Fabulous! The story was thoroughly engrossing. I listened to it every spare moment I could. The narrator couldn't do voices particularly well, but her own natural American-accented voice was clear and pleasant, and conveyed the emotion in the story.
When the story proper begins, Alessandra Cecchi is a teenaged girl in Medici Florence. She is bright, intelligent, and educated, and dreams of becoming an artist. She has problems most of us can appreciate: a squabbling relationship with her spoiled older brother; her envy of her older sister's blonde beauty; her discomfort with her tall, dark, lanky body; and her half embarrassment / half perverse pride in her lack of feminine accomplishments.
Her life changes drastically with the death of Lorenzo the Magnificent. Fear of the invading French army forces her hasty marriage to a wealthy and cultured older man who, to Alessandra's shock, has a secret which could spell disaster for all concerned as the monk Sevonarola's religious fervor takes control of the city. Although her marriage is an unhappy one, it does give Alessandra the freedom to pursue her education and her art.
This book is a particularly well-done blending of "zombie apocalypse" and hard-core old-school SF. The characters and story are interesting and complex. Simon Vance does his usual excellent job of narration. The subtle accents are especially well done, from Skyler's Dutch to Tania's Indian to Platz' Australian. I look forward to listening to the other books in the series.
Yes! The author takes tragic subject matter (the exile of leprosy patients from their homes and families) and turns it into a story that is beautiful, life-affirming, emotional, but definitely not maudlin.
The book had many memorable moments, but the one that most touched me was when Rachel and Sister Catherine saw their first airplane.
No - there was a great deal to absorb emotionally.
I'm recommending this one to my friends.
The relationship between the three main characters, Damiata, Macciavelli, and DaVinci, is very interesting. All three are brilliant, passionate, and driven.
The plot was interesting, although it relied to heavily on gruesome murders to advance the story.
The narration was only so-so. I could have done without Adrian Paul's bogus Italian accent, and his attempts at the voices of DaVinci and Cesare Borgia. He should have either not attempted it, or the producers should have added cast members.
If you aren't able to catch Father Barron's incredible TV series at a PBS station or a Catholic church near you, this is the next best thing. The good Father walks the listener step-by-step through Catholic doctrine and history in an insightful and non-threatening way that still manages to respect the listener's intelligence. Particularly good are the discussions of Jesus' identity, why Catholics honor Mary and the saints, why Sts. Peter and Paul are "indispensable". I strongly recommend this book for Catholics who want to know more about the faith, and for non-Catholics who want to hear "the other side of the story".
This isn't so much a review as a warning. The author(s) take an exquisite delight in the gory details - especially of the deaths of several of the characters. If you're squeamish, you might want to pick another book.
Otherwise, the book was entertaining and a bit thought-provoking. You'll never look at your lawn in the same way ever again!
This was a fascinating book. Jacob Kuisl is the hangman of the town of Schongau, some years after the infamous Schongau witch trials. When two children are murdered under mysterious circumstances, the town midwife is accused of witchcraft. While Kuisl believes that the midwife is innocent, he must do his duty or lose his position. The book moves slowly in spots, but builds to an exciting finish. The details of town life, medicine, the aftermath of war, etc. give the book life and dimension. I highly recommend it.
Danger - do not read / listen to this book unless you want to become addicted to life on the Disc.
The Colour of Magic introduces the Discworld in the person of its most inept "wizzard", Rincewind, who is pressed into tour guide duty for Ankh-Morpork's first tourist, the gentle and oblivious Twoflower. Along the way, the hapless pair run into sentient luggage, imaginary dragons, fire insurance, the color octorine, geriatric barbarians, and other memorable characters. This isn't the strongest book in the series, but it's a good beginning. Two thumbs up!
There's not a great deal of depth here, but that's not the point - it's a survey of what went on in Europe and Asia. But it is interesting and balanced. However, the narrator is both dry and dull. A different narrator, with a bit of life in his narration, would have made for a much better listen.
I got this one last year, and it's back on my player for this Christmas. In short - it's wonderful. Tim Curry is a surprisingly wonderful reader for this classic tale of redemption - he adds just the right amount of creepiness. Love it!
I love all of the Tiffany Aching series, and this third entry doesn't disappoint. The now 13-year-old apprentice witch learns to deal with death, rivalry, romance, humanity, broom flying, holding herself accountable for her own actions, icebergs, and sentient cheese. Unfortunately, like all of these books, it's too darned short! The narrator is wonderful. Enjoy!
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