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Cate P

ratings
43
REVIEWS
14
FOLLOWING
1
FOLLOWERS
4
HELPFUL VOTES
41

  • The Night Villa

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Carol Goodman
    • Narrated By Susanna Burney
    Overall
    (53)
    Performance
    (21)
    Story
    (21)

    Beneath layers of volcanic ash lies the Villa della Notte, home to first-century nobles, as well as to the captivating slave girl at the heart of an ancient controversy. And secreted in a subterranean labyrinth rests a cache of antique documents believed lost to the ages: a prize too tantalizing for classics professor Sophie Chase to resist.

    Cate P says: "Don't Bother"
    "Don't Bother"
    Overall

    I love historical fiction and was hopeful that this would introduce me to a period of ancient history. The history is secondary to an obvious and not too interesting plot. The plot devices are clumsy and the "mystery" very unmysterious. The writing is mediocre, the characters shallow and predictable, and the plot reminded me of "bodice busters" without the good sex scenes. Some of the prose made me wonder if the author was kidding. I can't find my note but I think the line was " . . . her skin was as luminous as an unshucked oyster". Really?! The one star was in praise of anyone who writes a book.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Cuckoo's Calling

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Robert Galbraith
    • Narrated By Robert Glenister
    Overall
    (5836)
    Performance
    (5311)
    Story
    (5323)

    After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: his sister, the legendary supermodel Lula Landry, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man.

    Tracey says: "Unbelievable debut mystery set in London"
    "Cliche, Cliche, Cliche!!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was hopeful when I downloaded this book for listening on a long summer holiday. How bad could it be, I thought, since it was written by JK Rowling under an assumed name. Harry Potter books, if not high art, were inventive and relatively well-written. I assumed that there would be some similar inventiveness in Cuckoo's Calling. The plot never really gets started, the conventions are mind-numbingly trite (a detective named "Strike" down on his luck, a dead cover girl, drug addicted boyfriend . . . . . yawn!) as to be unbelievable, and it's hard to drum up an iota of interest or concern for the characters who seem disappointed that they weren't written into a different book by a better author. I have to admit that I've slogged to mid-point and am thinking of stopping right there.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • What the Dead Know

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Laura Lippman
    • Narrated By Linda Emond
    Overall
    (653)
    Performance
    (202)
    Story
    (201)

    Thirty years ago two sisters disappeared from a shopping mall. Their bodies were never found, and those familiar with the case have always been tortured by these questions: How do you kidnap two girls? Who or what could have lured the two sisters away from a busy mall on a Saturday afternoon without leaving behind a single clue or witness? Now a clearly disoriented woman involved in a rush-hour hit-and-run claims to be the younger of the long-gone Bethany sisters.

    Cayce says: "A page turner"
    "OK But Not Her Best"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Laura Lippman and/or Linda Emond?

    I love Laura Lippman and have later works. This was an earlier work and showed how much her skill as a writer has evolved in the later works. I enjoyed this but didn't love it. The story seemed clumsy at times and the twist became evident about half way through. I did enjoy this but was aware of how much better her later books are.


    Would you recommend What the Dead Know to your friends? Why or why not?

    Probably would recommend later works "And When She Was Good" and/or "The Most Dangerous Thing".


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Beautiful Ruins

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Jess Walter
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5752)
    Performance
    (4978)
    Story
    (4972)

    The story begins in 1962. On a rocky patch of the sun-drenched Italian coastline, a young innkeeper, chest-deep in daydreams, looks out over the incandescent waters of the Ligurian Sea and spies an apparition: a tall, thin woman, a vision in white, approaching him on a boat. She is an actress, he soon learns, an American starlet, and she is dying. And the story begins again today, half a world away, when an elderly Italian man shows up on a movie studio's back lot - searching for the mysterious woman he last saw at his hotel decades earlier.

    Ella says: "My mind wandered"
    "Not "The Help"!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I would recommend this with some reservations. The book is being touted as the new "The Help". If you're expecting a nuanced book like "The Help", you may be disappointed. The characters seemed cliched and one-dimensional and the story line contrived. While it had its sweet and wise moments, it often seemed overwrought with too many plot lines, many of them rather immaterial to the point of the book (life's ups and downs and how we redeem ourselves anyway). The book would have been better with fewer plot lines and more in-depth character development of fewer characters. As new characters and their stories unfolded, I found myself asking "And the point is?" The ending goes on and on and on and I wondered if the author just couldn't sum it up. That said, I listened to the end and felt moderately engaged with the sometimes over-long story.


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Lady Elizabeth: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Alison Weir
    • Narrated By Rosalyn Landor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (286)
    Performance
    (141)
    Story
    (142)

    Best-selling author Alison Weir turns her masterly storytelling skills to the early life of young Elizabeth Tudor, who would grow up to become England's most intriguing and powerful queen. Sweeping in scope, The Lady Elizabeth is a fascinating portrayal of a woman far ahead of her time - whose dangerous and dramatic path to the throne shapes her future greatness.

    Karen says: "hard to stop listening"
    "Smashing!"
    Overall

    Having read a great deal aboutTudor England, I was certain I would be bored with the repetition. I found myself happily surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. The narration is wonderful and the history accurate for the most part. The sections Weir fictionalized for the sake of the story were believable and rang true to the actual historical reports. Whether you read about this period of history or not, I think you'll find this portrait of Elizabeth I before she becomes Queen, a compelling and fun listen about a smart, wily, and human woman. Cudos to the narrator! Just listening to her voice was a pleasure.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • The Serpent's Tale

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Ariana Franklin
    • Narrated By Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (390)
    Performance
    (163)
    Story
    (163)

    Adelia is back in action! Ariana Franklin combines the best of modern forensic thrillers with the detail and drama of medieval fiction in this enthralling historical novel, the second in the Mistress of the Art of Death series.

    Lakisha says: "mediocre following"
    "Not as good as her first"
    Overall

    I have to say that I enjoyed this, but not as much as "Mistress in the Art of Death". The main character's relationships are less intense and less interesting than in "Mistress". I also found the mystery less interesting and a bit harder to follow. It's an enjoyable listen but didn't grab me. It's almost like the author was struggling to compete with her first book. Well-narrated.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • East of the Sun

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Julia Gregson
    • Narrated By Tania Rodrigues
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (86)
    Performance
    (41)
    Story
    (43)

    Autumn 1928. Three young women are on their way to India, each with a new life in mind. Rose, a beautiful but naive bride-to-be, is anxious about leaving her family and marrying a man she hardly knows. Victoria, her bridesmaid couldn't be happier to get away from her overbearing mother, and is determined to find herself a husband. And Viva, their inexperienced chaperone, is in search of the India of her childhood, ghosts from the past and freedom.

    Cate P says: "Plotty, but good."
    "Plotty, but good."
    Overall

    This work relies on plot rather than character development. The prose style isn't anything to write home about but doesn't get in the way. Some aspects of the plot are too coincidental to be believed but all in all it was good entertainment. You won't be deeply moved or have any life changing experiences, but it is a good car trip book. Light reading/listening.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Eye of the Needle

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By Eric Lincoln
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1979)
    Performance
    (1044)
    Story
    (1047)

    One enemy spy knows the secret of the Allies' greatest deception, a brilliant aristocrat and ruthless assassin - code name: "The Needle" - who holds the key to the ultimate Nazi victory.

    Scott says: "A Classic WWII Spy Thriller"
    "Awful!"
    Overall

    Started this but can't imagine continuing. The narration is terrible! The narrator(s) sound bored. I am sorry I bought it and am not going to continue to listen.

    3 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Leonardo's Swans

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Karen Essex
    • Narrated By Kathe Mazur
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (74)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    Isabella d'Este, daughter of the Duke of Ferrara, born into privilege and the political and artistic turbulence of Renaissance Italy, is a stunning black-eyed blonde and a precocious lover and collector of art. Worldly and ambitious, she has never envied her less attractive sister, the spirited but naive Beatrice, until, by a quirk of fate, Beatrice is betrothed to the future Duke of Milan.

    Michael Allen says: "Good, but not Captivating"
    "Should be better"
    Overall

    What should be an interesting story is marred by 7th grade level prose and really bad narration. The narrator's voice is very modern and young - perhaps better suited to romances for young girls. The story, while simplistic, would have been better served with more gravitas in the narration department. The characters are selfish, silly, and predictable. I find myself feeling annoyed instead of engaged. I'm about a third of the way through and haven't decided whether to finish listening or not. I keep hoping the prose style and characters will be less annoying, but alas . . .

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Mistress of the Art of Death: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Ariana Franklin
    • Narrated By Rosalyn Landor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1052)
    Performance
    (327)
    Story
    (327)

    In medieval England, four children have been murdered, and the townsfolk blame their Jewish neighbors. The doctor chosen to investigate is a woman, Adelia. As she examines the victims and retraces their last steps, she must conceal her true identity in order to avoid accusations of witchcraft. Along the way, she's assisted by Sir Rowley Picot, a man with a personal stake in the investigation. A former Crusader knight, Rowley may be a needed friend - or the fiend for whom they are searching.

    Irenehope says: "History-Mystery of the Year & its only March"
    "Great Woman Character"
    Overall

    I enjoyed this book immensely. While versed in parts of English history, the reign of Henry II is new for me. The connection between the plot and its historical significance is cleverly concealed until the end. Adelia, the main character, is anything but a wilting violet and unusual for her time. I was concerned that this book would be gruesome as it revolves around the violent murders of children. While the details are set forth, they are not presented in a gratuitous or prurient manner. There are a few missteps in the writing but none that made me want to put the book down. The narration is fabulous! The author's comments setting out what parts of the book are factual and what parts are fictionalized is narrated at the end which gives the book added historical interest. I highly recomment it!

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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