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Lorena

“Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.” ¯ Mark Twain

Member Since 2011

80
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 18 reviews
  • 40 ratings
  • 165 titles in library
  • 18 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
5
FOLLOWERS
24

  • Assassin's Quest: The Farseer Trilogy, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (37 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Robin Hobb
    • Narrated By Paul Boehmer
    Overall
    (1526)
    Performance
    (1109)
    Story
    (1119)

    King Shrewd is dead at the hands of his son Regal. As is Fitz - or so his enemies and friends believe. But with the help of his allies and his beast magic, he emerges from the grave, deeply scarred in body and soul. The kingdom also teeters toward ruin: Regal has plundered and abandoned the capital, while the rightful heir, Prince Verity, is lost to his mad quest - perhaps to death. Only Verity's return - or the heir his princess carries - can save the Six Duchies.

    J says: "Fascinating Despite Lacking Narration"
    "Engaging, entertaining, thought provoking"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Assassin's Quest the most enjoyable?

    Between Robin Hobb's unquestionable talent for creating true to life characters and Boehmer's ability to tell the story like it's his, you feel as though you've just spent a weekend in front of the fire with Fitz while he entranced you with his life story. While you may not love Fitz (he is most definitely a fallible character), you can't help but feel his love, his wounds, his victories and his losses.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The characters. The depth of each character in this story is simply astounding. Even using the first person narrative, Hobb is able to create a whole host of realistically complex personalities.


    Which character – as performed by Paul Boehmer – was your favorite?

    The Fool is one of the best characters ever written. He is mysterious, comical, tragic, and heartwarming all at once.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    If only there were enough hours in the day, I would listen to all three Farseer books without pause.


    Any additional comments?

    This is the third book of an epic fantacy that every fantacy fan must read. I gave it four stars only because I found the other two books to be slightly more enjoyable. This was mostly because the author led you up to the end in exquisite detail and them suddenly ended the story. The ending is complete, it just doesn't have the fullness of description and life that the rest of the story has. That said, this isstill one of the best stories I've ever encountered.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • 11-22-63: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Craig Wasson
    Overall
    (17709)
    Performance
    (15745)
    Story
    (15697)

    On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas, President Kennedy died, and the world changed. What if you could change it back? In this brilliantly conceived tour de force, Stephen King - who has absorbed the social, political, and popular culture of his generation more imaginatively and thoroughly than any other writer - takes listeners on an incredible journey into the past and the possibility of altering it.

    Kelly says: "I Owe Stephen King An Apology"
    "Riveting and Unexpected"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am not typically a Stephen King reader. Horror isn't my thing. However, I've read Shawshank Redemption and a friend of mine told me that this was more in that style. So, I tried it. I couldn't stop listening! I usually just listen in the car on my commute. With this book, I was listening while I did laundry, went for walks, and made dinner...whatever.
    The main plot regarding the assassination of Kennedy was fascinating on its own, but King made me really care about all of the sub-plots too. I really cared for the people he changed, and I hated the obdurate past right along with him. The best part was, it didn't go the way that I thought it would. That is always a pleasant feature of a book.
    Even if Stephen King isn't your standard genre, try this book. Overall, the story was riveting, the narration was masterful and King showed why he has such a huge following.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Steelheart

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Macleod Andrews
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6276)
    Performance
    (5857)
    Story
    (5880)

    Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics. But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his wills. Nobody fights the Epics...nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans, they spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them. And David wants in. He wants Steelheart - the Epic who is said to be invincible. The Epic who killed David's father.

    D says: "He got the idea from a near traffic accident"
    "Holy Supervillains Batman"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love a book that takes you in and makes you think but doesn’t take itself too seriously. Sanderson has mastered that here. Steelheart turns the superhero genre on its side, asking, “Who will rise up when all we have are villains”. At the heart, it has similarities to Sanderson’s other books. Namely, a small rebel force against an undefeatable super-power. The thing I like about this one is that it is told by the hero, David. He is a young man with an axe to grind, but still has hope and a sense of humor. The book takes us through his journey for revenge. It has a few surprises (in true Sanderson style) and is full of crazy metaphors that are so ridiculous you can’t help but laugh. I found myself listening any time I could steal a few minutes and had trouble turning it off when I had to.
    As a parent, I would comfortably give this to a teen to read. There is one scene at the very beginning that is a bit gruesome, but otherwise it is clean and thought provoking. If you’ve read other books by Sanderson (and you should), I believe you will find this one to be very similar. It seems a little lighter and has more of a sci-fi feel than books like Mistborn, but not as light as the Rithmatist (both excellent books).

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Lifelong Health: Achieving Optimum Well-Being at Any Age

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Dr. Anthony A. Goodman
    Overall
    (147)
    Performance
    (128)
    Story
    (124)

    We all want to discover the secret to a long and healthy life. But how do you incorporate the secrets of personal wellness into the unique demands of your own schedule? What information would a knowledgeable and compassionate family physician offer someone looking for a reference guide to healthy living? These 36 comprehensive lectures offer you practical and expert advice that allows you to make your own personalized choices about healthy living, as well as ways to apply that knowledge to your lifestyle.

    Stephanie says: "There is no Bibliography"
    "The science of health for the rest of us"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Dr. Goodman does a very good job of tying actionable health advice to the basic science that supports it. It's helpful to know not only that something is good for you, or not good for you, but also why that is true. For me, the why adds a lot to my ability to follow through. Additionally, Dr. Goodman doesn't come at this program with 60 things you should change tomorrow. Instead, he consistently recommends small course changes that in years can take you to a whole different (and more healthy) destination.
    I found the lecture itself to go a bit slowly, so I listened to most of it at 1.25 and 1.5 speed. Other than that, it was easy to listen to, and even the topics that don't affect me (like smoking or steroid use) were interesting from an academic perspective. There is nothing earth shattering here, but that is more actionable anyhow. If you are looking for good advice and some shallow digging into health science, this is a good lecture.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Historical Jesus

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By The Great Courses, Bart D. Ehrman
    • Narrated By Professor Bart D. Ehrman
    Overall
    (48)
    Performance
    (48)
    Story
    (48)

    From the late Roman Empire all the way to our own time, no continuously existing institution or belief system has wielded as much influence as Christianity, no figure as much as Jesus. Worshipped around the globe by more than a billion people, he is undoubtedly the single most important figure in the story of Western civilization and one of the most significant in world history altogether.

    Tad Davis says: "Authoritative"
    "Disappointed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was really hoping this would be what is says it is. The description says it will be an unbiased, academic view of the historical Jesus. In that light, I was not expecting a theological study as you might receive in seminary, but I was also not expecting a pointed and largely unsupported attempt to discredit the New Testament. I only listened to the first half of this lecture series because of the professor's obvious bias that the New Testament and the events described there are myth and not historical documents. He is well spoken and easy to listen to, but don't be drawn in by his charisma. His arguments are week and instead of citing actual historical sources, most of the time he supports his claims with, "most historical scholars agree". (what does that really mean?) Furthermore, based on the assertion that scholars are in agreement, he makes assumptions and then basis further arguments on those assumptions.

    At one point he likens the New Testament writing to a 30 year long game of telephone. If you want to put it that way, wouldn't this be true of most historical documents of that time? He also claims that the miracles of Jesus are highly implausible, and that any previous attempts at describing them as true but non-miraculous are also implausible. His conclusion is that the stories are something akin to parables, simply a story made up to teach a lesson. Of course they are implausible, they are miracles! When studying other historical documents that don't match our understanding of events, do we assume the author to be fabricating a story?

    I had hoped that the lecturer would step out of the New Testament a bit and talk about the historical culture, context and events that surrounded Jesus (including a discussion of the source of this knowledge). I expected discussion of historical events that are represented in the Bible and backed up by other historical documents, and discussion about Biblical events that conflict with other historical documents. There was none of this in the first half of the lecture.

    Frankly, the lecturer showed himself to be so biased and willing to base "fact" on assumption that I wouldn't believe his findings if he did start to tie them back later in the series. If you are looking for an unbiased academic study in which to place Jesus in History, or are a believer looking for more insight into Jesus' life, this is not the lecture for you. If you are looking for an understanding of the arguments against the historical validity of the New Testament, this one is easy to listen to and thought provoking, although not well supported with citations that would help you carry the study further.

    26 of 69 people found this review helpful
  • The Lost Gate: Mithermages, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Orson Scott Card
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki, Emily Janice Card
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4542)
    Performance
    (3329)
    Story
    (3350)

    Danny North knew from early childhood that his family was different - and that he was different from them. While his cousins were learning how to create the things that commoners called fairies, ghosts, golems, trolls, werewolves, and other such miracles that were the heritage of the North family, Danny worried that he would never show a talent, never form an "outself"....

    joshua says: "Card doing what he does best."
    "A bit too unbelievable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have to admit, I liked the general idea that families with magic in a world typically without magic could explain the mythological and supernatural. Thus a great sea mage would be seen as Poseidon and a fading clant would explain ghosts. I found the whole concept to be intriguing and the writing style was easy to listen to.
    However, I didn't care for the story itself. First, there were just too many convenient coincidences and the explanations were week at best. Second, none of the primary characters were likable in the least. It was just hard to care what happened to them, even by the end. Finally, the whole thing felt like an elaborate setup for the next book. I haven't read any of Card's other books, so I can't say if this is typical of his writing, but I won't be seeking out the next one in this series.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Legion

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3370)
    Performance
    (3053)
    Story
    (3116)

    Stephen Leeds, AKA 'Legion,' is a man whose unique mental condition allows him to generate a multitude of personae: hallucinatory entities with a wide variety of personal characteristics and a vast array of highly specialized skills. As the story begins, Leeds and his 'aspects' are drawn into the search for the missing Balubal Razon, inventor of a camera whose astonishing properties could alter our understanding of human history and change the very structure of society.

    Joshua says: "The only flaw..."
    "I hope this is only the beginning"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    What a thought provoking idea! I hesitated to buy this book because it is so short (less than 3 hours), but it was well worth it. In truth this story felt like it should have been the pilot for a new TV show. Although the story is self contained and doesn't leave you hanging, it does leave you wanting more. I feel as though I am just getting to know Legion and his alter-egos. Previously, I've known Sanderson's writing for his epic fantasy (which is excellent), but he does a quality detective story as well.

    The narration was also well done. Oliver Wyman does a good job of giving everyone a unique and consistent voice and he's easy to listen to.

    Overall, I hope Sanderson does more Legion books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Rithmatist

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Michael Kramer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1521)
    Performance
    (1402)
    Story
    (1405)

    More than anything, Joel wants to be a Rithmatist. Chosen by the Master in a mysterious inception ceremony, Rithmatists have the power to infuse life into two-dimensional figures known as Chalklings. Rithmatists are humanity’s only defense against the Wild Chalklings - merciless creatures that leave mangled corpses in their wake. Having nearly overrun the territory of Nebrask, the Wild Chalklings now threaten all of the American Isles.

    Brandon says: "Beware of the chalk!"
    "Sanderson is Golden!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am yet to read something by Sanderson that I don’t love. Granted, so far that is only four books, but four out of four isn't bad . The Rithmatist is no exception. Although written for a young adult audience, the Rithmatist is a sophisticated weaving of fantasy and mystery.

    It is much lighter than Sanderson’s other works, but still has all the elements that make his novels so great. The characters have depth and real personality, the world building is masterfully done, and the plot is complex enough to keep you thinking. Adult and young adults alike should not hesitate to listen to this novel. As an adult listener, I loved it and can’t wait until he writes more in this world. As a parent, I wouldn’t hesitate to give it to my teen to read. It is clean, the violence is mostly second hand (no worse than a good Nancy Drew novel), and the characters are people you would let your kids hang out with.

    Michael Kramer is easy to listen to and adds depth to the story in the way he reads it. There is a little lost in the listening of this story, in that there are obviously drawings of the rithmatics in the novel. However, the loss of the visual is worth it to hear Kramer read it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Beautiful Friendship: Star Kingdom, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By David Weber
    • Narrated By Khristine Hvam
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1122)
    Performance
    (990)
    Story
    (992)

    Stephanie Harrington had always expected to be a forest ranger on her homeworld of Meyerdahl until her parents relocated to the frontier planet of Sphinx in the far distant Star Kingdom of Manticore. It should have been the perfect new home - a virgin wilderness full of new species of every sort, just waiting to be discovered. But Sphinx is a far more dangerous place than ultra-civilized Meyerdahl, and Stephanie's explorations come to a sudden halt when her parents lay down the law: no trips into the bush without adult supervision!

    brendanstallard says: "Wow, Weber hits the target."
    "Decent Teen Novel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I chose this book because my brother recommended I read the Honor Harrington series. I started here because I noticed this one is set in the same world but earlier in time. It wasn’t a bad story, but I found the plot to be extremely thin and the characters to be similarly shallow. Maybe if you read the Honor series first, the desire to get the treecat backstory would make it more interesting. That said, this is a clean, light sci-fi and the heroin would likely appeal to a teen. As an adult novel, I gave it 3 stars, as a teen novel it might rate higher. I won’t get more in the series, but I probably will share it with my pre-teen daughter who will likely enjoy it.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Beverly Cleary Audio Collection

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Beverly Cleary, Tracy Dockray
    • Narrated By Andrea Martin, Johnny Heller, Christina Moore
    Overall
    (39)
    Performance
    (32)
    Story
    (33)

    Beverly Cleary has been a part of America’s childhood for over 50 years. Now enjoy this rare collection of some of your favorite characters and their funny, heart-warming stories. Includes: Ellen Tebbits, Otis Spofford, Emily's Runaway Imagination, Mitch and Amy, Socks, and Muggie Maggie.

    Lorena says: "Fun for the whole family"
    "Fun for the whole family"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a great collection of some of the less known Beverly Cleary books. My family recently took a road trip and this collection was just the ticket for keeping everyone entertained. The stories are classic fun that the kids just eat up, even with the four year difference in their ages. The recording and narration are well done (which can't be said for a lot of children's audiobooks), and the stories reminded me of my own childhood reading Beverly Cleary. Not to mention the value of getting multiple books for one credit.

    1 of 1 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
    (8173)
    Performance
    (5628)
    Story
    (5663)

    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.

    Aaron Brown says: "Unique Magic system, good plot twists."
    "The Mistborn Job"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Mistborn is epic fantasy at its best. For the last few months, it seems every time I would get recommendations from Audible or follow a new reviewer, someone was raving about Mistborn. Now I know why. Sanderson takes you into a fallen world were evil has ruled for a thousand years and introduces you to a crime team working in its underbelly. I’ve always enjoyed thieving crew storylines with all their impossible situations and plot twists. I’m also an avid epic fantasy reader. Mistborn is an impressive combination of the two. The book is full of action and surprise. The magic system is intricate and clever, while still being understandable and consistent. The characters are deep and full of personality. If you’ve enjoyed books by Robin Hobb, Jim Butcher or Patrick Rothfuss, you will love Mistborn.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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