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Virginia | Member Since 2007

126
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 26 reviews
  • 258 ratings
  • 821 titles in library
  • 23 purchased in 2015
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FOLLOWERS
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  • Changes: The Dresden Files, Book 12

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Jim Butcher
    • Narrated By James Marsters
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6578)
    Performance
    (4941)
    Story
    (4937)

    Long ago, Susan Rodriguez was Harry Dresden's lover-until she was attacked by his enemies, leaving her torn between her own humanity and the bloodlust of the vampiric Red Court. Susan then disappeared to South America, where she could fight both her savage gift and those who cursed her with it.Now Arianna Ortega, Duchess of the Red Court, has discovered a secret Susan has long kept, and she plans to use it-against Harry.

    Amazon Customer says: "WOW. I'm stunned!"
    "WOW. I'm stunned!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Butcher's latest Dresden File is OUTSTANDING. Yes, totally worthy of All Caps OUTSTANDING. If you think that because you've read his past Dresden novels, you know how this one is going to end... prepare to be shocked. "Changes" is definitely an appropriate title for this book. I won't go into the plot, because anything beyond what the publishers already described would be far too spoilerish.

    I also have to say something about James Marsters- the narrator. Holy Cheese Doodles is this guy good. He can make a shout sound like a shout without it hurting your eardrums, he can meld his voice so it sounds, very believably, like a female whisper. He can produce the crack of dry humor and the choke in his throat when deep sorrow is called for. He did an excellent job of narrating this book and I was left wishing he had been hired to narrate the Codex Allera books that Butcher has also written. (but that is another review.)

    Can't say enough good things about this one. Definitely worth the buy.

    33 of 34 people found this review helpful
  • A Thin Dark Line

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Tami Hoag
    • Narrated By Karen Peakes
    Overall
    (883)
    Performance
    (793)
    Story
    (793)

    Terror stalks the streets of Bayou Breaux, Louisiana. A suspected murderer is free on a technicality, and the cop accused of planting evidence against him is ordered off the case. But Detective Nick Fourcade refuses to walk away. He’s stepped over the line before. This case threatens to push him over the edge. He’s not the only one. Deputy Annie Broussard found the woman’s mutilated body. She still hears the phantom echoes of dying screams. She wants justice.

    Pamela Dale Foster says: "Exciting Mystery"
    "Respectfully disagree with the other reviewers"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I feel pretty deceived by the other reviewers here. By all accounts, I really should have liked this book. As a gal who likes a book with a strong female protagonist seeking to solve a horrible murder- this one seemed like it was right up my alley. To be fair, the premise of the story was interesting enough to keep my attention until the end. But in all honesty, the sum of the book’s flaws just completely ruined this one for me.

    My biggest issue was with the characters. In the world the author created, there is not one male person with even a few sympathetic features. In fact, each and every man in this book, on one level or another, harbors rape fantasies and/or abusive tendencies toward the women around them. Even the main love interest! I actually started Mama-bear lecturing the book out loud when Anne began to get all heart-a-fluttery for a man who 1. drinks and has anger management issues 2. her internal dialogue is constantly stuck on how afraid she is of this man and 3.- HE BROKE INTO HER HOUSE AND THREATENED HER WITH A WEAPON. And this is the guy who is supposed to be our co-star hero? Does the author not know what good men look like? This is a terrifying (and not terribly realistic) world she’s created where every male is out to get the heroine.

    My second grumble I have with this book is that there is no clever detective work involved. Our main character doesn’t solve the mystery, even though the culprit is pretty obvious and staring everyone in the face- they’re dismissed early on in the story. The plot conclusion sort of stumbles into itself with the two main characters having had nothing to do with the solution of the crime. I admit that this second complaint will be completely up to the reader’s tastes, but when I read a murder mystery, I like for my main character to have some ability in solving crimes.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Ivory

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Tony Park
    • Narrated By Mark Davis
    Overall
    (174)
    Performance
    (142)
    Story
    (139)

    Alex Tremain is a pirate in trouble. The two women in his life - one of them his financial adviser, the other his diesel mechanic - have left him. He's facing a mounting tide of debts and his crew of modern-day buccaneers, a multi-national band of ex-military cut-throats, is getting restless. They don't all share his dream of going legit, but what Alex really wants is to re-open the five-star resort hotel which once belonged to his Portuguese mother and English father on the Island of Dreams, off the coast of Mozambique.

    kretin3 says: "well worth the listen"
    "This book has Multiple Personality Disorder."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Which makes it annoying, yet entertaining. Honestly, I don't know how else to describe this one.

    This is a pirate/ bodice ripper/ military action/ environmental treatise with a wee bit of an elephant's biography thrown in here and there. Just for spice. I think.

    Although it's called "Ivory"- elephant tusks have very little to do with the plot for the first 3/4 of the story. As for characters, our lead pirate is perfectly charming and has a penchant for interior design. Because, of course, he's A-Pirate-With-A-Heart-Of-Gold- and as such, he needs such silliness to keep him well within the bodice-ripper character outline. In keeping with same character outline, our heroine, though she makes properly feminist sounds when she speaks, never-the-less, has all sorts of men falling head over heals for her despite her deep naiveté and poor decision making skills. As for the other characters- did I mention that every American in the novel is super evil and/ or has a careless disregard for human life and also loves him some torture and killin'?

    I shouldn't have enjoyed this as much as I did- but I got a kick out of it and listened all the way through. The plot had plenty of action and the settings were fantastic. I got this on sale and I don't regret it. I did listen all the way through. That said, I probably won't seek out more books by this author. Just not my cuppa.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Kindness Goes Unpunished: A Walt Longmire Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Craig Johnson
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    Overall
    (2311)
    Performance
    (1826)
    Story
    (1811)

    Craig Johnson's Walt Longmire mysteries are critically acclaimed. Longmire's third outing takes him from Wyoming to Philadelphia to investigate a brutal assault on his daughter, Cady. Walt believes her ex-boyfriend is behind the crime and searches him out. But when he turns up dead, Walt is back to square one.

    TravisD says: "Wyoming Fun-- in Philadelphia"
    "Walt Goes East"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed this addition to the Longmire series, though I don't think it was Johnson's strongest book. The character development in particular was well done. Put Walt out East and see how he reacts to the cultural differences- you get some amusing situations. The mystery itself seemed a bit farfetched. Wyoming Sheriff goes to Philadelphia and, of course, there's indians? In PHILLY? Having lived there... that part didn't ring too true. Still, I was willing to let it go because I don't read these books for the East-coast culture. In that regard, I was glad Johnson didn't swing too far away from the nature of his books.

    Johnson also gave us some incite in this book to Vic's personality-through her family- which was very much appreciated. I'm still not sure I like her much, but her family was enjoyable. You don't see too much of Vic, personally, until close to the end of the story. Not sure I'm too keen on where Johnson seems to be going with her, but it did feel natural, so I won't complain.

    My only true criticism comes where Johnson had a scene inside a gun shop/ shooting range. He described the gun shop well, sounded like a thousand other gun shops around the country. However, if you're a shooter, you won't recognize the weird range/ shooting club he describes at all. There would never be music playing at an indoor range- everyone's wearing ear protection, why bother? And for the love of taco sauce, there sure as HELL would NOT be lots of people milling around and bumping into each other, pointing their weapons willy-nilly in a party atmosphere.

    Oh, did I mention there was a bar at the range?

    A BAR.

    YES.

    I'm just glad that he had everyone drinking water and non-alcoholic beer. Nothing in that scene made much sense and it bugs me even now, even long after finishing the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Black Tower

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Louis Bayard
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (345)
    Performance
    (178)
    Story
    (178)

    Dr. Hector Carpentier leads a very quiet life, until he meets legendary police officer Vidocq, who has used his mastery of disguise and surveillance and his extensive knowledge of the Parisian underworld to capture some of the most notorious and elusive criminals.

    Booksmith says: "Truly Engaging and Clever"
    "Felt a bit let down here."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I wanted to like this one, I've seen enough good reviews of it that I feel like I really SHOULD have liked it. Unfortunately, I don't think I took the critical reviews seriously enough.

    The Good: The story marched out neatly enough- and Bayard certainly stuck to history very well. Vidocq is well portrayed, an arrogant scoundrel with a keen eye for uncovering criminals. And there's a particular scene involving a guillotine that I thought was very well written.

    The Frustrating: The conclusion of this story was far too convoluted. This was the thing that every negative reviewer brings up and I ignored. Dear potential credit-spender, don't ignore those reviews. You'll regret it.

    If you know your history, and in particular the results of a certain DNA test that was performed in the year 2000 that identified a certain body belonging to a certain royal person- you'll know WHY Bayard had to include so many twists in his plot. That is, if he wanted to make his story sound historically plausible. Still, what he did to make the scientific find fit into his telling of events... well it's jarring and a bit clunky. He does make an attempt at being clever, he left a clue within a quote from someone called Father Time at one point in the story. It didn't quite work.

    Side Note: As for Simon Vance's performance, he is brilliant, as always. I will never hesitate to listen to something he has narrated. I have to agree with other reviewers who found it odd that the publisher chose to use his voice, however. He's English- very, very English. The Black Tower is (supposedly) told from the perspective of a non-English speaking Frenchman.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Off to Be the Wizard

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Scott Meyer
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4428)
    Performance
    (4077)
    Story
    (4086)

    It's a simple story. Boy finds proof that reality is a computer program. Boy uses program to manipulate time and space. Boy gets in trouble. Boy flees back in time to Medieval England to live as a wizard while he tries to think of a way to fix things. Boy gets in more trouble. Oh, and boy meets girl at some point.

    Charles says: "Fantastic"
    "I love this concept."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Hilarious plot, very relatable for real nerds. Luke Daniels really made this story come alive. Not sure I'd have liked it as much if I'd read it instead of listened. He did a brilliant job.

    The only thing I'd add to the other reviews is that Meyer's depiction of Gwen is completely flat. (and she's literally, the only female character. Well, except for Martin's Mom, who has a very tiny part to play) It was as if Meyer stuck her up on a pedestal and didn't know what else to do with her. She's the most attractive and clever person in the realm, and completely uninteresting. No flaws, no depth. She does nothing except perform a predictable bit of deus ex machina during a higher action scene. Maybe I'm being too harsh, but I really felt like there was too much emphasis on how *amazing* and *foreign* females are to males in the world of the nerds. Being a gamer chick, I found it pretty tiring.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sherlock Holmes in America

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Jon L. Lellenberg (editor), Martin H. Greenberg (editor), Daniel Stashower (editor)
    • Narrated By Graeme Malcolm
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (391)
    Performance
    (333)
    Story
    (334)

    Just in time for Sherlock Holmes, the major motion picture starring Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law: the world’s greatest fictional detective and his famous sidekick Dr. Watson are on their first trip across the Atlantic as they solve crimes all over 19th-century America - from the bustling neighborhoods of New York, Boston, and D.C. to fog-shrouded San Francisco. The world’s best-loved British sleuth faces some of the most cunning criminals America has to offer and meets America’s most famous figures.

    J. Comeaux says: "Laugh out loud stories clever and smart"
    "Some Were Excellent, Some Were Highly Questionable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As with most multi-author anthologies, this one is a jelly bean bag of stories. Some are worth savoring, others are bland and easily forgotten.

    Actually, while listening I couldn't help but question the publishers decision to include a few of the stories. The authors didn't seem to much like Conan Doyle's Sherlock. It was as if they took the name and made an entirely new character that lacked any resemblance to Doyle's work. The worst offender was Carolyn Wheat's "The Case of the Royal Queens" - a silly story that almost completely ignored Doyle's character.

    Of the stories written, I thought that Lindsay Faye's "The Case of Colonel Warburten's Madness" stood out as the most true to the original character. Not at all surprising as she did such a masterful job writing "Dust and Shadow"- she's done fabulous work getting into the minds of Watson and Holmes.

    Another great story was Daniel Stashower's "The Seven Walnuts"- even without the direct interaction of the famous detective, Sherlock and Watson's presence is clearly felt. I was delighted by the creativity and humor shown by this author and wouldn't mind reading more from him.

    In addition, Steve Hockensmith's "Excerpts from an Unpublished Memoire Found in the Basement of the Home for Retired Actors" also hit a perfect note, incorporating humor and Holmes' special talents to make a greatly entertaining read.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • True Evil

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs)
    • By Greg Iles
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (627)
    Performance
    (424)
    Story
    (428)

    Dr. Chris Shepard is 36 years old, newly married, and well on his way to a perfect life. Or so he believes. But that future is forever cast into doubt the day Special Agent Alexandra Morse walks into his office and drops a bombshell: Dr. Shepard's beautiful new wife is plotting his murder.

    Garry says: "True Evil"
    "Definitely NOT for Hypochondriacs."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I struggled for a few minutes, trying to decide if I should give the story 3 stars or 4. It's really more like 3 1/2. Couldn't decide so I gave "Story"- 3 stars and "Overall"- 4.

    The plot had some fascinating, and truly terrifying qualities. DEFINITELY not for folks who've been effected by cancer! CRIKEY. Iles has a devious streak!

    As for the characters - they had just enough oomph to keep you interested in what happened to them- not quite enough to care about them, though. Mostly You'll just be rooting for the villains' downfall.

    Speaking of the antagonists- be prepared for stereotypes. There was very little that was realistic- or original- about the "bad guys." It was unfortunate that the villains' rants came across as political smearing- it wasn't subtle, and really distracted from the story. Fortunately there were only a few truly eye-rolling moments and the stereotypes were silly enough that they're easy to dismiss.

    As for Dick Hill- he's an adequate narrator, but having listened to him enough times, I've come to the conclusion that he only has four voices. Male- manly. Male- snobby. Female, and female- whiny. They're all southern. Don't expect much more than that.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Poet

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Buck Schirner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4076)
    Performance
    (2660)
    Story
    (2648)

    Our hero is Jack McEvoy, a Rocky Mountain News crime-beat reporter. As the story opens, Jack's twin brother, a Denver homicide detective, has just killed himself. Or so it seems. But when Jack begins to investigate the phenomenon of police suicides, a disturbing pattern emerges, and soon suspects that a serial murderer is at work.

    Tom says: "Is Connelly the Best Crime Writer Or What?"
    "Good enough."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Not so sure about Connelly's choice in making Jack McEvoy the main character in this book. while a lot of interesting things happen to him and around him, he was kind of... I don't know. Whiny? Unable to connect with the people around him? Pondered his own belly button too often?

    Isn't he supposed to be the kind of talented reporter that gets people talking? He never acted like he was. McEvoy must have one hell of a golden pen, because I just didn't see it in his interactions with the other characters.

    That said, the plot was pretty good, though I didn't really care about the twists at the end. Felt like Connelly didn't supply enough info during the rest of the book to make the revealing of his villain make much sense.

    I hate giving so much negative criticism to a book review. I think I'm just disappointed that I wasn't completely in love with this one. Maybe other reviews shot my expectations too high. I don't know. It's definitely worth a lesson, once. I probably won't listen to it again, and it won't be super high on my list of books to recommend. But worth picking up if you're looking for something to read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Diana Rowland
    • Narrated By Allison McLemore
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1616)
    Performance
    (1501)
    Story
    (1504)

    Angel Crawford is finally starting to get used to life as a brain-eating zombie, but her problems are far from over. Her felony record is coming back to haunt her, more zombie hunters are popping up, and she’s beginning to wonder if her hunky cop-boyfriend is involved with the zombie mafia. Yeah, that’s right—the zombie mafia. Throw in a secret lab and a lot of conspiracy, and Angel’s going to need all of her brainpower—and maybe a brain smoothie as well—in order to get through it without falling apart.

    Lupdilup says: "A seameless continuation to a great series!"
    "Suffers from too much editing."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Rowland's editor needs to put down the red pen and back away.

    LOVE this zombie series, love the humor, the sciencey lab crap, the icky brain gore, and the thoughtful way Rowland touches on addictions and our relationships with people who have them. Seriously good themes, and they're all here in this book.

    That said, the STORY here felt abridged. I had to come back and check to make sure I hadn't actually bought that version of the book. When I saw that I really HAD bought the Unabridged version, I was pretty disappointed. There wasn't much to this mystery. A few scenes after Angel meets her boyfriend's mafia-esque uncle, she's sitting in front of the evil villain monologuing on about his/her evil shenanigans. Cut to a brief climactic action scene AND! Story's over. With not much closure. (no spoilers here, but seriously, that's it?)

    I know Rowland is capable of more than this, and her first in the series was SO GOOD, I'm going to go ahead and get book three. Still... feel like I was a bit short-sheeted, you know?

    PS- Allison McLemore is, as ever, one of my top five favorite narrators on Audible. This chick ROCKS.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Midnight Riot: Peter Grant, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Ben Aaronovitch
    • Narrated By Kobna Holdbrook-Smith
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1923)
    Performance
    (1755)
    Story
    (1749)

    Probationary constable Peter Grant dreams of being a detective in London's Metropolitan Police. Too bad his superior plans to assign him to the Case Progression Unit, where the biggest threat he'll face is a paper cut. But Peter's prospects change in the aftermath of a puzzling murder, when he gains exclusive information from an eyewitness who happens to be a ghost. Peter's ability to speak with the lingering dead brings him to the attention of Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale....

    Nancy J says: "I LOVE this Book!"
    "Narrator needs to slow down."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I try not to be too hard on narrators, but the truth is they can either make or break a book in audio. Holdbrook-Smith didn't have an unpleasant voice, he enunciated just fine so he was easy to understand, but he read so quickly it was hard to get a handle on what was happening.

    The narrator really needed to give his reading a sense of pacing appropriate to what was happening in the story. There were a few times when a joke would just fly by, giving the listener no time to appreciate it. There were other times that the suspense of a scene was ruined because he sped through it so quickly- there was no time for me to get worried for the characters.

    It was almost as if he'd made a bet with the production team that he could keep the book under 10 hours, and he was determined to squeak it in.

    As for the story itself, it was good. Although, I think I'd have been able to appreciate the work Aaronovitch put into it better if I'd read it instead of listened.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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