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GlitterSpirit

Member Since 2010

ratings
6
REVIEWS
6
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
1
HELPFUL VOTES
92

  • The Casual Vacancy

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By J. K. Rowling
    • Narrated By Tom Hollander
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2828)
    Performance
    (2483)
    Story
    (2504)

    When Barry Fairweather dies unexpectedly in his early 40s, the little town of Pagford is left in shock. Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty façade is a town at war. Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils.... Pagford is not what it at first seems. And the empty seat left by Barry on the town's council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen.

    cristina says: "I was surprised by how much I liked it"
    "SNORE - Can't Finish - ONLY Negative Review Ever!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from J. K. Rowling and/or Tom Hollander?

    Tom Hollander, yes. J.K. Rowling - NOT LIKE THIS, NO! If they have the same richness and suspense of the Harry Potter novels I enjoyed as I kid, I would.


    What could J. K. Rowling have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Anything!? I listened at work and in the car for 2.5 hours. Then, I read other reviews via Google to see if maybe it has a surprise in store. Apparently not. Apparently, she is saying her royalties from the HP franchise allow her to write what she wants. That doesn't mean it's good.

    This book - the first 2.5 hours anyway - is comprised of character descriptions of average, stereotypical people in a small town. So far, a guy has died, and people have gossiped about it. Looks like their might be a battle over who takes his small-town political spot maybe. Woohoo.

    Language is crude. Rare witty moments.

    My mother would call this in movie-format a "slice of life." I can look out my window or at my coworkers for that. If I was READING without benefit of a narrator, I'd not have the desire to turn the next page.

    I think she's trying to make a political statement in their somewhere. Descriptions of places or a rainy day are excellent. Not a three-part book I can bear to finish.

    I loved her writing. This is like Harry's Aunt and Uncle's daily life along with that of their friends and neighbors. Nothing more. Depressing (social service visit of a drugged out mother etc.).


    Which character – as performed by Tom Hollander – was your favorite?

    Narrator was awesome. Not sure how he stayed awake though... Since I'm giving up 2.5 hours into this without an understanding yet of which of the TWENTY characters is which, I can't vote for a favorite performance of one...


    What character would you cut from The Casual Vacancy?

    Just cut the plot... Wait... ADD a plot!


    Any additional comments?

    This is the ONLY negative review I've ever written. I've only returned one other book (and that just wasn't my cup of tea, so I didn't review at all).

    85 of 122 people found this review helpful
  • Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night: Immortals After Dark, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Kresley Cole
    • Narrated By Robert Petkoff
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1279)
    Performance
    (1187)
    Story
    (1194)

    Bowen MacRieve of the Lykae clan was nearly destroyed when he lost the one woman meant for him. The ruthless warrior grew even colder, never taking another to his bed - until a smoldering encounter with his enemy, Mariketa the Awaited, reawakens his darkest desires. When sinister forces unite against her, the Highlander finds himself using all his strength and skill to keep her alive. Temporarily stripped of her powers, Mari is forced to take refuge with her sworn adversary. Soon passion burns between them.

    Netfilly says: "This narrator ROCKS!!"
    "Suspenseful, Magical, Romantic: Best Yet!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night to be better than the print version?

    I cannot say of all books in the series, but, of this one, yes, I'd definitely recommend the audio version. The first four (as far as I've read so far), feature the same narrator. I found him difficult to take in the first novel during his portrayal of the female lead. In retrospect, I think that may be due to the female's New Orleans accent as it's the second book where I've had that issue (referencing "A Hunger Like No Other").This one is awesome! In all books, this narrator's Scottish brogue is enthralling. The female lead has an average accent, and the others in the story are believable too. I listened to this one in record time. The excellent narration helped.


    What other book might you compare Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night to and why?

    Not sure off the top of my head. It would be simpler to compare to others in the same series, and I believe it's better than all the rest. The storyline continues to build from the first installment, so, by the time we reach the third novel, there is a decent understanding of "Lore" culture, and many characters and their back stories add richness to the plot. This book is better in my opinion than the others in this series (and others that are in the same genre), because the plot is simply better. The plot is strong, and it delves into a different species entirely while continuing a storyline started in the first installment. Witchy. Wolfy. Fate. Catch-22 situations. Perceived love triangle. Triumph over adversity. Satisfaction. I don't like fluffy smut novels, but I will read books with those scenes (however copious) as long as the story is worth it. I find the intimate scenes to be more tastefully written in this series, and the author does a great job of portraying what I think most women (at least) want in an encounter. I prefer THIS installment, because the scenes aren't as gratuitous. There's so much to the story this time. It's another book that caused me to sit in my car to listen longer. It wasn't even predictable as many can be, and I found myself wondering how it would turn out in some ways (though I trust this author to provide satisfying endings).


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

    Yes, and I believe he's just getting better!


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Yes! The female lead always felt passed up and ditched (parents and first love). She just wanted someone to CHOOSE HER. I don't want to spoil it, so I'll just say that the emotions were strong, and I really felt for the character.


    Any additional comments?

    I bought this book to speed onto book 4, which I thought had a more interesting storyline. Little did I know how enchanting this one would be!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Perfect Blood: The Hollows, Book 10

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Kim Harrison
    • Narrated By Marguerite Gavin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1654)
    Performance
    (1474)
    Story
    (1472)

    Ritually murdered corpses are appearing across Cincinnati, terrifying amalgams of human and other. Pulled in to help investigate by the I.S. and the FIB, former witch turned day-walking demon Rachel Morgan soon realizes a horrifying truth: a human hate group is trying to create its own demons to destroy all Inderlanders, and to do so, it needs her blood. She's faced vampires, witches, werewolves, demons, and more, but humanity itself might be her toughest challenge yet.

    Aimee says: "Get on with it already"
    "MY FAVORITE YET! Real Page-Turner!"
    Overall
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    What did you love best about A Perfect Blood?

    **This book drew in nearly all of the previously illustrated characters. Relationships evolved and built upon one another. This was FAST PACED. If it had had pages, I'd have been chomping at the bit to turn to the next one. As it was, I took extra breaks to listen (sat in my car, went for a walk, listened at work etc.). I was so sad when it concluded.**

    **I LOVE the developing bond between Rachel and Trent.**

    **It was hilarious (in a serious way - not slapstick/stupid)!**


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Tough call!

    Probably Trent. He's clearly the most misunderstood, and he takes the emotional brunt of things as a rule. My heart goes out to him. I love his sense of honor and creativity as well.

    Don't judge me, but I think Al is a riot.Jinx is always a kick.

    I think my least favorite character is actually Rachel. I like her success, but it's almost like she succeeds despite herself, and she spends most of her introspective time thinking men are hot, worrying, and beating herself up...


    What about Marguerite Gavin’s performance did you like?

    I can easily tell which character is speaking. She's consistent throughout her narration of the series. I've noticed that other series with the same narrator have pronunciation differences across the books, but not here. She's wonderful! :-)


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

    Yes. It made me both laugh and cry. It made me laugh more than anything else. I think this might be the wittiest one yet. I found myself laughing and cheering at various points. Some emotional bits made me teary, but within a very acceptable range.


    Any additional comments?

    I would recommend reading the previous novels first. I think this one was so strong, because of the history created previously. I do not believe this would work as a stand-alone novel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Beyond the Highland Mist: Highlander, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Karen Marie Moning
    • Narrated By Phil Gigante
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2162)
    Performance
    (1331)
    Story
    (1338)

    He was known throughout the kingdom as Hawk, legendary predator of the battlefield and the boudoir. No woman could refuse his touch, but no woman ever stirred his heart - until a vengeful fairy tumbled Adrienne de Simone out of modern-day Seattle and into medieval Scotland.

    E. Anderson says: "Loved It!!"
    "Enchanting / Frustrating"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Beyond the Highland Mist again? Why?

    No, I would not listen to this again, because the narration/production was poor. As I don't have time to read actual books usually, I don't regret the credit, but recommend a more traditional reading experience for others. I've never been bothered enough to offer the caution. I will acknowledge that it's bearable, and I still couldn't stop listening for desire to hear the tale... I may listen to the next in the series despite the narration issue, but it won't be without reservation.

    The narrator, whom I see is unfortunately responsible for the rest of this series, which I am starting to really enjoy, does a fantastic job regarding the basic telling of the story, but fails in all other respects. The men sometimes sound like one another making it difficult to distinguish who is speaking at times. That said, the main male voice was superbly strong and appealing. His portrayal of the women was distractingly poor (impossible to forget this was just a man reading a script - more thought on the narrator than the story at those times - it sounded as if he was mocking women when reading their lines, though I know that was not the intent).

    Expected a more realistic Scottish brogue. Adrienne's fake female accent moved in and out between standard American, New Orleans/Deep South, and the same bad attempt at a Scottish accent.

    Occasionally, the production involved whispers from the fairies... Had to replay more loudly and more slowly to make out the words. Frustrating!


    What did you like best about this story?

    The ambience was lovely. There was intense satisfaction when the characters were finally honest and communicating with each other (as well as themselves). For all of his flaws (being DENSE primarily), I had sympathy for the male lead, and was happy when he was.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Phil Gigante?

    Possibly. This series only. Necessity only. Wonderful male voice. Exception to my answer if female narrates alongside him.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    This was a fun book I wish I had "read" traditionally, but too much focused on introspective thoughts and feelings that would not translate to film well, so I cannot answer this...


    Any additional comments?

    I TRULY enjoyed the story. 

    When it began, I was itching to turn it off. The storyline was corny (fairies whisking a woman away from the 20th century to torment a man in the past. She's chosen, because she "hates beautiful men," because one hurt her. The motive against the guy in the past is jealousy, because he unwittingly pleased the fairy queen... Yeah, OK... That plus bad narration equalled BAD!

    As the story progressed, I never developed sympathy for the woman, and I found the writing a little immature, BUT, I DID start to become attached to the characters overall. I wanted to know how they would resolve their issues. I was frustrated by the lack of communication that caused pointless problems. I was overjoyed when they healed some of their emotional wounds. I could relate to their hopes. 

    The descriptions were vivid, and very good. Charming. For all the many flaws, I stayed up till daybreak listening till the end. I can't imagine how much more I'd have enjoyed it in paperback form or if they'd tied up a few loose ends better. 

     I think I'm ambivalent. I did enjoy it enough to be unable to "put it down," but I was also disappointed. Don't expect too much, and you'll be OK. I read a review that compared this to "Outlander," which was what I expected. As a comparison, it's a total insult to that series. By itself, for what it is... It's a fun read...

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Darkness Dawns: Immortal Guardians Series #1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Dianne Duvall
    • Narrated By Kirsten Potter
    Overall
    (1633)
    Performance
    (1463)
    Story
    (1469)

    Once, Sarah Bingham's biggest challenge was making her students pay attention in class. Now, after rescuing a wounded stranger, she's landed in the middle of a battle between corrupt vampires and powerful immortals who also need blood to survive. Roland Warbrook is the most compelling man Sarah has ever laid hands on. But his desire for her is mingled with a hunger he can barely control...

    Amazon Customer says: "Not bad"
    "DEBUT Novel - Worth a Listen & Flexibility - Fun!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Definitely! It was entertaining, leads into an ongoing series, and breaks the mold while keeping with certain traditions.


    What other book might you compare Darkness Dawns to and why?


    * This review stands for the entire "Immortal Guardians" series. *

    Some have compared this author to Christine Feehan and her works. I'll use that. I'd rather contrast them, however. I've read a handful from the latter author, and, although good, every story there is repetitive (copious amounts of adult scenes are, by actual intent, more lust driven than romantically driven - especially in the beginning when the couples, who rarely know each other beforehand, meet up and hook up for life) and formulaic. They barely build upon one another. The most I've noticed is one character linking to another between novels, and the backstory is just repeated in each book (no real continuation of a plot).

    In Dianne Duvall's novels (so far), there is a concentration on the individual couples, but there is also a SOLID backstory that is built upon in subsequent stories. In that regard, I would compare these to Nalini Singh's "Psy Changeling" series come to think of it... Anyway, the characters form a rich narrative tapestry in the context of a series. The steamy love scenes are great, and they don't happen without a relationship of substance between the characters. I'm not saying a lot of time passes, but it is believable that they have a bond in my opinion despite the short time-frame.


    What about Kirsten Potter’s performance did you like?

    All narrators fit into one of two categories for me: Good or Bad. Simple. Ms. Potter's performance was "good" in my opinion ; it did not detract from the story. That's all I ask!


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

    I loved the first scene enough to listen to it more than once. It reminded me of the first part of the first episode of "True Blood," when Sookie rescued Bill. When the petite woman is really a hero, it's a nice change of pace - especially for the knight in distress. Role reversal. :)


    I laughed at a few points. The couple was engaging in certain activities when a friend stopped by. The atmosphere was just funny to me.


    Any additional comments?

    Some people don't seem to care for the "vampires'" dietary preferences or the heroine's use of guns. I think these are of little concern. It's a novel - not a political debate.

    This is a twist on an old tale. Vampires aren't what you think (perhaps a true comparison to Feehan's work on that count, but in a very different way). The rules for uniting a couple aren't what you'd expect. There's definitely a paranormal element, but it's scientifically based - logical. There are plenty of secrets to be revealed at the end of each book, but each also ends on a satisfactory note.

    "Darkness Dawns" is excellent in my opinion, but it takes an all-time favorite to get 5-stars across the board. I'd rate 4.5 if possible. REMEMBER: Debut novel. Give it a try, and let the author grow along with your understanding of the story she has to tell. I definitely think the series just gets better, and I liked it a great deal to start! Hope this helps.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Blaze of Memory: Psy-Changeling Series, Book 7

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Nalini Singh
    • Narrated By Angela Dawe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (459)
    Performance
    (421)
    Story
    (424)

    Dev Santos finds a woman with amnesia - and all she can remember is that she's dangerous. Stripped of her memories by a shadowy oppressor and programmed to kill, Katya's only hope is Dev. But he could very well be her next target.

    Robbie says: "After Reading Reviews, I'm Surprised I Liked It"
    "Not Standalone - Intelligent Romance - Formulaic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Blaze of Memory?

    This novel delved into the background of the Psy world more than the others, and there were some eerie parellels to true history that make the story believable.

    I like strong characters, who overcome traumas, and I am drawn to displays of raw compassion. Man's inhumanity to man is a common thread in this installment. There is significant brutality implied although it is not gruesome (more disturbing). This all is overcome by love, courage, and loyalty.

    As in all of the books so far, love and physical passion are tied together. These guys all find enviable soulmates rather than cheap one-night stands.


    What other book might you compare Blaze of Memory to and why?

    "Hostage to Pleasure" (Psy-Changelings, Book 5)

    The heroine of this book is tied to the heroine of the preceding installment. Both are scientific and clever women. This ties up a few loose ends from that novel.

    All of these books build upon each other. They are repetitive in some ways. The stories are relatively predictable. That said, they are more intelligent than others in this genre. I HIGHLY recommend "Hostage to Pleasure." That had the most depth and contained more surprises than the rest.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The guy introduces the half starved girl to an ice cream fruit smoothie. I craved smoothies for a week after. LOL

    Honestly, that's what I remember most without giving anything away.

    Two children work together to do something unique at the end. That's the most memorable part. Emotions run high, and it's somewhat unexpected. Anything more would be a spoiler. Sorry!


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    See answer above...


    Any additional comments?

    This series is not rocket science. It isn't brainless "smut" either. There's a real plot in each novel, and all of the characters stick around to be woven in and out of various threads of narrative. I intend to read all of these. Listening to them back to back makes the adult scenes dull and repetitive - only one of them really did anything different. I suggest reading other books in between to keep it "fresh." I really like the back-story. None of the characters are irritating. They're all endearing and still unique. For what it is, I'm torn between 4 and 5 stars. These aren't classics, but they're worth the credits in my opinion. In fact, I've paid outright to see what happens next with some of them. Happy Listening!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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