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Melinda Fleming

CompulsiveReader

Clayton, CA United States

7
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 11 reviews
  • 11 ratings
  • 39 titles in library
  • 2 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
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  • Brothers in Arms: A Miles Vorkosigan Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Lois McMaster Bujold
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    Overall
    (1087)
    Performance
    (557)
    Story
    (552)

    Led by Admiral Naismith (a.k.a. Lord Miles Vorkosigan), the Dendarii Mercenaries have pulled off the daring interspace rescue of an entire Cetagandan POW camp. But they have made some deadly enemies, and Miles realizes he's in trouble again. First the Mercenaries' payroll doesn't arrive on time; then someone tries to murder him. Now Miles must juggle both his identities to unravel a plot against him, and to reveal an unexpected ally. Just who is trying to assassinate which of his personas, and why?

    Louis says: "This is the order in which to read this series"
    "Excellent again"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved the purring blanket... The psychological interplay between Miles and Mark is simply brilliant. Plus much, much more.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Borders of Infinity: Miles Vorkosigan Series

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Lois McMaster Bujold
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    Overall
    (878)
    Performance
    (522)
    Story
    (527)

    The popular adventures of Miles Vorkosigan, a clever and outlandish science fiction hero for the modern era, continue in these three tales. In The Mountains of Mourning, Miles is dispatched to a back-country region of Barrayar, where he must act as detective, judge, and executioner in a controversial murder case. In Labyrinth, Miles adopts his alternate persona as Dendarii Mercenary Admiral Naismith for an undercover mission to rescue an important research geneticist from Jackson’s Whole.

    DERALD says: "Even better than expected"
    "Three jewels in a single setting"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I don't like novellas, but these three are a glorious exception to the rule. Each one is unique and stands out for it's own reasons. The last story (after which the book is titled) is particularly stunning.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Ethan of Athos

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Lois McMaster Bujold
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    Overall
    (742)
    Performance
    (452)
    Story
    (452)

    With the future of Athos at stake, Ethan is chosen on behalf of his cloistered fellows for a unique mission: to brave the wider universe in quest of new ovarian tissue cultures to replenish Athos' dwindling stocks. Along the way, he must tangle with covert operatives, killers, telepathy, interplanetary politics, and - perhaps most disturbingly - an indomitable female mercenary named Elli Quinn.

    David says: "Miles-less but still wonderful"
    "A world (but not a book) without women"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    How would that work? Ethan of Athos, follows naturally on Cetaganda because both stories are a meditation on the nature of reproduction without sex, and the role that men, women, and sex could have in the process; what might happen if the unscrupulous get hold of the process, and so on. Of course, all Bujold's books are also liberally drenched in nail biting action, wicked plot twists, great humor, and excellent characters. We meet Ellie Quinn (sic?) again, for example. I think Bujold is incapable of producing a bad book or character, and Grover Gardner is incapable of interpreting her work with anything less than perfect pitch.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Cetaganda: A Miles Vorkosigan Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Lois McMaster Bujold
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1229)
    Performance
    (592)
    Story
    (601)

    When the Cetagandan empress dies, Miles Vorkosigan and his cousin Ivan are sent to Cetaganda for her funeral as diplomatic representatives of Barrayar. Upon arrival, the two men are inexplicably attacked by a servant of the late empress. When the same servant turns up dead the next day, Miles and Ivan find themselves in the middle of a mystery.

    Bronwyn Soell says: "Miles and Ivan on a mission!"
    "The channels of power and control"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    By what means do individuals and groups get others to do their bidding? An ancient question. Cetaganda is a fresh and thoroughly entertaining response to that old question. Of course, there is much more to the book: stunning visuals, amazing plot twists, lots of action, and totally absorbing dialogue. Bujold did it again. Grover Gardner's delivery is - as always - a perfect match for this series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Vor Game: A Miles Vorkosigan Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Lois McMaster Bujold
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    Overall
    (1601)
    Performance
    (702)
    Story
    (716)

    Miles Vorkosigan graduates from the Barrayaran Military Academy with high expectations of ship command, but is disappointed with an assignment as meteorologist to Lazkowski Base, an arctic training camp. His tenure in the windy, snow-covered north is cut short when Miles narrowly averts a massacre between the trigger-happy base commander and mutinous recruits. After a brief stay under 'house arrest', Miles is re-assigned to investigate a suspicious military build-up near a wormhole nexus.

    David says: "Finally!"
    "My nails are gone, but my heart is satisfied."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If a character in one of Bujold's novels has a name, it is memorable. No matter how many there are. Each one of them stands out in memory, wether sketched with a few deft strokes, or lovingly created through layer after astounding layer. All that nailbiting action can distract one from the fact that everything in the novel is driven by the particular nature of these amazing characters. I'll never scoff at "Character-Driven" again!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Last Wilderness: Seekers #4

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Erin Hunter
    • Narrated By Julia Fletcher
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (20)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (12)

    Is this journey’s end . . .or just the beginning?Toklo, Kallik, Lusa, and Ujurak have finally reached the Last Great Wilderness, the legendary bear paradise they’ve been searching for. But while his companions think they’ve come to the end of their long journey, Ujurak feels a deep unrest. Is this truly where they¹re meant to be?

    Melinda Fleming says: "Current Topic, Great Characters, Haunting Story"
    "Current Topic, Great Characters, Haunting Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The characters are the best. You deeply care about each one of them. The story is heartbreaking but gripping. The subject-matter touches all of us, and the narrator is perfect for this story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Warrior's Apprentice: A Miles Vorkosigan Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Lois McMaster Bujold
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    Overall
    (1660)
    Performance
    (794)
    Story
    (803)

    Miles Vorkosigan makes his debut in this frenetic coming-of-age tale. At age 17, Miles is allowed to take the entrance exams to the elite military academy; he passes the written but manages, through miscalculation in a moment of anger, to break both his legs on the obstacle course, washing out before he begins. His aged grandfather dies in his sleep shortly after, for which Miles blames himself.

    Readalot says: "What a great character!"
    "Young Miles stumbles into himself"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    ... and all hell breaks loose of course. With the usual panache and character development that we've come to expect of Bujold. A great read.

    Grover Gardner's reading is competent and did not interfere with my enjoyment of the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Paladin of Souls

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Lois McMaster Bujold
    • Narrated By Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1425)
    Performance
    (588)
    Story
    (595)

    Three years have passed since the widowed Dowager Royina Ista found release from the curse of madness that kept her imprisoned in her family's castle of Valenda. Her newfound freedom is costly, bittersweet with memories, regrets, and guilty secrets, for she knows the truth of what brought her land to the brink of destruction. And now the road, escape, beckons...A simple pilgrimage, perhaps. Quite fitting for the Dowager Royina of Chalion.

    Amazon Customer says: "Excellent Sequel"
    "Delicious, Harrowing, Wonderful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    McMaster Bujold's characters are truly vivid and deliciously complex. Always something more to enjoy. I have read most of her Sci-Fi works - and loved them. Now I realize its not the Sci-Fi I loved so much (interesting as it is) but the characters. Bujold definitely does not disappoint in the Chalion series; and Paladin of Souls is another cabinet of wonders added to her already formidable collection of formidable characters.

    Kate Reading's performance is pitch-perfect. She gave true voice to Issta and Lys (sic?). She interpreted the vast array of other characters with great panache and variety.

    I am thoroughly pleased!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Curse of Chalion

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Lois McMaster Bujold
    • Narrated By Lloyd James
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2170)
    Performance
    (971)
    Story
    (978)

    Amidst the decaying splendor and poisonous intrigue of Chalion's ancient capital, Cazaril is forced to confront not only powerful enemies but also the malignant curse that clings to the royal household, trapping him, flesh and soul, in a maze of demonic paradox, damnation, and death for as long as he dares walk the five-fold pathway of the gods.

    Terri says: "What makes a hero... LMB knows"
    "Performance and story just great"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    McMaster Bujold at her best again. Nothing to add to that - the story is simply terrific.

    Many reviewers complained about Lloyd James' narration. I suppose, if one has already read the book and imagined different voices for the characters, it could pose a problem. But since this was the first time I encountered the story, I found his rendition just perfect. Not cartoonish, not halting; just perfect.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Merlin: Pendragon Cycle Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Stephen R. Lawhead
    • Narrated By Frederick Davidson
    Overall
    (253)
    Performance
    (99)
    Story
    (99)

    He was born to greatness, the son of a Druid bard and a princess of lost Atlantis. A trained warrior, blessed with the gifts of prophecy and song, he grew to manhood in a Britain abandoned by its Roman conquerors. He was to have a higher destiny: to prepare the way for the momentous event that would unite the Island of the Mighty - the coming of Arthur Pendragon, Lord of the Kingdom of Summer. This is the second book of The Pendragon Cycle.

    Philana says: "Excellent Book (Ten Stars)"
    "Story probably great, narrator's voice not"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Actually, Frederick Davidson has a beautiful voice. It's just completely the wrong voice: for first-person Merlin narration, and also for the era being depicted. Davidson's voice would be perfectly suited for Victorian era tales (George Bernard Shaw, Edgar Alan Poe, Oscar Wilde, Arthur Conan Doyle, Jules Verne, etc). But definitely NOT for the England of the Arthurian age!

    The narrator of the previous book in the series, Nadia May (Taliesin), was absolutely perfect for the job! I think it would not have taken listeners long to forget that a woman was reading Merlin in the first person.

    Unfortunately, I simply could not listen to a "Merlin" who sounded like a Victorian person of high birth. I won't be listening to the rest of the series either, because Davidson is the narrator for all of them. Perhaps I will get it in print some day - when I can get a large print edition or something.

    I'm sure the story is great. "Taliesin" was wonderful.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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