to, especially if thrillers are your genre of choice. That said, there are issues. First among those being that the ending is somewhat weak. Second would be that Part I of the book drags on for too long and is more obvious than the writing seemingly thinks that it is.

    The ending isn't quite enough to ruin an otherwise good book. Still, I can't say that it left me satisfied.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The alternating POVs were interesting. It's very "he said"/"she said" with unreliable narrators which I find to be an interesting way to tell a mystery.


    What about Julia Whelan and Kirby Heyborne ’s performance did you like?

    No complaints about the narration. They both did a very good job.


    Did Gone Girl inspire you to do anything?

    Throw the book across the room?

    Well, no, it's an audible book on MP3, so nothing so dramatic. That said, I did find the ending to be less than satisfying.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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