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Elizabeth

thoughtful reader/listener/viewer

NC, United States | Member Since 2010

ratings
28
REVIEWS
11
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
1
HELPFUL VOTES
9

  • Oath of Fealty

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Moon
    • Narrated By Jennifer Van Dyck
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (486)
    Performance
    (349)
    Story
    (349)

    Paksenarrion Dorthansdotter follows her dream of becoming a hero out of legend by running away to join the army. Military life and warfare aren't anything like she imagined - yet she holds to both her duty and her dreams. Sheepfarmer's Daughter, Divided Allegiance, and Oath of Gold tell of her rise to become the paladin who saves a kingdom. In this new trilogy, Paks's former comrades in Duke Phelan's Company assume new roles and the story turns to follow their adventures.

    James says: "More Moon Magic"
    "Many stories to keep track of"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Somewhat like the first Paksenarrion book, it's hard to tell just where this one is going. We have two or three characters' stories to follow. Eventually the focus does seem to fall more on one of them, but I'm not sure even Moon knew which it would be, at first.


    What does Jennifer Van Dyck bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    She's not my favorite narrator, but she has improved over the course of these novels and I'm accustomed to her style.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    It would make a great movie--the cuts between locations and characters would work quite well.


    Any additional comments?

    In the end, I enjoyed listening to this book and plan to continue with the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Infernals: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By John Connolly
    • Narrated By Tim Gerard Reynolds
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (58)
    Performance
    (53)
    Story
    (55)

    Young Samuel Johnson is in trouble. Not only is his eyesight so poor that he mistakenly asks out a letter box on a date, but an angry demon is seeking revenge for Samuel’s part in foiling the invasion of Earth by the forces of evil. It wants to get its claws on Samuel, and when Samuel and his faithful dachshund, Boswell, are pulled through a portal into the dark realm, the home of the Infernals, it gets its chance.

    mdk says: "OK"
    "A young person's guide to the Inferno!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does The Infernals rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I don't like to rank books, but The Infernals was entertaining and funny, and also made quite a few good points about how good and evil work (and don't work).


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Infernals?

    The footnotes are well done.


    What does Tim Gerard Reynolds bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Tim Gerard Reynolds is good with various voices and accents--all the characters are distinct.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I laughed several times.


    Any additional comments?

    Samuel Johnson's tour of hell is just as instructive as Dante's, in a smaller way. The Infernals doesn't quite match The Gates for suspense and humor, but it was still fun and I look forward to Mr. Connolly's next book about Samuel Johnson & Boswell.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • To Say Nothing of the Dog: Or How We Found the Bishop's Bird Stump at Last

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Connie Willis
    • Narrated By Steven Crossley
    Overall
    (1867)
    Performance
    (1075)
    Story
    (1077)

    In this Hugo-winner from Connie Willis, when too many jumps back to 1940 leave 21st century Oxford history student Ned Henry exhausted, a relaxing trip to Victorian England seems the perfect solution. But complexities like recalcitrant rowboats, missing cats, and love at first sight make Ned's holiday anything but restful - to say nothing of the way hideous pieces of Victorian art can jeopardize the entire course of history.

    Carol says: "Wonderful"
    "Well worth a listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to To Say Nothing of the Dog the most enjoyable?

    It is funny! But most of all, hearing it read through helped clarify some elements I had missed in my own silent reading. It's a long, complex book about TIME TRAVEL, so there are a lot of details. This reading was stellar.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Did I say it was funny? Perhaps I'm experiencing Difficulty In Distinguishing Sounds (a symptom of time lag). Also enjoyed all the allusions to other literature, starting with THREE MEN IN A BOAT (TO SAY NOTHING OF THE DOG) and ending with GAUDY NIGHT.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The bombing(s) of Coventry Cathedral--Willis creates suspense even when you know something of the outcome.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Not possible, but it was quite enjoyable.


    Any additional comments?

    TO SAY NOTHING OF THE DOG has it all--science fiction, mystery, romance, humor, action, and more. At times, you may feel you don't know what's happening. Just go with it. All will be revealed. You'll be glad you did.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Grand Sophy

    • ABRIDGED (4 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Georgette Heyer
    • Narrated By Clare Wille
    Overall
    (123)
    Performance
    (112)
    Story
    (109)

    Resourceful, adventurous and utterly indefatigable, Sophy is hardly the mild-mannered girl that the Rivenhalls expect when they agree to take her in. Kind-hearted Aunt Lizzy is shocked; stern Cousin Charles and his humourless fiancée Eugenia are disapproving. With her inimitable mixture of exuberance and grace Sophy soon sets about endearing herself to her family, but finds herself increasingly drawn to her cousin. Can she really be falling in love with him, and he with her? And what of his betrothal to Eugenia?

    Carol says: "Can we get it unabridged?"
    "Abridged audiobooks are annoying!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about The Grand Sophy? What did you like least?

    The Grand Sophy is one of Heyer's best humorous romances, and Clare Wille recreates every character perfectly, so I loved that.

    What I liked least was realizing that I had acquired an abridged version of this delightful book! This is not a novel you wish were shorter!


    Which character – as performed by Clare Wille – was your favorite?

    Augustus Thornhope--the perfect languishing would-be Romantic poet.


    Did The Grand Sophy inspire you to do anything?

    The Grand Sophy--this version of it, at any rate--inspired me to find a full-length audio edition and listen to it all over again. I hope such a thing exists!


    Any additional comments?

    I DO recommend this audiobook for anyone who isn't already familiar with the original. The story is delightful, the characters are engaging, and the narration is excellent. Then afterwards you can check out the full-length print book and have even more fun reading it yourself!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Niccolo Rising

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Dorothy Dunnett
    • Narrated By Gordon Griffin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (75)
    Performance
    (66)
    Story
    (69)

    Bruges, 1460. Street smart, brilliant at figures, adept at the subtleties of diplomacy and the well-timed untruth, Nicholas van der Poele rises from wastrel to prodigy in a breathless adventure that wins him the love of the strongest woman in Bruges and the hatred of two powerful enemies. Niccolo Rising combines history, adventure and high romance in the tradition stretching from Alexandre Dumas to Mary Renault.

    Theresa says: "A Classic Favorite Returns"
    "Dunnett audiobook! Rejoice!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Niccolo Rising in three words, what would they be?

    Classic bildungsroman begins...


    What other book might you compare Niccolo Rising to and why?

    It's incomparable! Dunnett's writing has been compared with Mary Renault, Hilary Mantel, Patrick O'Brien. Her central character(s) are fictional, but the historical settings and characters with which they interact (for example, in Niccolo Rising, 15th c. Bruges and Anselm Adorne) are accurately and brilliantly portrayed. She has a painter's eye and a poet's pen, which makes the books a pleasure to hear read aloud by a skilled narrator.


    Which character – as performed by Gordon Griffin – was your favorite?

    His Jordan de Fleury is appropriately scathing.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    It's a complex story and a bit long for that, but I was sorry when it ended.


    Any additional comments?

    If you've read the book, this is a great way to revisit it. If not, this is a great introduction to the series. Hopefully Audible.com will be bringing us the rest of the House of Niccolo as well as Dunnett's Lymond Chronicles.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Hexed: The Iron Druid Chronicles, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Kevin Hearne
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7679)
    Performance
    (6893)
    Story
    (6911)

    Atticus O’Sullivan, last of the Druids, doesn’t care much for witches. Still, he’s about to make nice with the local coven by signing a mutually beneficial nonaggression treaty when suddenly the witch population in modern-day Tempe, Arizona, quadruples overnight. And the new girls are not just bad, they’re badasses with a dark history on the German side of World War II. With a fallen angel feasting on local high school students, a horde of Bacchants blowing in from Vegas, and a dangerously sexy Celtic goddess of fire vying for his attention, Atticus is having trouble scheduling the witch hunt.

    Adam says: "Authenticity, Humor and Brilliant Writing"
    "Druid vs. witches"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Hexed again? Why?

    This was a one-time listen. Entertaining, but not the kind of thing I'd come back to. YMMV, but if I'd bought the physical book, it wouldn't be a keeper.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    I'm sure there'll be a sequel, and I'll probably read it/listen to it, because I'm curious about what happens with Atticus's apprentice.


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

    Luke Daniels also narrated Hearne's HOUNDED. It was equally engaging.


    Any additional comments?

    As contemporary fantasy goes, this was pretty good fun. The Celtic mythology is pretty solid, if you care about that kind of thing, so that wasn't annoying.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Empress of Mars

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Kage Baker
    • Narrated By Nicola Barber
    Overall
    (199)
    Performance
    (183)
    Story
    (183)

    When the British Arean Company founded its Martian colony, it welcomed any settlers it could get. Outcasts, misfits, and dreamers emigrated in droves to undertake the grueling task of terraforming the cold red planet - only to be abandoned when the BAC discovered it couldn't turn a profit on Mars. Mary Griffith and her struggles and triumphs are at the center of it all, in her bar, the Empress of Mars.

    Dave says: "I love this book."
    "Loaded with quirky characters"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The way characters frequently held conversations that should have been confidential in loud voices in public places really stretched credulity--that's a lot of naive characters!


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    I'd have made the plot a little less dependent on loose talk.


    What does Nicola Barber bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Character voices/accents are fun.


    Did The Empress of Mars inspire you to do anything?

    Stay on earth.


    Any additional comments?

    It was still fun to see how it all worked out. I did come to care about the characters and their outcomes, so overall--a success.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Once and Future King

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By T. H. White
    • Narrated By Neville Jason
    Overall
    (1325)
    Performance
    (1106)
    Story
    (1104)

    The complete "box set" of T. H. White's epic fantasy novel of the Arthurian legend. The novel is made up of five parts: "The Sword in the Stone", "The Witch in the Wood", "The Ill-Made Knight", "The Candle in the Wind", and "The Book of Merlyn".

    Bookoholics Anon says: "Fabulous reading, epic story and a new chapter!"
    "Glorious story, beautifully narrated"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Once and Future King in three words, what would they be?

    Love, Chivalry, Tragedy


    What did you like best about this story?

    White manages to gently satirize medieval society (in his alternate history, Uther Pendragon takes the place of William the Conqueror) and 20th century culture (the psychoanalysis of the Questing Beast), while at the same time taking medieval life and human beings quite seriously. I learned a great deal about real medieval hawking, hunting, and chivalry--things Malory takes for granted, as they were part of daily life in his times.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Arthur & Guinevere listening to the stories of the knights' Grail quests.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I always cry when Lancelot does his one last miracle, and of course, at the end. But there are several scenes that made me laugh as well.


    Any additional comments?

    The narrator reads clearly and does all the voices very well, including different accents.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Fairy-Tale Detectives: The Sisters Grimm

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Michael Buckley
    • Narrated By L. J. Ganser
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (717)
    Performance
    (512)
    Story
    (525)

    The recently orphaned Sisters Grimm find out from their Granny, who they thought was dead, that they're descendents of the legendary Brothers Grimm. Now they must take over the family responsibility of being fairy tale detectives in a town where fairy tales are real. Their first case: a giant is destroying the town and it may have something to do with a boy named Jack and a certain famous beanstalk.

    Tina says: "Funny twists"
    "Uneven: A lot of whining, not enough detecting"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The narration by L.J. Ganser was fine. A few clever surprises and characterizations were fun, but the heroines couldn't keep up. I'd like to make allowances for the young Sisters Grimm--they've had a hard life, what with being orphans and surviving a series of rotten foster families, and they're YOUNG, but at some point--at least, if this were a real Grimm's tale--they would stop griping and bickering and get down to business. I've enjoyed many YA fantasies and quite a few for younger readers, but maybe I'm too old for this one. Particularly annoying: the author's tendency to regularize all irregular verbs, and to insert definitions of long or unusual words into character conversations. That's what dictionaries (or even Kindle word look-ups) are for. Allow children to be enterprising. My advice: read the original Grimm tales.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Door into Summer

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Robert A. Heinlein
    • Narrated By Patrick Lawlor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (493)
    Performance
    (193)
    Story
    (204)

    Dan Davis, an electronics engineer, had finally made the invention of a lifetime: a household robot that could do almost anything. Wild success was within reach, but then Dan's life was ruined. In a plot to steal his business, his greedy partner and greedier fiancée tricked him into taking the "long sleep": suspended animation for 30 years.

    K. Lange says: "One of Heinlein's Best"
    "Cat is the best part"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I remembered The Door into Summer as one of my favorite early Heinlein novels--before he started writing the long wacky rants after Stranger in a Strange Land. So I expected to enjoy revisiting it in audio form, and for the most part, I did. The best part, as I recalled, is protagonist Dan Davis's relationship with his cat, whose determination to find a way to a "better" outdoors gives the book its title. Also entertaining: the many near-predictions of 21st century technologies--the book was originally published in 1957 & the story is set in 1972. The narrator was appropriately matter-of-fact.

    On the other hand, on this listen, I also heard many hints of the more extreme Heinlein to come--casual sexism combined with "women are superior" that probably didn't make a ripple in the 1950s, a kinda creepy romance (which didn't register a bit when I was much much younger and more innocent), and a lot of "every man a king" libertarian business. Still, a good story, and Heinlein is still one of the century's sci-fi masters. Plus, a man who likes cats can't be all wrong.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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