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Rachelle

Member Since 2008

151
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 37 reviews
  • 164 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 23 purchased in 2014
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9

  • Great North Road

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Peter F. Hamilton
    • Narrated By Toby Longworth
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (924)
    Performance
    (837)
    Story
    (846)

    A century from now, thanks to a technology allowing instantaneous travel across light-years, humanity has solved its energy shortages, cleaned up the environment, and created far-flung colony worlds. The keys to this empire belong to the powerful North family - composed of successive generations of clones. Yet these clones are not identical. For one thing, genetic errors have crept in with each generation. For another, the original three clone "brothers" have gone their separate ways, and the branches of the family are now friendly rivals more than allies. Or maybe not so friendly....

    Flapjack says: "Get the Timeline and Cast of Characters"
    "I was already a Hamilton fan, so maybe I'm biased"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Absolutely; it was a lovely listen. I enjoyed the story, and really enjoyed the narration. Anyone who's read some of Hamilton's other epics will likely enjoy this one; he has the ability to make a reader understand the technology he's writing about without a lot of explanation, and builds characters who are interesting and flawed and fun, all at the same time.

    Some parts of the book drag out a little, as is wont to happen in a Peter Hamilton novel, but you take the bad with the good.


    What other book might you compare Great North Road to and why?

    No comparisons spring immediately to mind.


    What about Toby Longworth’s performance did you like?

    Excellent narration, great pacing, great characterization.


    Any additional comments?

    Absolutely worth the credit, particularly for people who liked the pacing of the Commonwealth Saga.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Shatter Me

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Tahereh Mafi
    • Narrated By Kate Simses
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (760)
    Performance
    (691)
    Story
    (696)

    "You can't touch me," I whisper. I'm lying, is what I don't tell him. He can touch me, is what I'll never tell him. But things happen when people touch me. Strange things. Bad things. No one knows why Juliette's touch is fatal, but The Reestablishment has plans for her. Plans to use her as a weapon. But Juliette has plans of her own.

    Amanda says: "Don't let the sample fool you - So Good!"
    ""My bones are breaking" quoth the protaganist."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about Shatter Me?

    Where to begin. The overblown prose. The repetition of phrases like "my bones are breaking" and all it's possible variances - "my legs are broken", "my legs are breaking", "my spine is breaking", "my spine cracks", "every bone in my body breaks". And the melting - "I'm melting", "I melt", "my body melts". And the descriptions of a supporting characters eyes, which are "buckets of rainwater" "buckets of water" "buckets of river water, and I want to cry into them".

    Whoever produced this book also made the rather crazy decision to include a sound effect between nearly every sentence; it's like an indrawn whooping gasp, like the sound you make when a car runs over your foot. At one point, early on, the narrator repeats "I'm not insane" over and over, with that sucking sound between each repetition, for a little over 30 seconds. It doesn't sound like a lot of time, but when you're listening to it, 30 seconds is a torturously long stretch.


    What was most disappointing about Tahereh Mafi’s story?

    The protagonist is a sniveling, whiny mess, who falls instantly in love with a boy. I'm not saying the girl has no right to snivel and whine, but it makes for dull, frustrating reading.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Yes. I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing, though.


    What character would you cut from Shatter Me?

    Nobody needs to be cut, just edited.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm so glad that Audible has introduced the ability to get a refund on books, because this was a complete waste of my credit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ghosts of Bungo Suido

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By P. T. Deutermann
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    Overall
    (52)
    Performance
    (48)
    Story
    (49)

    In late 1944, America’s recapture of the Philippines is jeopardized by what seems an insurmountable threat from Japan: immense Yamato-class battleships, which dwarf every other ship at sea. Built in total secrecy, these 76,000-ton warships seem invincible. American military intelligence knows of two such ships, but there are rumors of a third, built not as a battleship but as an aircraft carrier. Now ready to go operational from Japan’s heavily defended and mined Inland Sea, a carrier of that size could disrupt the entire invasion effort.

    Robert says: "If you like WWII Submarine Adventure - your gonna"
    "As always, a great adventure from P.T. Deutermann!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I've been a very big fan of this author's work for a long time, so I recommend him to anyone I know who likes this particular genre. His books are interesting, well, written, and though fictional, do a lovely job of showing what the world was like during the war.


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

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    Worth a credit, worth a listen!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Serpent and the Pearl: Borgias, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Kate Quinn
    • Narrated By Leila Birch, Maria Elena Infantino, Ronan Vibert
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (73)
    Performance
    (67)
    Story
    (67)

    Rome, 1492: The Holy City is drenched with blood and teeming with secrets. A pope lies dying and the throne of God is left vacant, a prize awarded only to the most virtuous - or the most ruthless. The Borgia family begins its legendary rise, chronicled by an innocent girl who finds herself drawn into their dangerous web.... Vivacious Giulia Farnese has floor-length golden hair and the world at her feet: beauty, wealth, and a handsome young husband. But she is stunned to discover that her glittering marriage is a sham.

    Linda Lou says: "VERY INTERESTING TAKE ON THE BORGIAS"
    "This was a pleasant surprise!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Serpent and the Pearl the most enjoyable?

    I often struggle with buying audiobooks from first time writers, because I've been burned way too often. Thus, I bought this book with really low expectations, and was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it.

    I think the best part of it was the choice to have multiple narrators. I found it exceptionally wonderful to listen to these three narrate this story, and what's more, it really complements the way author wrote each character both as they see themselves, and as others see them. That's a clumsy way to describe it, but when you hear it, it will make perfect sense.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I don't read historical fiction so that I can learn about history, but I really do enjoy being able to get a sense of a place and time other than my own here and now. This book does a wonderful job of taking you then and there, and shows you what life is like from more than one point of view.


    Any additional comments?

    Worth a credit, worth a listen, and looking forward to book 2!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • 11-22-63: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Craig Wasson
    Overall
    (17241)
    Performance
    (15314)
    Story
    (15267)

    On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas, President Kennedy died, and the world changed. What if you could change it back? In this brilliantly conceived tour de force, Stephen King - who has absorbed the social, political, and popular culture of his generation more imaginatively and thoroughly than any other writer - takes listeners on an incredible journey into the past and the possibility of altering it.

    Kelly says: "I Owe Stephen King An Apology"
    "Why did I wait so long?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about 11-22-63?

    When this book first came out, I somehow got the idea that it was about the Kennedy assassination, and was one of the author's essays, even though it was classed as fiction.

    I am a moron.

    Though the Kennedy assassination is the backdrop for this book, ultimately, this is King, probably at his very best. I've been reading SK novels since I was really, really young, and the thing that's always struck me is how easy it is to develop a "relationship" with King's characters, even the throwaway one or two paragraph characters (like Victor Pascow from Pet Sematary).

    The characters in this book are ALL like that. They matter. I can't describe it any better than that. Even though they're almost all fictional, these people matter, and could really exist.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Probably the tiny little crossover with the book IT, where the protagonist from this novel crosses paths with some of the characters from that novel.


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

    He was the perfect choice for this book. Perfect.


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

    Both, at different times.


    Any additional comments?

    Worth a credit, worth a listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Origin: A Technothriller

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By J. A. Konrath
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    Overall
    (374)
    Performance
    (344)
    Story
    (347)

    When linguist Andrew Dennison is yanked from his bed by the Secret Service and taken to a top secret facility in the desert, he has no idea he’s been brought there to translate the words of an ancient demon. He joins pretty but cold veterinarian Sun Jones, eccentric molecular biologist Dr. Frank Belgium, and a hodge-podge of religious, military, and science personnel to try and figure out if the creature is, indeed, Satan. But things quickly go bad, and very soon Andy isn’t just fighting for his life, but the lives of everyone on earth.

    Nathan says: "Awesome!"
    "Huge disappointment"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Has Origin turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No. The problem isn't the genre, and really, the book had great potential, except for two things; one, this is NOT, by any stretch of the imagination, a technothriller - if that's what you're after, try Daniel Suarez' Daemon. The second issue, I'll explain later.


    What about Luke Daniels’s performance did you like?

    Luke Daniels did a fantastic job with all of the voices, particularly with Bub.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Frustration. The second part of the reason I think this book is a failure is that the pacing is really messed up, and the characters are a bunch of selfish morons.

    The protagonist is a linguist who speaks 30 languages, but the day he shows up, before he does a single thing, suddenly the reason he's been called there evaporates. There is literally no reason for the protagonist to be a skilled linguist. He could have been a cook or an architect and the story would have been pretty much the same.

    The way the characters are developed is pretty good, and the prose is also pretty good, but the whole book has the feeling of being hugely abridged; we spend the first half of the book learning who these people are and why they do what they do, and then they start dying gruesome, quick deaths. This only works if you are George RR Martin, and even then, it feels like a waste of my time.

    Pretty much every single character there does something incredibly, irretrievably idiotic, tantamount to hearing a scream from the basement and going downstairs armed with a hairbrush.


    Any additional comments?

    Luke Daniels is a really great narrator; I look forward to picking up other books read by him!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Martian

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Andy Weir
    • Narrated By R. C. Bray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5941)
    Performance
    (5646)
    Story
    (5656)

    Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?"

    Brian says: "Duct tape is magic and should be worshiped"
    "Seriously good fun!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does The Martian rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It's probably in the top ten, and over the years, I've probably purchased about 400 or so.


    What other book might you compare The Martian to and why?

    I'm not entirely sure this IS comparable to anything. I suppose, if anything, it could be the bastard child of Kim Stanley Robinson's Red Mars and Packing For Mars by Mary Roach. Good (enough for fiction) science, a funny, interesting story, with a perfectly chosen narrator.


    Have you listened to any of R. C. Bray’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Not sure, but he does a fantastic job here!


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

    Yes.


    Any additional comments?

    If you've ever seen the movie Apollo 13, there's one scene where the engineers on Earth are sitting in a room when some people come in with cardboard boxes and dump them on the table and say "This is what they have on the spacecraft - make air scrubbers out of it." This book is essentially a longer version of that - problem solving your way off of a hostile planet. It is incredibly well done, and I've recommended it to everyone I've talked to lately.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Six Wives of Henry VIII

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Alison Weir
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    Overall
    (296)
    Performance
    (262)
    Story
    (263)

    This acclaimed best seller from popular historian Alison Weir is a fascinating look at the Tudor family dynasty and its most infamous ruler. The Six Wives of Henry VIII brings to life England’s oft-married monarch and the six wildly different but equally fascinating women who married him. Gripping from the first sentence to the last and loaded with fascinating details, Weir’s rich history is a perfect blend of scholarship and entertainment.

    Amazon Customer says: "Good Narration, Great Historical Account"
    "A nice companion to fictional novels of the era"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Six Wives of Henry VIII in three words, what would they be?

    Facts Are Fun!


    What did you like best about this story?

    I appreciated that the book was based on historical facts, but not dry and uninteresting.


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

    Great as always!


    Any additional comments?

    Though this book is non-fiction, the facts are still so interesting that it's occasionally hard to believe that these things actually happened.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Mindstar Rising: The Greg Mandel Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Peter F. Hamilton
    • Narrated By Toby Longworth
    Overall
    (765)
    Performance
    (693)
    Story
    (688)

    It's the 21st century, and global warming is here to stay, so forget the way your country used to look. And get used to the free market, too – the companies possess all the best hardware, and they're calling the shots now. In a world like this, a man open to any offers can make out just fine. A man like Greg Mandel for instance, who's psi-boosted, wired into the latest sensory equipment, carrying state-of-the-art weaponry – and late of the English Army's Mindstar Battalion.

    Michael G. Kurilla says: "Portrait of a SciFi master as a novice"
    "Another great Hamilton listen!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Mindstar Rising again? Why?

    I don't think so. The book is great, and the narration is excellent, but it isn't the sort of book that makes you THINK. Several of the authors' other stories are worth listening to several times, because they're complex and layered, and you always hear something a little different the second and third times you listen.

    This book isn't like that; it's satisfying as it is, but not complex enough to require a second listen.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The fact that this book was released in 1993, right around the time that cell phones first hit the retail market, and yet the technology in it feels very "now".


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

    Being that I'm not British, I'm not sure how authentic any of his accents are, but to my Canadian ear, they SOUND perfect, and every character is distinguishable from the others.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Written in Red: A Novel of the Others

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Anne Bishop
    • Narrated By Alexandra Harris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (962)
    Performance
    (889)
    Story
    (897)

    As a cassandra sangue, or blood prophet, Meg Corbyn can see the future when her skin is cut - a gift that feels more like a curse. Meg's Controller keeps her enslaved so he can have full access to her visions. But when she escapes, the only safe place Meg can hide is at the Lakeside Courtyard - a business district operated by the Others. Shape-shifter Simon Wolfgard is reluctant to hire the stranger who inquires about the Human Liaison job.

    Angela says: "WOW!!!!! JUST WOW!"
    "Everyone is unlikeable."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The characters are shallow; the reader isn't given any reason to care about them or like them, or root for them. The protagonist is a Disney princess; she's saccharine sweet and frightened (for a good cause, I should add) but shallow as a pond.

    I think the most distressing thing about the book is that it had SO MUCH POTENTIAL. The world is interesting, and the protagonists' powers are interesting. When a story has this much potential, and falls short, it's harder to deal with than if everything about the book sucked.


    Has Written in Red turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No, but I won't read any follow-ups by the same author. At first, I appreciated the fact that the story is about a scared young woman trying to find sanctuary, and that the world isn't full of supernatural characters trying to mate with humans. But nobody in the story is, in any way, likeable, except perhaps one abused little wolf-boy.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Alexandra Harris?

    I didn't mind the narrator at all. I'd definitely listen to her again.


    Did Written in Red inspire you to do anything?

    Not purchase any more books by this author.


    7 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Blood Trade: Jane Yellowrock, Book 6

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Faith Hunter
    • Narrated By Khristine Hvam
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (999)
    Performance
    (901)
    Story
    (897)

    The Master of Natchez, Mississippi has a nasty problem on his hands. Rogue vampires - those who follow the Naturaleza and believe that humans should be nothing more than prey to be hunted - are terrorizing his city. Luckily, he knows the perfect skinwalker to call in to take back the streets. But what he doesn’t tell Jane is that there’s something different about these vamps. Something that makes them harder to kill - even for a pro like Jane.

    Amazon Customer says: "Wow, Jane does it again!"
    "Another solid Yellowrock book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What other book might you compare Blood Trade to and why?

    A lot of people compare Jane Yellowrock to characters like Anita Blake and Rachel Morgan. On the surface, they're all strong women with supernatural powers. Dig a little deeper, though, and you quickly realize that Anita and Rachel hate themselves, hate their lives, and have "friends" who only really want to have sex with them. Supernatural urban fiction is a pretty shallow pond; it's all sex and power.

    On the other hand, Jane likes herself, likes her life, knows she could do better, but doesn't let her angst dictate her attitude. In other words, she's a beautifully written character with flaws and ugly bits, and a great deal of honor. It's refreshing to read a story about a character who doesn't just flounder from bad decision to bad decision.


    What about Khristine Hvam’s performance did you like?

    I can't say that I love her performance; she really hits the southern twang a little too hard; it should sound relaxed and laid back, but it sounds really hard and jarring. Other than her accent, though, her voice is perfectly suited to the character.


    Any additional comments?

    Well worth the credit.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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