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Valerie

HEATH, OH, United States | Member Since 2014

35
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 21 reviews
  • 117 ratings
  • 834 titles in library
  • 30 purchased in 2015
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  • A Murder of Quality: A George Smiley Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By John le Carré
    • Narrated By Michael Jayston
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (168)
    Performance
    (140)
    Story
    (140)

    Miss Ailsa Brimley is in a quandary. She's received a peculiar letter from Mrs. Stella Rode, saying that she fears her husband - an assistant master at Carne School - is trying to kill her. Reluctant to go to the police, Miss Brimley calls upon her old wartime colleague, George Smiley. Unfortunately, it's too late. Mrs. Rode has just been murdered. As Smiley takes up the investigation, he realizes that in life - as in espionage—nothing is quite what it appears.

    Darwin8u says: "Short break from le Carre's brilliant spy œuvre"
    "Good"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I prefer the espionage stories, although this is nice for a change.

    Anything by Le Carre will work for me.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • These Old Shades

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Georgette Heyer
    • Narrated By Cornelius Garrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (410)
    Performance
    (270)
    Story
    (274)

    Society believes the worst of Justin Alastair, the notorious Duke of Avon who is clearly proud of his Sobriquet, Satanas. It is he who buys Leon body and soul from a scoundrel in a Paris backstreet.

    Sharon says: "The epitome of romance"
    "Spoiled by narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I put off buying this book until I had all the otherr Georgette Heyers on offer, solely because of the sample audio snippet. I had grave misgivings that I wasn't going to be impressed, and so it proved.
    The voices were cartoonish caricatures and greatly distracted from the story.
    Too bad.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Flowers from the Storm

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Laura Kinsale
    • Narrated By Nicholas Boulton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (935)
    Performance
    (872)
    Story
    (872)

    He's a duke. He's a mathematical genius. He can't talk and he's locked in a lunatic asylum. Only a modest Quaker girl can reach him, but when she helps him to escape, she's swept into his glittering aristocratic world, her life torn apart by his desperate attempt to save himself.

    ~~ DARA ~~ says: "~COMPELLING!!~ Love This Author! Love This Book!"
    "Brilliant"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This ranks up there with my favorites. I could barely tear myself away from it, and this was a surprise since my expectations were modest.
    The narrator was spectacular, especially as some of the dialogue must have been a serious challenge. I shall look for this reader in the future.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Brewer's Tale

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Karen Brooks
    • Narrated By Hannah Norris
    Overall
    (25)
    Performance
    (24)
    Story
    (24)

    It had been Mother's secret and mine, one passed down through the de Winter women for generations. I would ensure it was kept that way, until I was ready to pass it on.When Anneke Sheldrake is forced to find a way to support her family after her father is lost at sea, she turns to the business by which her mother’s family once prospered: brewing ale.Armed with her Dutch mother’s recipes and a belief that anything would be better than the life her vindictive cousin has offered her, she makes a deal with her father’s aristocratic employer: Anneke has six months to succeed or not only will she lose the house but her family as well.Through her enterprise and determination, she inadvertently earns herself a deadly enemy. Threatened and held in contempt by those she once called friends, Anneke nonetheless thrives. But on the tail of success, tragedy follows and those closest to her pay the greatest price for her daring.Ashamed, grieving, and bearing a terrible secret, Anneke flees to London, determined to forge her own destiny. Will she be able to escape her past, and those whose only desire is to see her fail?A compelling insight into the brewer’s craft, the strength of women, and the myriad forms love can take.

    Valerie says: "Good story"
    "Good story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This tale, although long, kept my interest throughout. It deserved better narration as the intonation was clueless, and some of the pronunciation was hilarious.
    However, the content was an interesting and knowledgeable portrayal of the times, and it was worth listening to.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Sisters of Treason

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Fremantle
    • Narrated By Teresa Gallagher, Georgina Sutton, Rachel Bavidge
    Overall
    (61)
    Performance
    (54)
    Story
    (54)

    Early in Mary Tudor's turbulent reign, Lady Catherine and Lady Mary Grey are reeling after the brutal execution of their elder seventeen-year-old sister, Lady Jane Grey, and the succession is by no means stable. In Sisters of Treason, Elizabeth Freemantle brings these young women to life in a spellbinding Tudor tale of love and politics.

    Sharon says: "Wonderful"
    "Really good, but...."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I devoured this in a very short time but didn't emerge totally unscathed. The author is limited by historical events which results in a portrayal of calamity upon catastrophe - don't listen last thing at night if you want pleasant dreams!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Devil You Know

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Mike Carey
    • Narrated By Michael Kramer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1269)
    Performance
    (692)
    Story
    (702)

    Felix Castor used to cast out demons for a living, and London was his stomping ground. But in a time when the supernatural realm is in upheaval and spilling over into the mundane world of the living, his skills are in renewed demand. With old debts to pay, Castor is left with no choice but to accept one final, well-paying assignment: a seemingly simple exorcism.

    Jessica says: "wonderful story"
    "So so"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I hardly dare raise my head here to say that I found the narrator's accent distracting to the plot. I can't pretend he's from England which is basic to the performance. It's comparable to an English voice narrating a Mickey Spillane novel.
    Just spoils it really...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Falcon Throne

    • UNABRIDGED (35 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Karen Miller
    • Narrated By Gildart Jackson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (57)
    Performance
    (50)
    Story
    (49)

    When kingdoms clash, every crown will be tarnished by the bloody price of ambition. A royal widow plots to win her daughter's freedom from the ambitious lords who would control them both. An orphaned prince sets his eyes on regaining his father's stolen throne. And two brothers, divided by ambition, will learn that the greater the power, the more dangerous the game.

    L. Tatum says: "Enjoyable, dark epic tale"
    "Story is better than it sounds!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The narration of this book is let down by the way the dialogue is handled. The characters seem to be shouting at each other about 75% of the time and the voices used would be fine if they were in a fairy tale. Real human beings don't talk like that, however.
    It's too bad for the author because the story is quite good and the review would have been much better if it wasn't for the distracting voices.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Lady of the Rivers

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Philippa Gregory
    • Narrated By Bianca Amato
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (927)
    Performance
    (806)
    Story
    (806)

    Jacquetta always has had the gift of second sight. As a child visiting her uncle, she met his prisoner, Joan of Arc, and saw her own power reflected in the young woman accused of witchcraft. They share the mystery of the tarot card of the wheel of fortune before Joan is taken to a horrific death. Jacquetta understands the danger for a woman who dares to dream. Jacquetta is married to the Duke of Bedford, English regent of France, and he introduces her to a mysterious world of learning and alchemy.

    Bonnie-Ann says: "Philippa back on track"
    "Brilliant"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was really exciting and I gobbled it up in 2 days! One of my all time favorite audibles.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Last Chronicle of Barset

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Anthony Trollope
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (92)
    Performance
    (33)
    Story
    (32)

    This last novel in the Chronicles of Barsetshire series involves Mr. Crawley, the impoverished curate of Hogglestock, who is accused of theft when he uses a large check to pay off his debts. The scandal fiercely divides the citizens of Barsetshire and threatens to tear apart Mr. Crawley's family.

    Charles says: "Superb!"
    "Captivating"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It is my first experience of Trollope and I have to say that I expected the style to be rather fusty and Victorian. Instead it was very enjoyable and made me laugh out loud, even though there were a few characters needing a whack upside the head...
    I'm now in the enviable position of exploring the rest of this series, although in reverse order.

    Simon Vance - what can I say? Brilliant!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Barrow

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Mark Smylie
    • Narrated By Michael Page
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (75)
    Performance
    (70)
    Story
    (70)

    When a small crew of scoundrels, would-be heroes, deviants, and ruffians discover a map that they believe will lead them to a fabled sword buried in the barrow of a long-dead wizard, they think they've struck it rich. But their hopes are dashed when the map turns out to be cursed and then is destroyed in a magical ritual. The loss of the map leaves them dreaming of what might have been, until they rediscover the map in a most unusual and unexpected place.

    Charles Harrington says: "Scallywags and Ne'er Do Wells"
    "Lots of words, not enough story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Maybe I'm just too unsophisticated for this offering but I had to give up. All those words just weren't turning into anything meaty.
    Hey, Joe Abercrombie, all is forgiven!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Half a King: Shattered Sea, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Joe Abercrombie
    • Narrated By John Keating
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (411)
    Performance
    (372)
    Story
    (370)

    Yarvi, second son of the feared King Uthrik and the ruthless Queen Laithlin of Gettland, was born with a useless hand, and cannot hold a shield, or do any of the things expected from a man. Left an outcast, he's surrendered his birthright and been given a woman's place as apprentice to Mother Gundring, Gettland's Minister, training to be an adviser, diplomat, healer and translator. But when his father and brother are murdered by Grom-gil-Gorm, King of neighboring Vansterland, Yarvi is forced to take the Black Chair and become king himself.

    Lanfear says: "Abercrombie Light"
    "High hopes cruelly dashed."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Maybe it's unfortunate that Joe Abercrombie set the bar so high with his previous books, but this was a woeful anticlimax. Having come to expect masterly character development I found these characters rather weak, not believable in the same way as Glokta and the Bloody Nine.

    Perhaps my review could have gained another star had the narrator been Steven Pacey, but this reader was not into the story in the same way.

    14 of 17 people found this review helpful

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