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Sheryl

Kavetch, CA

ratings
130
REVIEWS
27
FOLLOWING
2
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
13

  • The Girl of Fire and Thorns

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Rae Carson
    • Narrated By Jennifer Ikeda
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (336)
    Performance
    (313)
    Story
    (311)

    Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness. Elisa is the chosen one. But she is also the younger of two princesses. The one who has never done anything remarkable, and can't see how she ever will. Now, on her 16th birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king - a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs her to be the chosen one. And he's not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies, seething with dark magic,are hunting her.

    M. Herbert says: "A fabulously well done fantasy!"
    "Really too bad!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Although the story had potential, it was subpar. The descriptives of geography and environment were wonderful, as was the detail of the meals prepared. But the narrative just plodded along until some well written exciting events occured. My biggest criticism is that the book had a tremendous religious/Christian bent. This should have been part of the description because i would not have purchased it if I had known. If I had heard the phrase "I touched my fingertips to the Godstone..." one more time, I was going to scream. The author did tease nicely developing the "love interests" but in the end seriously disappointed the reader.
    I liked the implication of magic or sorcery, and the history of the region.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Rae Carson again?

    No. I couldn't get past the obsession with praying constantly, but this was likely the author's intention: pray and pray more and your prayers will generally go unanswered while you suffer incredible pain and loss. Then maybe if you make it through all that, there will be an answer that you never would have considered.


    What three words best describe Jennifer Ikeda’s performance?

    ok, but diappointing. Jennifer Ikeda was phenomenal in Discovery of Witches series. She is bland and does not use her extraordinary verbal talent, accents, tone, character, etc. Very disappointed with this one.


    Any additional comments?

    Audible - please provide better categories or descriptions of books.

    6 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • FREE: Classic Love Poems

    • UNABRIDGED (22 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare, Edgar Allan Poe, Elizabeth Barrett Browning
    • Narrated By Richard Armitage
    Overall
    (1273)
    Performance
    (1142)
    Story
    (1079)

    For anyone who's in love - or hopes to be - what greater celebration could there be than to hear the world's greatest love poetry read lovingly by Richard Armitage? With 15 poems by William Shakespeare, Edgar Allan Poe, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and more, Classic Love Poems is a listening treat for Valentine's Day - or any day.

    vc says: "Wonderful recitation by Richard Armitage"
    "Absolutely fabulous"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to FREE: Classic Love Poems again? Why?

    Again and again. Such romantic and beautiful poems by the world's all time classic writers and poets can only mesmerize. And the truly sublime narration by Richard Armitage will just melt your heart and tickle your toes. Holy cow! You feel like he is speaking to you, only to you. Oh, shivers...


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Richard Armitage! Seriously, Poem #4


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The vivid picture each poet paints brings you to the heart of the matter, the place and the feeling of being there. And this is accomplished in the 2 - 3 minute duration of each poem. These are true masterpieces, artfully dialogued and directed.


    Any additional comments?

    I was suprised by the omission of Juliet's heartfelt soliloquy, while pondering her ture love, Romeo, in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Prince of Midnight

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Laura Kinsale
    • Narrated By Nicholas Boulton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (544)
    Performance
    (505)
    Story
    (504)

    He was once a legendary highwayman. Now he's a recluse in a ruined French castle, with only a half-wild wolf for a companion. When Lady Leigh Strachan comes looking for a man to aid in her revenge, she's disillusioned to find that the famed Prince of Midnight couldn't help even if he cared to - which he doesn't. S. T. Maitland wants nothing to do with his legend, or with this fierce, beautiful, broken woman... until the old thrill of living on the cutting edge of danger begins to rise in his blood again.

    Robbie says: "Imagine My Joy!"
    "Very good book that fell just a little short."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I would give this closer to 3 1/2 stars. Kinsale has a beautiful prose that is inviting, imminently descriptive and flowing. And the narrator is sublime. Mr. Boulton's voice is pure silk and truly makes the story come alive.
    The sparring between the hero and heroine starts out sweetly, moves toward wickedness and continues throughout the book. Unfortunately the author just overdoes it. Too much of a good thing is still too much. It gets silly and I felt myself rolling my eyes wishing they would "get on with it." This is a beautiful story about two very flawed human beings who don't know how desperately they need to heal. If they would get over their preconceived assumptions and prejudices, they could help one another find peace, resolution and love. Their story is of that difficult and painful journey. Intrigue, murder, and the dark debauchery of some 18th century noblemen are peppered artfully throughout, tantalizing the reader toward the elusive conclusion Leigh and the Prince of Midnight seek.

    Well worth a credit. I am definitely a fan of Laura Kinsale and shall eagerly look for any book read by Nicholas Boulton.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Charming: Pax Arcana, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Elliott James
    • Narrated By Roger Wayne
    Overall
    (463)
    Performance
    (436)
    Story
    (436)

    John Charming isn't your average prince... He comes from a line of Charmings - an illustrious family of dragon slayers, witch-finders and killers dating back to before the fall of Rome. Trained by a modern day version of the Knights Templar, monster hunters who have updated their methods from chain mail and crossbows to Kevlar and shotguns, John Charming was one of the best-until a curse made him one of the abominations the Knights were sworn to hunt.

    Suzanne says: "Charming is Like Dresden in wolves clothing"
    "Light and entertaining"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Just finished the fun, tongue in cheek "fairy tale " that blends old -fashioned princely/knightly heroism with "modern day" supernatural monster vigilantes . There were a few HA! moments of quick wit and humor that kept it interesting.

    Yet, the detail into which the author depicts the fight scenes is just short of overboard. I think one can get the sense of the action without quite that much excruciating detail.
    I would still recommend the tale and will probably consider getting the next in the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Changeless: An Alexia Tarabotti Novel, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Gail Carriger
    • Narrated By Emily Gray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1673)
    Performance
    (1418)
    Story
    (1426)

    Gail Carriger created a fascinating steampunk vision of Victorian England in her “intoxicatingly witty” (Publishers Weekly, starred review) debut novel Soulless—the first in the best-selling Parasol Protectorate series. Changeless is the second in the series and finds Alexia Tarabotti, now the Lady Woolsey, quite put out after her werewolf husband goes missing. So, armed with her trusty parasol, Alexia boards a dirigible and heads for Scotland to find him.

    Leanna says: "Loved it!"
    "Superlative, witty writing!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a wonderful addition to the Alexia Tarabotti novels. Ms Carriger brings humor to the delightful paranormal mystery. The language is truly that of the uptight, old world British empire which persuades the reader into believing you are in the time and place - listening in. She tells the continuing story of the soulless lady now married to the roughish werewolf off on another venture that centers around his former pack and the mystery of the humanization plague. Cute that from their point of view being made human again is considered a sickness or malady. Fun new characters are introduced with wildly prominent personalities for their given parts. The sister is self centered to a fault and the "inventor" cracks you up with her masculine voice, clothes and demeanor.
    Well worth the credit, the book is completely entertaining and light, quick paced and delightfully quirky. The one bummrer that brought the rating down from 4 to 5 stars is the "cliffhanger " ending. One is forced to buy the next installment to get any closure on the couple's debacle. I of course will buy it, but feel a little cheated. Good thing Carriger's writing is so playful and enticing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Exit Strategy: Nadia Stafford, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Kelley Armstrong
    • Narrated By Jennifer Ikeda, Richard Ferrone
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (80)
    Performance
    (75)
    Story
    (75)

    Regulars at Nadia’s nature lodge don’t ask what she does in the off-season. And that’s a good thing. If she told them, she’d have to kill them. She’s a hit woman for a Mafia family. Tough and self-sufficient, Nadia doesn’t owe anyone any explanations. But that doesn’t mean she always works alone. One of her contacts has recruited her in the hunt for a ruthlessly efficient serial killer cutting a swath of terror across the country. The assassin is far too skilled to be an amateur - and the precision of the killings is bringing the Feds much too close to the hit man community for comfort.

    rick says: "some strong elements, but...."
    "Slow for a thriller"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Although the writing was quite good and intelligent, the story was not very original and dragged on. A serial killer is terrorizing the country, committing murders from state to state, getting more daring as he goes. Slowly, an unusual team is formed to put the guy away, but with the addition of some characters, the story line gets cumbersome and jerky.
    The two narrators worked well, but the killer's persona (read by the male narrator) does not intrigue or create much emotion in this reader. And although J. Ikeda is a master storyteller, I thought a little more urgency and emotion in her reading - the main character's POV (Nadia)- may have raised the story a notch/star developing greater excitement level or "thrill."
    Regarding the interaction between characters, what might be seen as a potential love interest and possibly a triangle was boring and not well developed.

    Jack is interesting and getting to know him better is enticing. Nadia, however does not present well for a hit man, and so the story falls flat.

    Would I read another by this author? It's doubtful I'll pursue another in this series. The ONE reson I may, is to see if Ms. Ikeda's reading pulls me into the story number two.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Passage: The Passage Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Justin Cronin
    • Narrated By Scott Brick, Adenrele Ojo, Abby Craden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7361)
    Performance
    (3703)
    Story
    (3705)

    First, the unthinkable: a security breach at a secret U.S. government facility unleashes the monstrous product of a chilling military experiment. Then, the unspeakable: a night of chaos and carnage gives way to sunrise on a nation, and ultimately a world, forever altered. All that remains for the stunned survivors is the long fight ahead and a future ruled by fear—of darkness, of death, of a fate far worse.

    Nicole says: "You love it or you hate it..."
    "Wow! Fascinating, wonderful, captivating!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does The Passage rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Top 10. Artful and incredible. This is a fresh story about terrifying creatures and the epic search for meaning and undying hope for peace and resolution.


    What other book might you compare The Passage to and why?

    This is a unique saga that is, thus far, nearly incomparable to others in my library.


    Any additional comments?

    JC is an amazing and thoughtful writer who is able to completely immerse the reader in his novel, the characters, the fantasy that he has built for us. This one book could well have been two, but luckily he had the grace to allow for one intricate and beautiful work of art that spans so many lives and timelines. Good for him to not "sell out" to the temptation of creating more books just for the sake of more sales. Ther are two more in this exotic and suspenful tale that are in my library ready and waiting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • FREE Masked Ball at Broxley Manor

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 14 mins)
    • By Rhys Bowen
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    Overall
    (720)
    Performance
    (648)
    Story
    (640)

    A delectable prequel to the national bestselling Royal Spyness mysteries featuring Lady Georgiana Rannoch—thirty forth in line to the throne, and England’s poorest heiress. At the end of her first unsuccessful season out in society, Lady Georgiana has all but given up on attracting a suitable man—until she receives an invitation to a masked Halloween ball at Broxley Manor. Georgie is uncertain why she was invited, until she learns that the royal family intends to marry her off to a foreign prince, one reputed to be mad.

    Amazon Customer says: "Strident narration, shallow story"
    "Screeching nararator ruined it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    A different nararator would have helped increase my rating to a 2.5 or 3. But, just barely. This was a free prequel to the very light mystery series. But having read book one, I found it added nothing to the story line of the young and slightly royal debutant. A bief appearance of a mysterious and exciting Irish gentleman does make it somewhat interesting and could be developed into a better read later on.


    Has FREE Masked Ball at Broxley Manor turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Not necessarily. The nararator did improve moderately in Book one, and I hope she will continue this refinement for book 2 and on. If not, I will return the next book regardless of the quality of the writing.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Katherine Kellgren’s performances?

    Doubtful, unless the trial listen for the particular book impresses me enough that Kellgren will develop her ability to perform without the intensely high pitched and shrill characters, with impossible British and American accents. Her accents are deplorable.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    The writing was passable given that it is a novella of a hour or so. Again, the story improves in book one. But the start of the series in the full length book is somewhat slow and the "mystery" element is rather weak.


    Any additional comments?

    You really don't need this book to explain much back story or character development.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • We Have Always Lived in the Castle

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Shirley Jackson
    • Narrated By Bernadette Dunne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (677)
    Performance
    (570)
    Story
    (572)

    Six years after four family members died of arsenic poisoning, the three remaining Blackwoods—elder, agoraphobic sister Constance; wheelchair-bound Uncle Julian; and 18-year-old Mary Katherine, or, Merricat—live together in pleasant isolation. Merricat has developed an idiosyncratic system of rules and protective magic to guard the estate against intrusions from hostile villagers. But one day a stranger arrives—cousin Charles, with his eye on the Blackwood fortune.

    jaspersu says: "The narration changed my interpretation"
    "Thought-provoking and sweet - yes!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to We Have Always Lived in the Castle again? Why?

    I will listen to the book again due to its complex psychological undercurrents. There is so much simmering beneath the surface of this mixed-up and 'sympathetically pathetic' unlikely cast of characters. Jackson presents a tease of information about the two sisters and uncle, the "survivors" of the immediate family. Even though this author does not paint the characters in extensive detail (as one so typically finds in most novels), the void adds to the mysterious and strange impression of this small town family. It entices and allows the reader create their own interpretation and visualization of each brilliantly insane character.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    As much as I truly loved Marricat, her obsessions and paranoia, Constance is delightful since she is a total enigma throughout much of the book. I felt her angst and her guilt and her love for her sister and devotion to her uncle Julian. I am still trying to figure her out. She is the character that made me cry.Honorable mention to Marricat's cat, Jonas - crafty and loyal to a fault. < :-)


    What about Bernadette Dunne’s performance did you like?

    Dunne's voice was spot on to what I imagined from the lead characters, the busybodies and townfolk. She created the invisible link between them that many narrators completely miss. The strangeness and unsettling nature of the Blackwoods shines through in Dunne's voice(s).


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Toward the end of the book, there is a particularly poignant scene between the sisters during a truly dispicable scene that drew a few tears. It caught me totally off-guard and made me say, "brava, Shirley!" On the other hand, the end stanzas sit on the edge of reality, even for this creepy little family. I cannot go into more detail as it will be a spoiler, but it is not so farfetched as to ruin the story. Just go with it, don't dwell on the sisters' actions that seem so unbelievable - to a "normal" person. They are not normal.


    Any additional comments?

    Not having read the book, I had no expectations of horor, or fear (the book was written decades ago-1960s). My recommendation is to give the book the time and thought it deserves. It is not meant to be an in-your-face, obvious, simple thriller or ghost story. As another reviewer stated so well: "weird and disturbing." Sit back and enjoy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Passion: Year of Fire, 2

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Florencia Bonelli, Rosemary Peele (translator)
    • Narrated By Peter Berkrot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (27)
    Performance
    (25)
    Story
    (27)

    Helping suffering children of the war-torn Congo has long been a dream for pediatric surgeon Matilde Martinez. When the opportunity arises, she must leave Paris - and the recent heartache of love lost - to take it. Professional soldier Eliah Al-Saud arrives in the Congo with a different goal: to take control of a coltan mine - a mineral highly coveted by manufacturers of mobile phones - and to acquire all its profits. But Eliah's heart has another burning ambition, one much more important than money or power. He vows to win back Matilde, the love of his life - his very reason for living and breathing.

    Amazon Customer says: "Great"
    "Very good book with some drawbacks"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Matilde needs more backbone. Her behaviour does not make sense for someone with such a courageous cause, with selfless passion for the sick and less fortunate. Her frailty and frequency of emotional breakdowns conflicts with her brave and altruistic driven nature. The author could have better developed Matilde's maturity and emotional growth to make the character more likable and realistic.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Passion is the 2nd installment in the Year of Fire trilogy so you must read Obsession first. This "chapter" continues the love story between Eliah and Matilde after she leaves him for the Congo. Whereas Obsession depicts the intense and obsessive relationship between the lovers, this book carries them further away from one another and increases the angst felt by the reader. There is a bit more international intrigue between the Middle Eastern factions, and the dictators from African nations and, yes, the "Voice Box" is back. He is a crack up and lends a snicker to the story every now and then. Interludes with Matilde's father who is shipped off to the Sheik, and traitors sealing deals with Saddam Hussein, and the fight for yellow cake add historical references and gave this reader a close up of the ugly underworld of war and the insanity that drives desire for absolute power.

    There is a pack of lusty dogs after Matilde in her new digs, the orphanage and hospital of the Congo. Everyone seems out to get her, kill her or woo her into his bed. Still a mercenary, and ever resourceful, Al Saud wants his love watched and protected thousands of miles away. Eliah's security detail reports all of her movements and incidents back to him and he goes through fits of jealousy and rage, finally enough that he jets out to confront her, to be with her. This book again has graphic, fairly tasteful sex, but not as much as the first. There are some encounters that are plain unbelievable, in the broom closet with Matilde left on the floor, with the stunning African queen while pics are being clicked. Hmm? Well, most of this comes back to haunt Al Suad and pushes his true love further away. How could she ever go back to a lover who cannot keep it in his pants? Inexplicably, one finds oneself still rooting for the star-crossed jealous lovers to battle their ways back to one another. A little orphan boy, Jerome, is a ray of hope and might possibly be a sticking factor for the love between Eliah and Matilde. So, we hope Al Saud can get to her before the real war breaks out and deals the final blow. Will he? Will she? We have to read #3 that I fear is not yet available.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Peter Berkrot?

    Jennifer Ikeda perhaps. One of the weirdest glitches of this performance, is at the very outset, practically the first page: the narrator changes the pronunciation of Eliah's name. It is so disconcerting and distracting. Could the author and Mr. Berkrot not agree on this in the first book? What in the world? And, alas, Mr. Berkrot's reading still lacks so significantly in the female voice that I mark him down severely. At least one-third of the book follows Matilde's life and her experiences in the hospital, with other women, nuns, and of course the various other women in Al Saud's interactions. One would hope the narrator could develop a better voice for them. We can all hope for this in part three.


    Could you see Passion being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    TV series would be fun as it is more of an epic story than a fleeting movie slice of life.


    Any additional comments?

    Good story, keeps you listening, and definitely sets up a final installment which promises a bang!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Just Listen

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Sarah Dessen
    • Narrated By Jennifer Ikeda
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (95)
    Performance
    (57)
    Story
    (59)

    Sara Dessen delivers the bittersweet story of a dissatisfied model and the offbeat guy who teaches her that only truth can set her free. As her beautiful, self-assured image flashes across the TV screen, Annabel Greene is the ideal 17-year-old girl. But the glitter of her commercials is a far cry from Annabel is a social outcast. Can music-obsessed Owen with his commitment to truth convince Annabel to reveal a dark secret and bravely confront reality?

    Elizabeth says: "Exelent story"
    "Just TRY to Listen and maybe that will help."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    The story has a good premise, and until now, an awesome reader. But the story is S L O W.... And please be aware that it is written for very "YA." Very clean without hard language. But the characters are very immature, simply "textbook" high school adolescents, more moody and dissatified than how I remember that time of life. (SMALL SPOILER>>>) The author finally gets around to her tense subject of sexuality, after 12 or 15 chapters with a rape scene. Not to make light of that in any way whatsoever, I just found it an awkward and forced part of the book. The characters, especially the main Annabelle and her "BFF" Sophie, were unlikeable and shallow. Annabelle cannot stand up to her mom to tell her she hates modeling, and cannot confront one of her two sisters (don't want to give it away) about that sister's potential life threatening mental disease: anorexia. To continue her spiral, she loses her real best friend and just keeps faking it through day by day. Until Owen. Thank god for Owen. He managed to save the story from a final pressing of the STOP/FINISH button with his interesting and sometimes humorous realistic character. But Ms Ikeda butchered his voice unfortunately. A radio host just cannot be that juvenile and nasally and keep his job.If Dessen could have drawn the reader into Annabelle, especially since it is written in first person, perhaps the story would have been more poignant and enjoyable.


    What was most disappointing about Sarah Dessen’s story?

    I didn't expect a deep novel or enthralling story, or a complex plot. The story is just a downer, following a tedious storyline with so many coming of age angsts that I could not relate to. It felt long and drawn out, touching on so many problems with all of the various characters, that the listener is fatigued and ready for it to end.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    I believe this was an early performance. I checked the date and this appears to be a very early book for her (2006 or 08), so I gave her 3 stars instead of two. Almost every other book performed by Ikeda are highly deserving of 5 starts. The only reason I bought Just Listen was due to the reader, Jennifer Ikeda. Ms. Ikeda is phenomenal in most of her other books, Discovery of Witches trilogy for example. In this story, however, her male characters were flat, childish and nasally. She differentiates between many of the female characters fairly well, but not her best accomplisment.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Just Listen?

    The book could have been written without the third sister. She plays mainly meaningless parts and only adds slightly to the development of the interpersonal effects of anorexia on the family. The scenes about Owen's music taste are far too long and drawn out. Other areas are verbose and could be condensed or eliminated.


    Any additional comments?

    Please do not avoid Jennifer Ikeda's other performances, as she has grown immensely since this book and is one of the top 2 or 3 readers in the Audible library.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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