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Nicole

nikchick

Seattle, WA, United States | Member Since 2005

19
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 18 reviews
  • 162 ratings
  • 579 titles in library
  • 43 purchased in 2014
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  • A Fistful of Collars: A Chet and Bernie Mystery, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Spencer Quinn
    • Narrated By Jim Frangione
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (422)
    Performance
    (365)
    Story
    (365)

    Hoping to bring some Tinseltown money to the Valley, the mayor lures a movie studio to town to shoot their next production, a big-budget Western in the classic tradition. The star is none other than ruggedly handsome—and notoriously badly behaved—Thad Perry. When the mayor decides that someone needs to keep an eye on Thad so that he doesn’t get into too much trouble, Bernie and Chet are handpicked for the job. The money is good but something smells fishy....

    Doreen says: "I love Chet!"
    "Still cute"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This series remains cute and funny, even in the face of some of Chet's limited and almost over-used catch phrases. Just when I think it's going to be too much I find myself chuckling. I'm a soft touch when it comes to Chet, I guess.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Amulet of Samarkand: The Bartimaeus Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Jonathan Stroud
    • Narrated By Simon Jones
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2128)
    Performance
    (949)
    Story
    (954)

    Nathaniel is eleven-years-old and a magician's apprentice, learning the traditional art of magic. All is well until he has a life-changing encounter with Simon Lovelace, a magician of unrivaled ruthlessness and ambition. When Lovelace brutally humiliates Nathaniel in public, Nathaniel decides to speed up his education, teaching himself spells far beyond his years. With revenge on his mind, he masters one of the toughest spells of all and summons Bartimaeus, a five-thousand-year-old djinni, to assist him.

    Randy says: "Terrific Trilogy"
    "Narration is everything"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    The reader of this audiobook really made the difference. I listened to this book with my daughter and we both loved it. Written with humor, an engrossing alternate world and charming (or appropriately galling) characters, it's brought to life all the more by the excellent characterizations provided by the reader. Loved it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Tin Roof Blowdown: A Dave Robicheaux Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By James Lee Burke
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2479)
    Performance
    (653)
    Story
    (640)

    Dave Robicheaux returns in another Bayou adventure, this one more gruesome and gut-wrenching than any that have come before. Hurricane Katrina has ravaged New Orleans, leaving the streets and buildings flooded and the city awash with opportunists, looters, and vicious criminals. There is no order, no law. Police are shooting randomly at innocent people, prison guards have abandoned their posts, and bodies float through the streets and hang from trees.

    Deborah says: "How Does One Manage?"
    "My (late) introduction to the series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I'd not read any of the other books in the series, merely picked this up because it was well-rated and I was looking for something new. I found the audiobook version to be just what I needed. The reader was excellent, the backdrop of Louisiana in the wake of hurricanes Katrina and Rita compelling and the crime story/mystery itself engaging.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Golem's Eye: The Bartimaeus Trilogy, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Jonathan Stroud
    • Narrated By Simon Jones
    Overall
    (1577)
    Performance
    (711)
    Story
    (720)

    Two years have passed since young apprentice magician Nathaniel became famous by foiling the ruthless Simon Lovelace. Now 14, Nathaniel is ambitiously climbing the ranks of the magicians' government. The Prime Minister himself has placed Nathaniel in charge of capturing the Resistance, a group of unruly commoners working to undermine the magicians' empire. But after several failed attempts, Nathaniel is forced to admit he can't do it alone.

    Richard says: "great fun"
    "Witty and clever"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Witty and clever, book two in the trilogy expands the greater world and the players from the first book. Bartimaeus is a particularly entertaining as the perspective shifts from him as a character to his own self-serving and hilarious narrations. A great story to share with my kid and an easy to love work of fantasy fiction in its own right.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Zora Neale Hurston
    • Narrated By Ruby Dee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (995)
    Performance
    (540)
    Story
    (536)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Zora Neale Hurston’s classic novel begs to be read aloud, and Ruby Dee answers the challenge with utter perfection, capturing the wide range of characters and their diverse accents with grace and power. Their Eyes Were Watching God is the luminous and haunting novel about Janie Crawford, a Southern Black woman in the 1930s, whose journey from a free-spirited girl to a woman of independence and substance has inspired writers and readers for close to 70 years.

    Leslie says: "a pleasure"
    "Audible made all the difference for this story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I tried to read this book in my early 20s but having grown up in white-white Minnesota, I just couldn't get my head around the heavy dialect of the book and gave up. This time through I gave the audiobook a try and that really made a huge difference. I'm extremely impressed with how well this novel stands up after almost 75 years and I'm very glad I came back to it all these years later.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Water for Elephants

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Sara Gruen
    • Narrated By David LeDoux, John Randolph Jones
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (13671)
    Performance
    (6060)
    Story
    (6140)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Some books are meant to be read; others are meant to be heard – Water for Elephants falls into the second group, and is one of the best examples we have of how a powerful performance enhances a great story. Nonagenarian Jacob Jankowski reflects back on his wild and wondrous days with a circus. It's the Depression Era and Jacob, finding himself parentless and penniless, joins the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth.

    Kindle Customer says: "Great Narration!!"
    "Rounding up to 5"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Really loved the readers in this book. I'm not sure what I expected before I started, maybe something heavier. I thought this story was appropriately poignant and serious but also light-hearted, hilarious, and genuine without being maudlin. I wish I could rate it 4.5 because it's a really good story, definitely not four-stars but I feel funny about rating it a full five. It's close, though. Very close. Enjoyed it very much.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • To Fetch a Thief: A Chet and Bernie Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Spencer Quinn
    • Narrated By Jim Frangione
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (634)
    Performance
    (432)
    Story
    (436)

    Spencer Quinn’s quirky, best-selling tales from the four-legged perspective of K-9 school dropout Chet are unlike anything else in the mystery genre. In this third adventure, Chet once again teams with his two-legged detective partner Bernie Little to sniff out the clues in a perplexing case.

    Sally says: "Good listen. Again."
    "Light-hearted"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This series is good for cute, light reading. I find myself grinning at Chet's narration and Quinn strikes the right balance of keeping Chet smart and yet still fundamentally a dog who can't quite help himself from being won over by treats and praise or overcome by tangential thoughts of why anyone would *save* bacon or chasing wild geese when humans start talking in metaphors.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • In the Woods

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Tana French
    • Narrated By Steven Crossley
    Overall
    (5053)
    Performance
    (3079)
    Story
    (3079)

    As dusk approaches a small Dublin suburb in the summer of 1984, mothers begin to call their children home. But on this warm evening, three children do not return from the dark and silent woods. When the police arrive, they find only one of the children, unable to recall a single detail of the previous hours.

    Twenty years later, the found boy, Rob Ryan, is a detective on the Dublin Murder Squad and keeps his past a secret. But when a 12-year-old girl is found murdered in the same woods, he and Detective Cassie Maddox find themselves investigating a case chillingly similar to the previous unsolved mystery.

    Amazon Customer says: "A near-flawless audiobook (but for one thing...)"
    "Such a strong start, until..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I enjoyed this book right up to the point that the main character started acting irredeemably stupidly and obnoxiously. Unfortunately, I wasn't nearly as fooled or shocked at the big reveal as the main character and that really brought the book to an unsatisfactory conclusion for me. That said, I very much enjoyed the trip almost all the way to the end and if not for the feeling of frustration at not being able to follow the main character all the way through, I would have given this book 4 stars or more.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Windup Girl

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Paolo Bacigalupi
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3602)
    Performance
    (1983)
    Story
    (1995)

    Anderson Lake is a company man, AgriGen's Calorie Man in Thailand. Under cover as a factory manager, Anderson combs Bangkok's street markets in search of foodstuffs thought to be extinct, hoping to reap the bounty of history's lost calories. There, he encounters Emiko...Emiko is the Windup Girl, a strange and beautiful creature. One of the New People, Emiko is not human; instead, she is an engineered being, creche-grown and programmed to satisfy the decadent whims of a Kyoto businessman.

    Marius says: "Al Gore nightmare meets Blade Runner."
    "I found myself caring, almost in spite of myself"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I took a while to warm up to this book but in the end I couldn't escape the future world Bacigalupi so vividly describes. I found myself caring, almost in spite of myself, about characters that ranged from misguided to unsavory to loathsome to tragic. I found the fantastical post-petroleum world of genetically engineered crops, creatures and plagues to be as haunting as Blade Runner's world of hovercars, slums and clones. In the end I found it a great new take on a science fiction future. I'll definitely read whatever Bacigalupi writes next.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: The Millennium Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Stieg Larsson
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (23674)
    Performance
    (10260)
    Story
    (10340)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: How do you one-up a book that’s already a global literary phenomenon? Hire Simon Vance to (flawlessly) interpret the loves, lives, and murders of Sweden’s cold and secret-filled world. A spellbinding amalgam of murder mystery, family saga, love story, and financial intrigue. It's about the disappearance 40 years ago of Harriet Vanger, a young scion of one of the wealthiest families in Sweden.

    Pamela Murphy says: "COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN"
    "Slow to start"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    After a slow start I got into the book and kept picking up speed and interest like a train finally coming up to speed. Set in Sweden, all the references to coffee and aquavit, the summer cabins on coast and the freezing winters made me "homesick" for Finland and even the Scandinavian sentiments and trappings of northern Minnesota. The author succeeded in eliciting strong responses from me throughout the book and made me also care for the characters. I was sorry to learn the author died in early middle age and did not get to finish his planned series. In the end, I liked this book very much.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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