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cristina

Somerville, MA, United States | Member Since 2009

ratings
171
REVIEWS
153
FOLLOWING
68
FOLLOWERS
226
HELPFUL VOTES
910

  • The Dragon Factory: The Joe Ledger Novels, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Jonathan Maberry
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1990)
    Performance
    (1736)
    Story
    (1740)

    In The Dragon Factory, Ledger and his team from the Department of Military Sciences square off against two separate groups of corrupt scientists. The beautiful but twisted Jakoby Twins are creating transgenic monsters and genetically enhanced mercenaries for sale to the highest bidder. Their father, who takes evil to an entirely new level, is using cutting-edge science to complete the Nazi master-race program.

    Amanda says: "Fantastical and Fun"
    "As good as the first"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I totally enjoyed Jonathan Maberry preposterous storyline! And how the characters seem to take anything -- dismemberment, explosions, mad scientists -- in stride. I love how, in the middle of an outlandish scene, there will be a totally matter of fact conversation. The evil twins, for example, discussing whether they are Evil Monsters or not as if they were discussing whether they were popular in high school. Keep it coming, Mr. Maberry! And keep reading, Mr. Porter. A truly spectacular performance.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Privileged Lives: Vince Cardozo, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Edward Stewart
    • Narrated By Christian Rummel
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    In a private suite at a New York hospital, Beatrice “Babe” Vanderwalk Devens awakens from a seven-year coma. The socialite and fashion designer is stunned to learn that her husband, Scottie, was brought to trial twice - and acquitted - for her attempted murder. Across town, the naked, mutilated body of a young man wearing a black leather bondage mask is found in an empty apartment in the Beaux Arts Tower, high atop the Museum of Modern Art.

    cristina says: "A bit long-winded, but entertaining nevertheless"
    "A bit long-winded, but entertaining nevertheless"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It takes a while for the story to get going because, for a very long time, it seems like you're reading two books. There's a brutal homicide and a woman who wakes up from a seven-year coma...and for almost a third of the novel, the two stories are only connected by the investigator. Then the two stories come together and the book becomes a lot more interesting. Could have been shorter, but it was still entertaining. So much so that I was hooked by the preview of the second in the series and am in the process of downloading it as I write this review.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Wicked Girls

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Alex Marwood
    • Narrated By Anna Bentinck
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (474)
    Performance
    (428)
    Story
    (422)

    On a fateful summer morning in 1986, two 11-year-old girls meet for the first time. By the end of the day, they will both be charged with murder. Twenty-five years later, journalist Kirsty Lindsay is reporting on a series of sickening attacks on young female tourists in a seaside vacation town when her investigation leads her to interview carnival cleaner Amber Gordon. For Kirsty and Amber, it's the first time they've seen each other since that dark day so many years ago. Now with new, vastly different lives - and unknowing families to protect - will they really be able to keep their wicked secret hidden?

    Lesley says: "I didn't want to like these girls..."
    "Riveting"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A dark and painful tale of misery and lives-gone-horribly-wrong, told exquisitely by an author in full control of his audience (and narrated by the perfect voice). I loved it!

    The tragic events of a day long ago when the two protagonists were 11 years old are revealed chronologically, and interspersed with what's happening in the present day, when a dreadful coincidence brings the two women together as adults. It's hard to say what's more hypnotic: the dreadful events that are unfolding, or to see the paths their two lives took as a result of that one day in their childhood. I could not tear my eyes (ears?) away. And can't wait for more novels by this author.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Girl with All the Gifts

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By M. R. Carey
    • Narrated By Finty Williams
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (343)
    Performance
    (319)
    Story
    (318)

    Melanie is a very special girl. Dr Caldwell calls her "our little genius". Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don't like her. She jokes that she won't bite, but they don't laugh. Melanie loves school. She loves learning about spelling and sums and the world outside the classroom and the children's cells. She tells her favorite teacher all the things she'll do when she grows up. Melanie doesn't know why this makes Miss Justineau look sad.

    Marci says: "It was good, not great"
    "Excellent"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    To call this is one of the best 'zombie' books I have ever read (I do like zombie books) would be to make it much smaller than it is. Sure, there are zombies, but this book is about human interactions--about humanity. Without giving any of the great turns and twists away, I have to say that the character development is absolutely brilliant. I can't recall a single instance in the book where a character went off-course in an unexpected way--those who changed (and many did) changed because they were reacting to something outside themselves (and the changes were powerful and moving); those who didn't change didn't change because nothing could have made them do so. You come to know each one of them well, especially Madeleine--the little girl at the center of the story. And what a story it is! M.R. Carey has crafted a tightly knit plot that will keep you at the edge or your seat (or wherever you happen to be while you listen) from start to finish. This was one of those audiobooks that I couldn't wait to get back to. Finty Williams is PERFECT for the narrator. Her rendition of little Madeleine's voice is particularly great (conveying innocence without ever being saccharine). Loved it! Can't wait for this author's next novel.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • While Beauty Slept

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Blackwell
    • Narrated By Wanda McCaddon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (47)
    Performance
    (46)
    Story
    (46)

    I am not the sort of person about whom stories are told.And so begins Elise Dalriss's story. When she hears her great-granddaughter recount a minstrel's tale about a beautiful princess asleep in a tower, it pushes open a door to the past, a door Elise has long kept locked. For Elise was the companion to the real princess who slumbered-and she is the only one left who knows what actually happened so many years ago. Her story unveils a labyrinth where secrets connect to an inconceivable evil. As only Elise understands all too well, the truth is no fairy tale...

    RueRue says: "A Different Sleeping Beauty"
    "Very Bad Writing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I plodded through 5 hours of the first-person 'narrative,' thinking that any minute the story would 'start,' but simply couldn't take it anymore. Zero character development. Zero originality (I like these sorts of fantasies so the plot seemed to have promise when I read the publisher's summary, but the characters behave along extremely stereotypical lines). The combination made for a very boring listen. I am planning to get my credit back.

    Skip this one and read "Enchantment" by Orson Scott Card.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • I Am Pilgrim: A Thriller

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Terry Hayes
    • Narrated By Christopher Ragland
    Overall
    (102)
    Performance
    (97)
    Story
    (97)

    An anonymous young woman murdered in a run-down hotel, all identifying characteristics dissolved by acid. A father publicly beheaded in the blistering heat of a Saudi Arabian public square. A notorious Syrian biotech expert found eyeless in a Damascus junkyard. Smoldering human remains on a remote mountainside in Afghanistan. A flawless plot to commit an appalling crime against humanity.

    W. Perry Hall says: "Smartest Novel I've Heard or Read in Long time"
    "Should have been three and a half stars"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The book is really two stories (a terrorist's plot and a murder mystery) that are force-fitted into one novel through a very implausible connection. That said, both stories are actually quite clever so it keeps your interest from beginning to end--a feat given the length of the book. In fact, I would say Hayes' ability as a storyteller is both the book's salvation and it's biggest problem. He keeps digressing into sub-plots (his childhood, the cop's past bravery, etc., etc....A problem (it seems that he can't help himself), but since all the stories are told well you almost don't mind. The excellent narration by Christophre Ragland helps.

    3 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • The Son: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Jo Nesbø
    • Narrated By Gildart Jackson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (354)
    Performance
    (324)
    Story
    (320)

    Sonny Lofthus is a strangely charismatic and complacent young man. Sonny’s been in prison for a dozen years, nearly half his life. The inmates who seek out his uncanny abilities to soothe leave his cell feeling absolved. They don’t know or care that Sonny has a serious heroin habit - or where or how he gets his uninterrupted supply of the drug. Or that he’s serving time for other peoples’ crimes. Sonny took the first steps toward addiction when his father took his own life rather than face exposure as a corrupt cop. Now Sonny is the seemingly malleable center of a whole infrastructure of corruption....

    Mary says: "Much more than I expected!"
    "Not his best, but still very, very good"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It's hard to review Jo Nesbo novels. One tends to compare them against the author's previous work and it's hard to measure up. I did not think this was one of his best (it's not Snowman). Some of the plot twists are a bit too farfetched and there is never any good reason given for Sonny's ethereal qualities. (Did not really felt the novel needed him to be such an other-worldly guy...Simple goodness would have been just fine.) Still, the story moves with unrelenting pace and the mystery is a good one. Yes, I suspected how it would end sooner than I would have liked but I think that's simply because I am aware of Nesbo's tricks!

    If you have not read Nesbo before, try Snowman first. If you are a fan of Nesbo, by all means download The Son. And enjoy!

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Deepest Secret: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Carla Buckley
    • Narrated By Kirsten Potter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (70)
    Performance
    (64)
    Story
    (64)

    Eve Lattimore’s family is like every other on their suburban street, with one exception. Her son Tyler has a rare medical condition that makes him fatally sensitive to light, which means heavy curtains and deadlocked doors protect him during the day and he can never leave the house except at night. For Eve, only constant vigilance stands between an increasingly restless teenage son and the dangers of the outside world.

    Suzn F says: "Engaging and Interesting Story"
    "Gripping"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I could not stop reading/listening. The book is not really a "mystery." It's about right and wrong choices. It's about relationships. It's about human nature. Carla Buckley makes this all come to life in a book that grabs you from the start with an obvious, but true, insight into what seems to be happening 'out in the open' (in the light) and what's really happening 'behind the curtains' (at night). The reader is quite good.

    [I googled the disease of the main character and almost found the websites as gripping as this novel. Kudos to the parents who have to deal with this heart-wrenching and life-altering diagnosis for their child--and to the patients!!! Wow.]

    I was disappointed to read the reviews of the author's first novel (it sounds like she was testing the waters for this one). However, this one was good enough to put the first on my 'wish list'.....and to hope that her third one comes quickly.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Dark Eden: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Chris Beckett
    • Narrated By Matthew Frow, Jayne Entwistle, Ione Butler, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (183)
    Performance
    (172)
    Story
    (171)

    On the alien, sunless planet they call Eden, the 532 members of the Family shelter beneath the light and warmth of the Forest's lantern trees. Beyond the Forest lie the mountains of the Snowy Dark and a cold so bitter and a night so profound that no man has ever crossed it. The Oldest among the Family recount legends of a world where light came from the sky, where men and women made boats that could cross the stars. These ships brought us here, the Oldest say - and the Family must only wait for the travelers to return.

    Amazon Customer says: "Hope to see a sequel soon"
    "It was brilliant-brilliant"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I absolutely loved this book. The story is absolutely great. So well thought-out -- the plot (don't want to give anything away), the details about "Eden" and how the characters interact with their planet. The depth of each of the characters! And yet, the story is about much more than just the story--it's about history and how we can interpret (and misinterpret) it, how it affects our lives...it's about religion, beliefs...it's about leadership, society...about change.

    I usually don't like books with multiple narrators, but they worked perfectly here. Each and every one was outstanding, especially the voice of John Redlantern.

    The book does not need a sequel. I simply want one because I was so sorry to see it end. I noticed that the the copyright for the book was 2012 and the audiobook was 2014, so perhaps Chris Becket has been busy working a new one for the last couple of years! Whatever he writes, I will download. In Eden-speak, "It was clever-clever and I was sad-sad when it came to a close."

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Code Zero: Joe Ledger, Book 6

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Jonathan Maberry
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (915)
    Performance
    (864)
    Story
    (857)

    For years the Department of Military Sciences has fought to stop terrorists from using radical bioweapons - designer plagues, weaponized pathogens, genetically modified viruses, and even the zombie plague that first brought Ledger into the DMS. These terrible weapons have been locked away in the world’s most secure facility. Until now. Joe Ledger and Echo Team are scrambled when a highly elite team of killers breaks the unbreakable security and steals the world’s most dangerous weapons.

    Melinda says: "Back Off! Or I'll Bite"
    "Not as good as the earlier ones"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love this series but I have to admit that I was a tad disappointed in this one. Part of the fun is discovering the latest creatures and villains that have been concocted in Jonathan Maberry's crazy head...In Code Zero, the evils are recycled from earlier stories. The new villain is somehow not up to par with previous ones. It was a fun read...but simply not of the same caliber.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Cairo Affair

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Olen Steinhauer
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (241)
    Performance
    (212)
    Story
    (210)

    Sophie Kohl is living her worst nightmare. Minutes after she confesses to her husband, a mid-level diplomat at the American embassy in Hungary, that she had an affair while they were in Cairo, he is shot in the head and killed. Stan Bertolli, a Cairo-based CIA agent, has fielded his share of midnight calls. But his heart skips a beat when he hears the voice of the only woman he ever truly loved, calling to ask why her husband has been assassinated.

    Darwin8u says: "In the widening gyre"
    "Excellently plotted"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    After reading a number of mediocre books where the plot went nowhere, "The Cairo Affair" was a breath of fresh air. The plot unveils in layers, each chapter revealing a new shade of meaning to what you knew before. The characters find out what is happening right along with you. Each one is holding his or her own piece of the puzzle...and in the end it all comes together seamlessly. It's hard to say much without spoilers, so I will simply recommend this for those of you who like spy thrillers and intrigue that is ultimately human.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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