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Sarah Dumoulin

Kinburn, Ontario Canada | Member Since 2009

ratings
106
REVIEWS
28
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
8
HELPFUL VOTES
97

  • The Case of the Deadly Butter Chicken: Vish Puri, Most Private Investigator, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Tarquin Hall
    • Narrated By Sam Dastor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (207)
    Performance
    (182)
    Story
    (184)

    When the elderly father of a top Pakistani cricketer playing in the multi-million-dollar Indian Premier League dies during a post-match dinner, it’s not a simple case of Delhi Belly. His butter chicken has been poisoned. To solve the case, Puri must penetrate the region’s organized crime, following a trail that leads deep into Pakistan - the country in which many members of the P.I.’s family were massacred during the 1947 partition of India. The last piece of the puzzle, however, turns up closer to home when Puri learns of the one person who can identify the killer. Unfortunately it is the one woman in the world with whom he has sworn never to work: his Mummy-ji.

    Maine Colonial says: "Delightful Delhi detective (see recipe too)"
    "Perfect summer listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really enjoyed the previous two instalments in this series and was eagerly awaiting the release of this one.

    Fortunately, I wasn't disappointed. A joy to listen to - filled with a wonderful sense of humour and original characters. I particularly loved the expansion on Puri's mother in this book as she out manoeuvres her lovably egotistic son. The same narrator as performed the first two books returns and yet again puts in a great performance; truly adding to your enjoyment and immersion into Tarquin Hall's India.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Monster Hunter International

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Larry Correia
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6862)
    Performance
    (6057)
    Story
    (6051)

    Five days after Owen Zastava Pitt pushed his insufferable boss out of a 14th story window, he woke up in the hospital with a scarred face, an unbelievable memory, and a job offer. It turns out that monsters are real. All the things from myth, legend, and B-movies are out there, waiting in the shadows. Some of them are evil, and some are just hungry. Monster Hunter International is the premier eradication company in the business. And now Owen is their newest recruit.

    Konstantin says: "Suprizingly entertaining"
    "Truly Awful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I managed to struggle through half of this before giving up. The characters are cardboard cut-outs, particularly the flawless protagonist and his equally perfect dream-girl. I tried to look past this, as perhaps this sort of fantasy isn't the place to look for intricate character development, but the story itself managed somehow to be dull and predictable with way too much filler. There's a ton of pro-gun libertarian politics mixed in as well, so I suppose if that's your thing you might find something redeemable there.

    Basically this is an overly long and violent action movie in book form.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • The Kingdom of Little Wounds

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Susann Cokal
    • Narrated By Susan Duerden
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    On the eve of Princess Sophia’s wedding, the Scandinavian city of Skyggehavn prepares to fete the occasion with a sumptuous display of riches. Yet beneath the veneer of celebration, a shiver of darkness creeps through the palace halls. A mysterious illness plagues the royal family, threatening the lives of the throne’s heirs, and a courtier’s wolfish hunger for the king’s favors sets a devious plot in motion.

    Sarah Dumoulin says: "Not for a very wide audience"
    "Not for a very wide audience"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I picked up Kingdom of Little wounds because it had made several "best of" lists and won a Printz Honour this year. I had been wary of this title because opinions on this title have been mixed, and I finish the book finding my opinions on the title are mixed as well.

    The writing throughout this book is wonderful. However, the subject matter is harsh. Many of the characters are sick or diseased in some way and the author describes lesions and medical procedures in detail. There's also a rather graphic rape scene. Furthermore, the first three quarters of the book don't seem to be really going anywhere. The main characters have misfortune after misfortune piled onto them and we hear a lot about court intrigues but there doesn't seem to be an arc to the narrative. Then the book rallies in its last quarter with the main characters working together to save themselves and the book becomes vastly more interesting and entertaining. I spent the first 75% of the book wondering why I was listening to this and the last 25% of the book not wanting to put it down.

    I'm not a fan of this narrator. I've listened to one title by her previously and I find her heroines a little too flimsy and breathy. You get used to it after a while, but it's jarring at first.

    There are going to be people who love this book, but I think that there will be more who don't manage to stick around for the finale.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • You Are Not So Smart: Why You Have Too Many Friends on Facebook, Why Your Memory Is Mostly Fiction, and 46 Other Ways You're Deluding Yourself

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By David McRaney
    • Narrated By Don Hagen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (822)
    Performance
    (715)
    Story
    (713)

    An entertaining illumination of the stupid beliefs that make us feel wise. You believe you are a rational, logical being who sees the world as it really is, but journalist David McRaney is here to tell you that you're as deluded as the rest of us. But that's OK - delusions keep us sane. You Are Not So Smart is a celebration of self-delusion. It's like a psychology class, with all the boring parts taken out, and with no homework. Based on the popular blog of the same name, You Are Not So Smart collects more than 46 of the lies we tell ourselves everyday.

    Sarah Dumoulin says: "Covers a lot of old territory"
    "Covers a lot of old territory"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    While this book makes for a breezy listen, a lot of what is contained within will be old news to many readers. If you know what a straw man argument and an ad hominem attack are, have read too many descriptions of the marshmallow experiment and the Standford prison experiment and are just plain tired of Milgram this book is probably not for you. While there were certainly many sections that contained information that I was previously unaware of the amount of the content that I already knew ruined this for me.

    This book comes from the author of a blog of the same name, and it shows. The chapters read like blog posts, tending to lack depth, and the flow between chapters is choppy at times. However, it's an easy read, and a good introductory look at some of work that has been done in psychology in the past century.

    54 of 57 people found this review helpful
  • Larklight

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Philip Reeve
    • Narrated By Greg Steinburner
    Overall
    (38)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (9)

    In 1851 a mysterious visitor to Art Mumby's space home has plans for a calamity that will destroy not only the entire British Empire, but also the known universe. Can disaster be prevented with help from Art's irritating sister Myrtle, a few exotic space creatures, and an extraterrestrial pirate?

    Margot says: "Great fun!"
    "Victorian space adventure"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm of two minds with Larklight. First and foremost I am bowled over by the world Reeve has created. I can't recall ever reading a book with a more fully realized and original world. It seems as if every page contains a new species, device or concept - it's almost overwhelming. At the same time, the bits and pieces pulled from Victorian England are - to my remembering - historically accurate. Absolutely worth reading for this alone.

    On the other hand, the plot itself isn't as compelling and drags at the end. Furthermore, the characters aren't nearly as well rendered as their environment, making it difficult to be that emotionally invested in what happens to them. It's almost as if Reeve had to decide where to put his efforts and plunked all his eggs into the world-building basket. What he created was extraordinary, and I hope that future efforts spread his talent around a bit more evenly.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Daughter of Smoke and Bone

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Laini Taylor
    • Narrated By Khristine Hvam
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1894)
    Performance
    (1697)
    Story
    (1714)

    Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky. In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grown dangerously low. And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war. Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages - not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color.

    Coffee says: "Amazing story & INCREDIBLE Narrator!"
    "Excellent YA Fantasy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've been striking out with YA lately (Delirium and Divergent I'm looking at you), but I am so glad that I picked this one up.

    The first half of the book is much stronger than the second half. The set up here is phenomenal: great writing, an original setting, interesting characters, mysteries that are actually mysterious. I found that I didn't want to stop listening. For me, the book loses it's way a little when we get sidetracked into the romance in the second half. However, the world the author has created here is somewhere that I want to explore further and I am looking forward with great anticipation to the next book in this series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Delirium

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Lauren Oliver
    • Narrated By Sarah Drew
    Overall
    (1887)
    Performance
    (1600)
    Story
    (1600)

    "Ninety-five days, and then I'll be safe. I wonder whether the procedure will hurt. I want to get it over with. It's hard to be patient. It's hard not to be afraid while I'm still uncured, though so far the deliria hasn't touched me yet. Still, I worry. They say that in the old days, love drove people to madness. The deadliest of all deadly things: It kills you both when you have it and when you don't."

    Joyce E McBride says: "Wonderful"
    "Unoriginal romance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was wary of this title, but as it was an "editor's pick" for the tournament of books, I decided to give it a try.

    The plot here is derivative (seen the movie Equilibrium? This idea was better done there - which isn't setting the bar particularly high). The dystopian future described is so illogical that it is difficult to buy into as a reader. The central plot is a romance, which isn't really my genre, and it's sickly sweet here. The characters lacked depth.

    Some of the best bits were the chapter epigraphs which set out children's rhymes or propaganda quotations. These gave the world a bit more history and context. But, epigraphs are hardly a reason to read a novel.

    The narration was superb. But, by the middle of the book I was just waiting for it to end. I had no interest in the characters, had no doubt as to how the plot would pan out, and simply persevered because I'd sunk the credit into it. I probably should have rated my time more highly.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Life: An Exploded Diagram

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Mal Peet
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    Clem, a working-class boy living in government-assisted housing, and Frankie, the daughter of a wealthy landowner, must keep their relationship secret. If it’s discovered, their world will be blown apart. But unknown to them, President John F. Kennedy and the Russian leader, Nikita Khruschev, are shaping up to do just that - blow the world apart - as the two leaders fight over a small island in the Caribbean Sea, leading up to the events that will later be known as the Cuban Missile Crisis.

    Sarah Dumoulin says: "Slow moving, but worth it"
    "Slow moving, but worth it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a really lovely book. It's a love story set against the background of the beginning of the cold war. However, it's more of an "Atonement" love story than a typical YA love story.

    This seems much more mature to me than a lot of YA fiction. The writing is superb. Peet has a way with words that lingers in your head for days. However, readers may not be expecting such a slow moving novel. There's a lot of great detail here, but not a great deal of action. To me, it was a perfect capturing of a time and a place. A delight to listen to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Flowers for Algernon

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Daniel Keyes
    • Narrated By Jeff Woodman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1186)
    Performance
    (949)
    Story
    (958)

    Charlie Gordon knows that he isn't very bright. At 32, he mops floors in a bakery and earns just enough to get by. Three evenings a week, he studies at a center for mentally challenged adults. But all of this is about to change for Charlie. As part of a daring experiment, doctors are going to perform surgery on Charlie's brain. They hope the operation and special medication will increase his intelligence, just as it has for the laboratory mouse, Algernon.

    FanB14 says: "Phenomenal Classic"
    "Great narration of science fiction classic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I think that this story lost some of it's punch for me as I knew so much about it before I started reading. Perhaps I would have preferred the short-story version, as I found that the story dragged in sections.

    The narrator does an excellent job of trying to portray Charlie's various levels of intelligence with his voice, versus the use of spelling errors and the like in the text version.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Scorpio Races

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Maggie Stiefvater
    • Narrated By Steve West, Fiona Hardingham
    Overall
    (436)
    Performance
    (392)
    Story
    (401)

    With her trademark lyricism, Maggie Stiefvater turns to a new world, where a pair are swept up in a daring, dangerous race across a cliff—with more than just their lives at stake should they lose.

    Staaj says: "Stiefvater at Her Best"
    "Captivating"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved this book. The writing was beautiful, the characters and the setting were perfectly realized and the story was compelling. There is a romance aspect to the story - but it is more subtle than in many other YA titles and I didn't find it overbearing.

    The dual narrators do excellent jobs. I loved the ending sentences of this book, partly because of the writing but also in large part due to the narration.

    This is the first book by this author that I have tried, and I am now going to go back and go through her back catalogue. Highly recommended.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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