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Julie D

Virginia | Member Since 2003

84
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 13 reviews
  • 213 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 18 purchased in 2014
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  • The Rembrandt Affair

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Daniel Silva
    • Narrated By Phil Gigante
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1132)
    Performance
    (454)
    Story
    (451)

    Determined to sever his ties with the Office, Gabriel Allon has retreated to the windswept cliffs of Cornwall with his beautiful Venetian-born wife, Chiara. But once again his seclusion is interrupted by a visitor from his tangled past: the endearingly eccentric London art dealer Julian Isherwood. As usual, Isherwood has a problem. And it is one only Gabriel can solve.

    Alexis says: "Silva and Gigante -- A Superb Team!!!"
    "Consistently good author"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Gabriel Allon must tread delicately while learning about the history of a beautiful painting if he wants to rip apart a pretty picture of the past, painted by greedy men and countries. The better to deceive you, my dear.

    Daniel Silva will break your heart while he reveals the world's past, but he will also show you beauty and healing in unexpected places. His books are at the top of my Must-Read (or listen) list.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Warbound: Book III of the Grimnoir Chronicles

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Larry Correia
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2166)
    Performance
    (2037)
    Story
    (2028)

    Only a handful of people in the world know that mankind's magic comes from a living creature, and it is a refugee from another universe. The Power showed up here in the 1850s because it was running from something. Now it is 1933, and the Power's hiding place has been discovered by a killer. It is a predator that eats magic and leaves destroyed worlds in its wake. Earth is next. Former private eye Jake Sullivan knows the score. The problem is, hardly anyone believes him.

    D says: "Started Strong-Finished Strong"
    "Hands down, my favorite book of 2013"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Might as well add my two thumbs up to the couple thousand people who have already given this series 5 stars. (this is #3)

    After learning a bit more about Correia, what I find absolutely incredible is that he's only been writing for a few years, 6 or 7 from what I understand. He's incredibly prolific, and with a natural sense of action and pacing in his books.

    Pair him up here with Bronson Pinchot and you've got a series that kicks literary hiney.

    You're probably also going to want to snatch up a copy of the kindle version, because you're not going to want to put these books down- even in bed at night when wearing headphones gets to be a tad bit tangly.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • How the Light Gets In: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel, Book 9

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Louise Penny
    • Narrated By Ralph Cosham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (868)
    Performance
    (783)
    Story
    (785)

    Shadows are falling on the usually festive Christmas season for Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. When Gamache receives a message from Myrna Landers that a longtime friend has failed to arrive for Christmas in the village of Three Pines, he welcomes the chance to get away from the city. Gamache soon discovers the missing woman was once one of the most famous people not just in North America, but in the world, and now goes unrecognized by virtually everyone. As events come to a head, Gamache is drawn ever deeper into the world of Three Pines.

    Nancy J says: "Welcome Home!"
    "Armand Gamache, Cyber Detective!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I realize that if you're considering this book, like myself, you've already read every other Gamache novel. And, like me, you're a solid Penny fan. So I KNOW I'm going to take heat for this review. I'll try to make it as quick as ripping a bandaid off.

    Let's start off with this: You're going to read this book. You will. You'll do it because there are a lot of plots from previous books that get tied up here and you want to know what path Jean-Guy ultimately chooses, how Clara and Peter are getting on, and whatever happened to Agent Nicole.

    And going into this book, you'll be expecting the same fantastic writing that we've always gotten in this series, peppered with poetry and humor.

    You're not going to get it.

    Well, yes, you'll get the plot closures. In many ways, this book feels like the last of the series. You'll even get poetry and humor, albeit the poetry isn't new, we've heard it before in previous books.

    The issue with this book is that you'll have to actually forget MAJOR events in the series to make this one fit. For example, remember in The Cruelest Month when Agent Nicole was getting phone calls all throughout the investigation from a mysterious person who wanted to know everything she and Gamache were doing? And how, at one point, Jean Guy attempts to take the phone from her because he suspects she's spying on the Chief Inspector? It was a fairly important part of the plot, it defined Agent Nicole and gave you some insight into why she behaves as she does.

    In the same book, do you remember when a certain agent uses the bistro's laptop to go online to research the drug ephedra? He then leaves the page up on the screen on purpose to tip off the community about the drug they're looking for...?

    Of course you remember all of that! It was critical to the story!

    Well Penny forgot about it.

    Now, as she writes it, Three Pines is a complete "dead zone." You can't get on the internet to research ephedra, and you can't use your cell phone while spying on your boss. And it's always been this way. Those previous books were all in your imagination. Yes they were. Don't argue.

    And while in previous works we've seen our Chief Inspector use his ability to read and understand the motivations of people to solve crime, in this book we get something entirely different. Gamache is going to put together a team of hackers to break into the archives of the Sûreté du Québec. No, really. Gamache is going cyber-stalking.

    And look. You're listening to this as an audio book, right? So you might not be a programming genius, but you at least know how to download a file and put it on an ipod or smart phone, right? You are likely not baffled by the mysteries of downloading.

    Unfortunately, Gamache's team of computer experts don't appear to understand this concept. Nor does it occur to them to copy/ paste a file that they're currently reading.

    The entire hacking plot-line required more than a slight suspension in belief. I hate saying this, I really, really do. But it was kind of ridiculous. I found myself wishing that Penny had written more about what she knows (characters, community, art, and poetry) and had left off the computer stuff for other writers.

    So is this Penny's best? Her most brilliant writing ever? Well, with all respect to the previous reviewers, I don't think so. While I've listened to her other books multiple times (Still Life is my favorite) - sometimes just for Ruth's poetry - this book clearly doesn't have the same draw the others had.

    14 of 15 people found this review helpful
  • Ready Player One

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Ernest Cline
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8847)
    Performance
    (8230)
    Story
    (8227)

    At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, Ready Player One is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut—part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.

    Travis says: "ADD TO CART, POWER UP +10000"
    "Cute, Predictable and Fun"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Description:

    Ready Player One could be the plot of a campy 80's teen movie. The characters are flat and make predictable choices, the villain is super evil, but fairly dumb and gets his way only by cheating and various other shady shenanigans. All in all a fun and enjoyable read.

    Who would like this:

    If you like 80's pop culture (with a heavy emphasis on video games) you will absolutely love this. The only thing I thought detracted from the story was the strange atheist preaching at times, and the politically correct lectures on "tolerance". Other than that, it's a amusing, light listen that had me smiling and looking on the internet for free copies of Zork and Pac-man.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Pathfinder: Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Orson Scott Card
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki, Kirby Heyborne, Don Leslie, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2547)
    Performance
    (1892)
    Story
    (1907)

    Rigg is well trained at keeping secrets. Only his father knows the truth about Rigg’s strange talent for seeing the paths of people’s pasts. But when his father dies, Rigg is stunned to learn just how many secrets Father had kept from him - secrets about Rigg’s own past, his identity, and his destiny. And when Rigg discovers that he has the power not only to see the past, but also to change it, his future suddenly becomes anything but certain.

    DJM says: "Entertaining and Irritating."
    "Brilliant. Madeleine L'Engle would be jealous."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Card is a master, and this new series can testify to that. Card mixes sci-fi/ fantasy with philosophy and physics so neatly that you'll walk away feeling refreshingly challenged. This is no cliche adventure tale, although there *is* adventure and suspense, of course. It *is* Orson Scott Card we're talking about, here.

    7 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • The Blade Itself: The First Law: Book One

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Joe Abercrombie
    • Narrated By Steven Pacey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3285)
    Performance
    (2245)
    Story
    (2257)

    Inquisitor Glokta, a crippled and bitter relic of the last war, former fencing champion turned torturer, is trapped in a twisted and broken body - not that he allows it to distract him from his daily routine of torturing smugglers.Nobleman, dashing officer and would-be fencing champion Captain Jezal dan Luthar is living a life of ease by cheating his friends at cards. Vain and shallow, the biggest blot on his horizon is having to get out of bed in the morning to train with obsessive and boring old men.

    Jefferson says: "Violent, Ironic, and Absorbing Epic Fantasy Noir"
    "Great start, Series pittered out in 3rd book."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Say one thing about this series, say it's a buzz-kill.

    I feel that I should put this review here, before the series begins, as a bit of a warning. I fairly enjoyed the first two books in this series. I think the comparisons to Jim Butcher and G.R.R.Martin are a bit over blown... Butcher is much funnier and more clever with his words, and Martin's characters are much better rounded. Even his "bad guys" are likable. (you either like them, or love to hate them, that is)

    I found Abercrombie's characters here to be somewhat flat, but with good potential. His plot was interesting and you get a good idea where he's leading you. (Life is hell, and not all heroes are nice guys) His settings... meh. Unbelievable and bland.

    That said, I really was enjoying this series. It wasn't a favorite, but the plot and a few of the characters, Logen and Glokta in particular, I found very intriguing. They really carried the first two books. I wanted to read more about them and couldn't wait to get to the third.

    Oh, how I wish I had left off at the first two. All of the development and growth in his characters, all of the plot lines, they all collapse in on themselves. And before you think it was a failing on the author's ability, let me assure you, he did it deliberately. By the end of the series you wonder what, exactly, was the point to all of it?

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Secret of the Seventh Son

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Glenn Cooper
    • Narrated By Mark Boyett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (744)
    Performance
    (330)
    Story
    (333)

    Nine people have been slain in New York City, nine strangers with nothing in common - the apparent victims of a frighteningly elusive serial killer. Only one thing links the dead: postcards they received, mailed from Las Vegas, announcing the day they would die.

    Rebecca says: "An Ear Burner"
    "Good listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I liked this well enough as I listened to it. Although, admittedly, once it was done, I moved on fairly quickly. Good for a casual read, but not much of a "makes ya think" book.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Changes: The Dresden Files, Book 12

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Jim Butcher
    • Narrated By James Marsters
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4632)
    Performance
    (3139)
    Story
    (3148)

    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.

    Julie D 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.

    25 of 26 people found this review helpful
  • Princeps' Fury: Codex Alera, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Jim Butcher
    • Narrated By Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2375)
    Performance
    (1463)
    Story
    (1481)

    Tavi of Calderon, now recognized as Princeps Gaius Octavian and heir to the crown, has achieved a fragile alliance with Alera's oldest foes, the savage Canim. But when Tavi and his legions guide the Canim safely to their lands, his worst fears are realized. The dreaded Vord - the enemy of Aleran and Cane alike - have spent the last three years laying waste to the Canim homeland. And when the Alerans are cut off from their ships, they find themselves with no choice but to fight shoulder to shoulder if they are to survive.

    Christopher says: "Great Book. Fantastic Narrator. Engrossing Series."
    "Fantastic story ruined by poor narration."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is the first time I have ever wished that I could get a refund for an audiobook. Previous to this book in the series, I had read the books to myself and absolutely devoured them. Butcher is a truly gifted writer. Amazing that he is able to craft his stories so quickly!

    But WHY oh WHY did his publisher decide to pair Kate Reading with this book? Don't get me wrong, Reading is a terrific narrator... when the protagonist of a novel is a *woman*. This series has very few female lead characters, the majority of them are male and THE main character is a male. This book would have been absolutely fantastic with, say, Michael Kramer as the reader- a man who can do very distinct male voices and highly believable female voices as well. As talented as Kate Reading is, her male voices come off as either snobby and pretentious or low brow and dull. And at no point are they believable.

    I don't have the heart to give this book less than four stars as Butcher really is a master at what he does and I do not want my poor score to reflect on his talents. I couldn't, however, listen all the way through due to the narration. I truly hope that the publisher changes it's mind about their narrator and goes in a different direction with Princep's Fury and First Lord.

    4 of 19 people found this review helpful
  • The Final Empire: Mistborn Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Michael Kramer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6913)
    Performance
    (4425)
    Story
    (4454)

    For a thousand years the ash fell and no flowers bloomed. For a thousand years the Skaa slaved in misery and lived in fear. For a thousand years the Lord Ruler, the "Sliver of Infinity," reigned with absolute power and ultimate terror, divinely invincible. Then, when hope was so long lost that not even its memory remained, a terribly scarred, heart-broken half-Skaa rediscovered it in the depths of the Lord Ruler's most hellish prison.

    Lore says: "Book 1 of a great series that is not to be missed!"
    "engaging read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was surprised how much I liked this. Michael Kramer is, as always, brilliant as a narrator. The characters were likable and distinct. Very well crafted bit of non-standard fantasy fiction. I really appreciated that the story line was not a cardboard cut-out of every other fantasy novel out there. Looking forward to the next two in the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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