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Clare

Historical & SciFi Book Lover, especially Georgette Heyer, Lois McMaster Bujold, Connie Willis (& New Who). Also books for the kids.

Vancouver, BC, Canada | Member Since 2009

94
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 67 reviews
  • 145 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 5 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
16
FOLLOWERS
9

  • Minerva: The Six Sisters, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By M. C. Beaton
    • Narrated By Charlotte Anne Dore
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (79)
    Performance
    (66)
    Story
    (67)

    Minerva marks the delightful debut of The Six Sisters, a family saga in six volumes that will recount the romantic adventures of the six marriageable daughters of a country vicar, the Reverend Charles Armitage, in Regency England. The eldest, Minerva, is enchantingly beautiful - but a prude. She lives in the country looking after her siblings while her mother reclines on a chaise longue happily inventing new malaises.

    Kim says: "If you like Emma, you'll like this one"
    "Charmless story. No Likeable Characters"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I would normally thoroughly delight in the charms of a Marion Chesney/MC Beaton Regency story, but I was unable to finish this one.

    Minerva was a smug prude, her father selfish, her mother a hypochondriac - her siblings were self absorbed, shallow etc.

    Not as fun as her other series.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Banishment

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Marion Chesney
    • Narrated By Jill Tanner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (43)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (20)

    Marion Chesney’s beloved Daughters of Mannerling series showcases the proud and lovely daughters of Sir William and Lady Beverley--six exceedingly beautiful and privileged young ladies. Isabella’s first season in London is a disaster, with not a single offer of marriage. All possible suitors find her dull, while she believes none of the contenders for her affections are worth catching. Making matters worse, her father gambles away the family fortune and their opulent estate at Mannerling to the roguish Mr. Judd.

    Marcheta says: "reminded me of Georgette Heyer's books"
    "Light Romantic Regency Fare - Nicely Done"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Marion Chesney is one of the earlier authors of the Regency Romance genre. I do enjoy how she melds romance and historical accuracy, and this novel contains more than a few gems of historical domestic living.

    Her plots are simple and light 'feel good' fare, but definitely entertaining . I have listened to all the Poor Relation series, and believe this novel a notch above those. I feel that I have found a bit of a winner here (a book, that like most of my Heyer books, I will wish to hear again).

    The narration is clear and enjoyable, and I did like the narrator’s gentle Irish accents.

    The plot is simple, a family of six beautiful (but self centered and haughty) girls living in opulence with their parents, are suddenly in straitened circumstances. The family scheme to enable their old mansion to be returned to them – even to the extent of her parents and sisters encouraging the eldest sister to court the attentions of an intolerable bachelor. It is a slim volume, and a quick read. The story is fast paced.

    My one complaint, why doesn’t Audible have the rest of the series?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Doctor Who at the BBC, Volume 3

    • ORIGINAL (2 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Michael Stevens
    • Narrated By Elisabeth Sladen
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    Presented by Elisabeth Sladen, Doctor Who at the BBC combs the avenues of Time and Space for significant spin-off moments from the much-loved TV and radio series. This third volume features a rarely heard 10-minute mini-drama starring Jon Pertwee and Elisabeth Sladen, never before broadcast. Elsewhere, the radio programme Wavelength meets the cast and crew of The Two Doctors; "Nationwide" investigates the work of the Radiophonic Workshop; and a group of schoolchildren give their views on the series in "Take Two".

    Clare says: "A Bit Rubbish"
    "A Bit Rubbish"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It starts with a BBC quiz, I thought I had downloaded the wrong program. There is no intro at all. I have the impression that this is the 3rd disc of a 3 CD set.

    It has a longish, comedic (?) audio drama "Whatever Happened to Susan". Would be interesting to those that know the first Doctor stories, but are willing overlook the inconsistencies in the drama.

    There are some TV interviews with Lalla Ward and there is a bizarre interview with Mary Tamm and Tom Baker by some English current affairs program (where the companions are referred to as 'handmaidens' by the interviewer and I don't think he was being funny).

    Radio comedy sketches, that are very dated, are included. I suspect I am lacking the 80s cultural references to understand of the humour. It repeats the John Nathan Turner interview from Vol 1 (did it need repeating?)

    I love Doctor Who, and delighted in Vol. 1, but found this volume intensely boring/irritating.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Back in Society: A Regency Romance: The Poor Relation, Book 6

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Marion Chesney
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (109)
    Performance
    (98)
    Story
    (97)

    Life is finally looking up for the poor relations. The Prince of Wales’ coat of arms gleams over the hotel entrance. All but one of the rooms are filled by the open-handed Prince Hugo and his entourage. They have finally reached a position comfortable enough to allow them to consider offers to buy the hotel. The poor relations’ hard-earned success, however, is in stark contrast to the plight of their latest guest, Lady Jane Fremney. The slight, beautiful youngest daughter of the Earl of Durby has been cast out of her family for refusing to marry the man her father has chosen.

    Patricia says: "Final Book in series"
    "Satisfying conclusion to the Series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Sixth and last installment of the Poor Relation Series. Set in the Regency period.

    Another light, entertaining novel. All loose ends are tied up nicely - and Lady Fortescue finally chooses between her swains.

    The main story is another transformative one (shy, but titled, depressed rustic ends up a charming, and happily poised Lady).

    The narration is, as ever, wonderful.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Doctor Who at the BBC, Volume 1

    • ORIGINAL (2 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Michael Stevens
    • Narrated By Elisabeth Sladen, Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker, and others
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    Celebrating the 40th anniversary of Doctor Who, this release looks back through the radio archives and highlights the wide variety of Doctor Who features and interviews which have been broadcast over the years. Dozens of extracts - many of which have been unheard since their first broadcast - illustrate how the programme has been a national institution, held in fond regard by adults and children alike.

    Clare says: "Celebratory BBC Radio Documentaries"
    "Celebratory BBC Radio Documentaries"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    First documentary is presented by Nicholas Courtney, (the Brigadier) and includes interviews by early key figures (including Verity Lambert and Terry Nation) in celebration of Thirty Years of Doctor Who (1993). Sound quality is a bit patchy - some interviews sounded like they were conducted by telephone (Frazer Hines). However, it was chock full of interesting anecdotes about the early days of Who.

    The Second one is presented by Lis Sladen (Sarah Jane Smith) and celebrates Forty Years of Doctor Who (2003). Includes a bit more on why Doctor Who is so popular and includes interviews with the likes of Douglas Adams, John Pertwee, Tom Baker etc. The last 20 minutes includes two or three short skits – the Doctor phoning Directory Enquiries asking for the Master was quite wonderful.

    Both these Radio documentaries were made and aired during the “wilderness years” when Doctor Who was no longer being filmed by the BBC.

    As a Who aficionado I really enjoyed this download and it was a treat to hear the presenters, both of which have recently passed away – hence the high rating.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Man in the Empty Suit

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Sean Ferrell
    • Narrated By Mauro Hantman
    Overall
    (53)
    Performance
    (47)
    Story
    (49)

    Say you're a time traveler and you've already toured the entirety of human history. After a while, the outside world might lose a little of its luster. That's why this time traveler celebrates his birthday partying with himself. Every year, he travels to an abandoned hotel in New York City in 2071, the hundredth anniversary of his birth, and drinks 12-year-old Scotch (lots of it) with all the other versions of who he has been and who he will be.

    Frederik says: "Up there with the best."
    "Mind Bending Grandfather Paradox Thriller"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Stumbled on this book last week, downloaded on a whim. One of the best audio purchases I have ever made.

    The book has a very refreshing, unique, complicated premise. It is not the Grandfather paradox – it is more immediate – if you kill a different year’s version of yourself, what happens to your future ‘selves’?

    The first half of the book is a race to escape within a nightmarish, claustrophobic scenario, where all the characters are the main protagonists at different ages, where one is a murderer, and one may, over the months, age to become the murder victim. The second half of the book takes its time to linger on events and the results of ones' actions. I was not sure how it could end - but the closing two scenes were pleasingly well done.

    If you like a twisty puzzle of a book, set in a dystopian future with an element of time travel you will find this book extremely interesting.

    Narration was perfect.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Doctor Who: The Last Voyage

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Dan Abnett
    • Narrated By David Tennant
    Overall
    (224)
    Performance
    (144)
    Story
    (143)

    The TARDIS materialises on board the maiden voyage of a pioneering space cruiser, travelling from Earth to the planet Eternity. The Doctor has just started exploring the huge, hi-tech Interstitial Transposition Vehicle when there is a loud bang, a massive jolt and a flash of light. Shortly afterwards, he discovers that nearly all the passengers and crew have disappeared. Unless the Doctor and flight attendant Sugar MacAuley can take control and steer the ship, they could crash-land or keep slipping through space forever.

    J.A. says: "Fun Listen - Good Narrator"
    "Well Worth the Credit - Wonderfully Narrated"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Dan Abnett is a superior Whovian author and this is the best of the David Tennant narrated pieces I have heard so far. His narrator voice is a very gentle Scottish accent, which makes it so easy to tell when he is being "The Doctor".

    Enjoyable novella.

    Highly recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Cotillion

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Georgette Heyer
    • Narrated By Phyllida Nash
    Overall
    (358)
    Performance
    (192)
    Story
    (195)

    The three great-nephews of cantankerous Mr Penicuik know better than to ignore his summons, especially when it concerns the bestowal of his fortune. His freakish plan is that his fortune will be his step-daughter's dowry.

    connie says: "Don't judge this book by its cover."
    "Starts as a Farce, Ends Delightfully"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Narration is excellent.

    The characters are very loveable (cute even). The sheltered Kitty has a very generous nature that gets her into scrapes that her faux swain has to extricate her from. The hero (which I won't name, as initially it is unclear who is the hero is to be) is not the usual Heyer main male character (so, not arrogant or "top lofty". Quite a treat really).

    A gentle book, that has become a firm favourite. The narration definitely lifts it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Doctor Who: The Art of Death

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 15 mins)
    • By James Goss
    • Narrated By Racquel Cassidy
    Overall
    (20)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (18)

    Raquel Cassidy reads this exclusive audio adventure featuring the Eleventh Doctor, Amy and Rory as they encounter one of the wonders of the universe ‘Don’t be alarmed!’ the Doctor cried through gritted teeth, ‘It’s simply sucking the life out of me. Nothing to worry about...’When the Doctor falls through a crack in time he finds himself in the Horizon Gallery. But it’s no ordinary art gallery, because this one has the best view of the most impossible wonder of the universe - the Paradox. Tour parties are eager to see this stunning, hypnotic portion of sky that’s beyond description, and it’s Penelope’s job to stop people staring up at it for too long. For the Paradox’s beauty drives people mad. The Doctor, Amy and Rory are about to discover that the Paradox also contains a giant and frightening creature with a taste for death…Written specially for audio by James Goss, The Art of Death features the Doctor, Amy and Rory as played by Matt Smith, Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill in the acclaimed hit series from BBC Television. It is read by Raquel Cassidy, who played Miranda Cleaves in the 2011 TV episodes ‘The Rebel Flesh’ and ‘The Almost People’.

    Clare says: "One of the Better 11th Doctor Adventures"
    "One of the Better 11th Doctor Adventures"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If this was an episode this would be a Doctor "lite" story, where we do not see much of the Doctor (and hardly any of the Ponds either). (And example of a Doctor-lite story is Blink, and in this story instead of not blinking, it is best not to stare....)

    This rather well done, interesting and intelligent story is told from the point of view of a character who meets the Doctor at different stages of her adult life. As she has never met or heard of the Doctor it is interesting to see what she makes of him.

    Can say anything else without being spoilerish. There are some nice, non intrusive sound effects. Narration is top notch.

    Definitely one of the better audio Who stories I have heard.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Captain Vorpatril's Alliance

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Lois McMaster Bujold
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (801)
    Performance
    (722)
    Story
    (733)

    Captain Ivan Vorpatril is happy with his relatively uneventful bachelor's life as a staff officer to a Barrayaran admiral. Cousin to imperial troubleshooter Miles Vorkosigan, Ivan is not far down the hereditary list for the emperorship. Thankfully, new heirs have directed that headache elsewhere, leaving Ivan to enjoy his life on Komarr, far from the Byzantine court politics of his home system. But when an old friend in Barrayaran intelligence asks Ivan to protect an attractive young woman who may be on the hit list of a criminal syndicate, his chivalrous nature takes over. It seems danger and adventure have once more found Captain Vorpatril.

    Barbara M. Sullivan says: "We are finally allowed to see Ivan without Miles."
    "Long Awaited Ivan Story! Space Action & Romance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book takes place between a Civil Campaign and Cyroburn. This was the first time I heard a Lois McMaster Bujold book before reading it. I think that added to the enjoyment, as I rather liked hearing the humour. I really like seeing a complete novel mostly from Ivan's POV. We have increasingly had hints that he is less of a lout and has a finely honed judgement of people's characters and motivations, and this is borne out by his actions in this novel.

    The usual Bujold tropes of identity, honour and loyalty are delightfully explored in this romance/ espionage /action novel.

    I think this book is better than Cryoburn, but not as good as her top notch books in this universe such as Memory or Mirror Dance. The last 3 or so chapters were a blast, but I felt the epilogue tied up too many ends, and I not sure about the final career path being hinted at for Ivan.

    If you a fan of the series I thoroughly recommend the download. Oh, and Miles only makes a short (ahem) appearance (a shame as I was looking forward to seeing more of the Ivan as the Miles foil).

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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