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Catherine

West Fargo, ND, USA | Member Since 2004

21
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 7 reviews
  • 28 ratings
  • 342 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • Hannibal Rising

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Thomas Harris
    • Narrated By Thomas Harris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (635)
    Performance
    (213)
    Story
    (213)

    Hannibal Lecter emerges from the nightmare of the Eastern Front, a boy in the snow, mute, with a chain around his neck. He seems utterly alone, but he has brought his demons with him. Hannibal's uncle, a noted painter, finds him in a Soviet orphanage and brings him to France, where Hannibal will live with his uncle and his uncle's beautiful and exotic wife, Lady Murasaki.

    Terry says: "Needs Professional Voice"
    "Interesting"
    Overall

    I liked the idea of hearing about what made Hannibal the sociopath, it was interesting how Thomas Harris portrayed him as a severely damaged child. The book was a bit disjointed, and it was difficult sometimes to keep track of all the names (being a visual person, I have a much easier time reading when there are lots of characters). The one major downfall was actually the narrator, and while I know it was the author himself, his southern accent really threw me off when I was trying to get into a Eastern European story, and his French and German accents were even more distracting. I appreciate his involvement, but I think another narrator would have served better. It is a good book, however, and I recommend it.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Storm Glass

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Maria V. Snyder
    • Narrated By Jennifer Van Dyck
    Overall
    (430)
    Performance
    (195)
    Story
    (197)

    As a glassmaker and a magician-in-training, Opal Cowen understands trial by fire. Now it's time to test her mettle. Someone has sabotaged the Stormdancer clan's glass orbs, killing their most powerful magicians. The Stormdancers--particularly the mysterious and mercurial Kade--require Opal's unique talents to prevent it happening again. But when the mission goes awry, Opal must tap in to a new kind of magic as stunningly potent as it is frightening.

    Amazon Customer says: "Interesting character, no Gabra"
    "Pronunciation Problems"
    Overall

    If you're going to have a different narrator for a series set in the same universe, at least coordinate the word pronunciations!! I had trouble, coming from the Study books, figuring out what a few things were when pronounced--I have never actually seen the words written since I listened to the Study books as well, so it was very distracting. And the way that the narrator mispronounces "sai," the Okinawan weapon, as "say". If there is going to be a mispronounciation, it shouldn't be with a "real" word. Also, there seems to be a section missing--suddenly Opal's dreams take a major part in the story, but I don't remember hearing about them until what seems like the middle of a plot thread. It is right between the 2nd and 3rd sections of Part 2--it seems to jump and be disconnected. I am not sure if this is a book editing problem or an audiobook problem. The story is interesting enough to keep me going, though :-) Good light fantasy/mystery/romance.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Medicus: A Novel of the Roman Empire

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Ruth Downie
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (907)
    Performance
    (485)
    Story
    (487)

    Gaius Petrius Ruso is a divorced and down-on-his-luck army doctor who has made the rash decision to seek his fortune in an inclement outpost of the Roman Empire, namely Britannia. After a 36-hour shift at the army hospital, he succumbs to a moment of weakness and rescues an injured slave girl, Tilla, from the hands of her abusive owner. And before he knows it, Ruso is caught in the middle of an investigation into the deaths of prostitutes working out of the local bar.

    Lehua says: "Took Me by Surprise"
    "Entertaining"
    Overall

    Entertaining--not historically accurate, but the main character is determinedly grumpy and yet a softie on the inside! I'd love to see a continuation of the series, it was worth listening to.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Ill-Made Mute: The Bitterbynde, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Cecilia Dart-Thornton
    • Narrated By Kris Faulkner
    Overall
    (94)
    Performance
    (25)
    Story
    (26)

    The Stormriders land their splendid winged stallions on the airy battlements of Isse Tower. Far below, the superstitious servants who dwell in the fortress' lower depths tell ghastly tales of evil creatures inhabiting the world outside, a world they have only glimpsed. Yet it is the least of the lowly, a mute, scarred, and utterly despised foundling, who dares to scale the Tower, sneak aboard a Windship, and then dive from the sky.

    A User says: "Great listening"
    "Slow starting"
    Overall

    I almost gave up on this book, the first half was disjointed and wandering, full of overblown descriptions that lost me, and the author often mentions something foreign and takes her time explaining what importance it has--and when you're creating another world with new materials and customs, it gets confusing when you don't explain what the new things are for a while. The narrator as well drove me crazy--she mispronounced all sorts of words, and at first I thought "oh, it's just another British narrator using a less familiar pronunciation" but then I realized that only the characters had UK accents--the narrator herself was American! Dart-Thornton uses 100 dollar words too much. I think her true desire is to write poetry and so she inserts as much as she can into her writing. So that is why I gave it a 3 star rating. The second half got much better, although characters amazingly escape their unseighly wight foes without weapons or much forethought. It kept me entertained enough, though, that I am going to listen to the next book...

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Obsession: An Alex Delaware Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Jonathan Kellerman
    • Narrated By John Rubinstein
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (424)
    Performance
    (77)
    Story
    (77)

    Tanya Bigelow was a solemn little girl when Dr. Alex Delaware successfully treated her obsessive-compulsive symptoms. Now, at 19, Patty Bigelow, Tanya's aunt and adoptive mother, has made a deathbed confession of murder and urged the young woman to seek Delaware's help.

    Joan says: "It's a Sad Day When..."
    "Kellerman used to be a sure thing..."
    Overall

    I was disappointed with this book. I automatically get all the Alex Delaware books because they have twists and turns and are mentally stimulating, but this one tanked. They figure out who the bad guy is halfway through, then they have to repetitively go over his psyche and rehash it and "look" for him when they don't seem to be doing anything very hard. You think that there might be a twist, but there isn't. And then it is over, without Alex or Milo really doing anything. I recently tried to listen to one of Kellerman's son's books, and I felt like it had the same slow plot where you're just waiting to get to the conclusion. I didn't even finish that one.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Poison Study

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Maria V. Snyder
    • Narrated By Gabra Zackman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2237)
    Performance
    (983)
    Story
    (988)

    About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve. She'll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace, and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia. And so Yelena chooses to become a food taster.

    A says: "Fantasy, with a touch of romance."
    "Great Fantasy"
    Overall

    I do love a good "hero-in-training" fantasy novel! This book was a ton of fun to listen to, and I loved the narrator--she had good voices for everyone, although the accents did seem to vary a lot in one country--a british accent for Valek, an American one for the Commander, and a russian/slavic accent for the main antagonist (sorry, not going to try and spell the name that I've only heard :-)) Good twists, fun characters, and a strong heroine that I enjoy hearing about. I'm in the middle of Magic Study, and I just looked up the next book and I am disappointed it won't be out until March 2008. This is a great book in the style of Robin Hobb, but not quite as dark. Keep writing, Ms. Snyder!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Naked in Baghdad: The Iraq War as Seen by National Public Radio's Correspondent

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Anne Garrels
    • Narrated By Anne Garrels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (670)
    Performance
    (107)
    Story
    (107)

    One of only sixteen unembedded American journalists who stayed in Baghdad's now-legendary Palestine Hotel throughout the American invasion of Iraq, NPR's Anne Garrels was at the very center of the storm. She brings us the sights, sounds, and smells of our latest war with unparalleled vividness and immediacy.

    Native Texan says: "My favorite book of the year!"
    "A Different Perspective..."
    Overall

    As an Army officer who was in Baghdad six months after this book took place, I recognized a lot of the places she was talking about (the hotel she was in was across the Tigris from my post) and understood some of the situations she encountered. This book was a different look at the same world I was in, and my husband (who was also in Baghdad) and I really enjoyed listening to it. It was interesting to see what life was like in Baghdad before the occupation, and what the initial battles were like from the journalist's point of view. Her husband's emails were very eloquent; I almost looked forward to them as much as the rest of the story! An interesting look at Baghdad before, during, and after the American troops arrived.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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