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Jody

Austin, TX, United States | Member Since 2004

55
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 13 reviews
  • 50 ratings
  • 264 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • The Ruby in the Smoke: Sally Lockhart Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Philip Pullman
    • Narrated By Anton Lesser
    Overall
    (564)
    Performance
    (180)
    Story
    (182)

    In search of clues to the mystery of her father's death, 16-year-old Sally Lockhart ventures into the shadowy underworld of Victorian London. Pursued by villains at every turn, the intrepid Sally finally uncovers two dark mysteries, and realizes that she herself is the key to both.

    Bonita says: "A Must Read For All Ages"
    "Great reader, a few holes in the plot"
    Overall

    I rate books I listen to (rather than read) by reader first, plot second. The reader, Anton Lesser, was outstanding. His voices differentiated the characters very well for me, and in the case of the Mrs. Holland character, her oozing evil actually sent a shiver down my spine. The plot has a few holes in it. Characters who are supposed to be in hiding allow themselves to be photographed for widely-distributed stereopticon pictures. Not smart. But over all, I loved the story, especially the bravery and resourcefulness of the main character.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • The Winter Sea

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Susanna Kearsley
    • Narrated By Rosalyn Landor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2750)
    Performance
    (2311)
    Story
    (2316)

    History has all but forgotten.... In the spring of 1708, an invading Jacobite fleet of French and Scottish soldiers nearly succeeded in landing the exiled James Stewart in Scotland to reclaim his crown. Now, Carrie McClelland hopes to turn that story into her next best-selling novel. Settling herself in the shadow of Slains Castle, she creates a heroine named for one of her own ancestors and starts to write. But then she discovers her novel is more fact than fiction....

    Martha says: "Get Out Your Hankies"
    "One of the best books I've ever listened to!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I almost didn't choose this book because of the narrator. In the other books I've listened to that she's narrated, her voice has been cool and distant, and the subject matter dreary. But I was intrigued by the plot of The Winter Sea, so I took a chance. I'm so glad I did! I have completely changed my mind about Rosalyn Landor's narration. She had a difficult task in this book - multiple characters of both genders from two different time periods, speaking with Canadian, modern Scots, older Scots, Scots Doric, and even French accents - and she got them all dead on as far as I was concerned. She made each of the characters come alive, and it was one of the few times I've actually teared up while listening to a book.

    The book itself was very well-written and seems to have been well-researched. I had a quibble with events that occurred in a couple of places, but I won't mention them here - it's possible I missed a detail each time that made them more credible. And take note the sex is definitely PG - there is sex, but it is not described, only implied. But it in no way takes away from the love stories between the characters - you still feel the full impact of their love for each other.

    I really, really enjoyed this experience - and will probably listen to it again in the future!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Agnes and the Hitman

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Jennifer Crusie, Bob Mayer
    • Narrated By Sandra Burr
    Overall
    (605)
    Performance
    (323)
    Story
    (327)

    Agnes Crandall's life goes awry when a dognapper invades her kitchen one night, seriously hampering her attempts to put on a wedding that she's staked her entire net worth on. Then a hero climbs through her bedroom window. His name is Shane - no last name, just Shane - and he has his own problems.

    Sharon11675 says: "Ditzy Agnes?"
    "Funny and different!"
    Overall

    I'm always a bit skeptical when I see two authors have paired up to write one book, but in this case, it worked. Jennifer Crusie's great characters and humor, but with an edge to it that makes it very different. The narrator does a great job, too, wtih all the different voices. Totally improbable plot, but I enjoyed it nonetheless!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Little Stranger

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Sarah Waters
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    Overall
    (385)
    Performance
    (151)
    Story
    (147)

    The Little Stranger follows the strange adventures of Dr. Faraday, the son of a maid who has built a life of quiet respectability as a country doctor. One dusty postwar summer in his home of rural Warwickshire, he is called to a patient at Hundreds Hall. Home to the Ayres family for more than two centuries, the Georgian house, once grand and handsome, is now in decline - its masonry crumbling, its gardens choked with weeds, the clock in its stable yard permanently fixed at 20 to nine.

    Barbara says: "Riding a local train"
    "Creepy, but not in a good way"
    Overall

    To me, this book was big on promise and short on delivery. I love long, involved books as a rule, but this one seemed to drag on forever toward a very unsatisfying ending. What really made it a tough listen was how much I disliked the narrator, who was alternately pompous, obtuse, and condescending. Not a good introduction to Sara Waters.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Hunting Unicorns

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Bella Pollen
    • Narrated By Christopher Cazenove, Gabrielle de Cuir
    Overall
    (15)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    Rory, the youngest son, runs a business that rents out the grand mansions for weddings and tours to help the owners pay upkeep on their dilapidated estates. Enter Maggie, an American TV journalist sent to London to do an expose on the aristocracy. She hires Rory to get her access to the most private families. The two immediately clash, bickering until a romance springs up where it seemed least likely.

    Jody says: "I wish it had all been as good as the best parts"
    "I wish it had all been as good as the best parts"
    Overall

    I feel the burden of being the first to actually review this book on Audible. I liked the story line overall and was really struck by the graceful or funny way the author could write. But two issues were grating to me: the female narrator and the sloppy editng. The female narrator cannot do ANY other voices besides American female, and her wandering in and out of a fake - very fake - British accent was at first disconcerting and finally irritating. Especially because the male narrator was very good, flat American voice notwithstanding. In terms of editing, I can only guess that the author and the original publisher are British because that would acount for the really huge misses in the use - or no use - of American words or phrases in the female character's chapters. Not just the lack of the word "the" in "going to university" or "just got out of hospital," but other, even more basic ones like calling something a "tin" rather than a "can." Maybe it was partly the reason why I ultimately cared very much what happened to Rory but thought Maggie was irritating, unlikeable, and dumb.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Bone Garden

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Tess Gerritsen
    • Narrated By Susan Denaker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1182)
    Performance
    (361)
    Story
    (363)

    Julia Hamill has made a horrifying discovery on the grounds of her new home in rural Massachusetts: a skull buried in the rocky soil � human, female, and, according to the trained eye of Boston medical examiner Maura Isles, scarred with the unmistakable marks of murder.

    Book and Movie Lover says: "Back and forth through time"
    "Very glad I stuck with it"
    Overall

    I was not impressed with this book at the beginning. The writing seemed simplistic and unoriginal, and the reader's flat, emotionless voice was not something I looked forward to hearing for a long time. However, I was "trapped" in my car, so continued to listen. Once the story moved to 1830's Boston, both writing and reader improved immensely - especially the reader. Susan Deneker's ability with voices rivals Barbara Rosenblat, and from me, there's no higher accolade. I admit I had to fast-forward through some of the more gruesome descriptions, but overall, I really enjoyed the book, especially that it still held some surprises for me at the end.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Night Train to Memphis: The Fifth Vicky Bliss Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Peters
    • Narrated By Barbara Rosenblat
    Overall
    (231)
    Performance
    (101)
    Story
    (104)

    While on an all-expenses-paid cruise down the Nile, Vicky takes on a new case involving a plot to rob the Egyptian museum. With Sir John Smythe, reformed jewel thief and Vicky's lover, the prime suspect, she prepares for shipboard romance and a dash of intrigue.

    Judith says: "Vicky's Egypt trip is fun for Amelia fans"
    "Thank you, Barbara Rosenblat"
    Overall

    I have no doubt that if I had read Peters' Vicky Bliss series, rather than listened to it, I would not have enjoyed it half so much. But I was lucky to have listened to all of them, and by this last one, was totally in love with the series. Not so much with the main character, but who couldn't love Schmidt? And that's mostly due to Rosenblat's reading, I think. He came so amazingly and endearingly alive, and was such a perfect foil to Vicky and the Bad Guys. You could probably start with this last one and not miss much, but it really is fun to listen to the whole series, from the introduction (1st book? 2nd book?) of Schmidt to this very last book. This is one I'll keep and listen to again.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Perfect Bride

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Brenda Joyce
    • Narrated By Jennifer Van Dyck
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (159)
    Performance
    (34)
    Story
    (35)

    A childhood trauma has left Lady Blanche Harrington incapable of all emotion, least of all love. Now circumstance demands she marry, and Blanche dreads choosing from her horde of fawning suitors. For one very eligible gentleman has not stepped forward.

    Jody says: "Very irritating, but great sex scenes"
    "Very irritating, but great sex scenes"
    Overall

    I agree this was not a strong literary novel. Both the language used and references made seemed very post 1820's at times, which made the main characters' insistence that servants be respectful of "their betters" all the more jarring, especially for one character who was supposed to be the "kindest person in the world." But my real problem was with the main female character who, while being described in glowing terms as kind, generous, and sensitive, was willing to put the man she loved through hell, treating him in ways that she knew, through his revelations to her, would hurt him the most and the deepest. I found myself yelling at at my CD player more than once, and applauding the one time he responded back to her with true anger. I really wanted to shake her. Having said that, the sex scenes were absolutely wonderful. It was just very hard to believe that she would continue to act the way she did after the extreme closeness they shared during them, her little secret aside.
    The reader's style was also a little hard to take at first. Reading "Oh, pardon me!" and "she cried" as two separate sentences was a jolt each time she did it. But as time went on, she did much better.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Thing About Jane Spring

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Sharon Krum
    • Narrated By Pamela Dillman
    Overall
    (148)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (18)

    The thing about Jane Spring is...at 31, she has everything a woman could ask for and seemingly everything a man could long for - great legs, brains, rising star status in the Manhattan D.A.'s office - but she just can't find a man who'll fall madly in love with her. Men are always asking her out, but for some reason no one wants a second date.

    Jody says: "A very silly book"
    "A very silly book"
    Overall

    This is one of the silliest books I've ever listened to. The characters were cartoonish and the plot was so ridiculous that I couldn't suspend my belief long enough to really enjoy it. I kept listening, however, because I couldn't figure out how the author was going to pull all of this craziness together at the end. She did, but in a way that was very unsatisfying to me. I realize it was all supposed to be tongue-in-cheek, but did the wink have to be so big?

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Serpents Trail: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Sue Henry
    • Narrated By Lee Adams
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (34)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (9)

    At 63, Maxie is cruising down the Alaska Highway in her brand-new Winnebago. She's always been a gypsy at heart, and with her mini-dachshund at her side, and the open road ahead, she's never been happier. But before her exploration of the Lower 48 gets underway, Maxie needs to figure out who burglarized her friend's Colorado home, and why. But the closer Maxie gets to solving the puzzle, the more it becomes chillingly clear that her friend's life isn't the only one on the line.

    Jody says: "Maxie definitely doesn't leap to conclusions"
    "Maxie definitely doesn't leap to conclusions"
    Overall

    This is the second book in the series that I've listened to. What I like: the main character, Maxie, seems like a real person; the whole traveling by yourself life in a Winnebago is so fun to "ride along" on vicariously; and Stretch plays a pretty darn good second banana. What I don't like: at times, the narration sounds like a travelogue; at other times, a very boring monologue. The narrator can go into excruciating detail about a local landmark - I'm guessing to establish a sense of place - and what's tougher for me to take, can also go into excruciating detail about her inner thoughts on a barely relevant but not especially interesting topic just when the external action starts to pick up. And Maxie, because in some ways she is so slow and deliberate, can sometimes worry back and forth over a conclusion that seems so obvious. I find myself telling my CD player, "Duh - you think?" All in all, it's entertaining enough, but if you like your action to move along at a brisk pace, this author's style may drive you crazy.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Dead as a Doornail: Sookie Stackhouse Southern Vampire Mystery # 5

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Charlaine Harris
    • Narrated By Johanna Parker
    Overall
    (3755)
    Performance
    (1904)
    Story
    (1913)

    New York Times and USA Today best-selling author Charlaine Harris has won an Anthony Award for her one-of-a-kind Sookie Stackhouse mystery series. Sookie, a Louisiana cocktail waitress, skilled telepath, and friend to vampires, has a dedicated fan base that grows larger every day.

    Anne says: "Telepathic barmaid, shapeshifters, vampires!"
    "An unexpected delight"
    Overall

    This book was for me a happy mistake. I realized in the first few minutes of listening that I had not paid a lot of attention to the summary description, novels about vampires not being my usual choice. But its quirkiness kept me listening, and by the end of the first chapter, I was hooked. I am now listening to its sequel while simultaneously going back to read the first 4 books of the series, so I've been immersed in Sookie Stackhouse's life, and loved every minute of it. Like Diana Gabaldon, Harris's biggest strength is being able to create a real, down-to-earth, flawed main character who is a perfect complement to the outrageous story line, creating a believable world out of unbelievable pieces. It took a while for me to get used to the voice Johanna Parker gives to Sookie, but once I did, that became Sookie's voice throughout the books I read as well as listened to. Parker's success with the other characters' voices is a bit uneven, but considering how many voices she has to do within a book, she does an outstanding job overall. I'm about to finish listening to the sequel to this book, Definitely Dead, and I am dragging my feet a bit because when it's finished, no more Sookie. I can't recommend these books enough.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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