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  • The Royal Ranger: Ranger's Apprentice, Book 12

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By John Flanagan
    • Narrated By John Keating
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Will Treaty has come a long way from the small boy with dreams of knighthood. Life had other plans for him, and as an apprentice Ranger under Halt, he grew into a legend - the finest Ranger the kingdom has ever known. Yet Will is facing a tragic battle that has left him grim and alone. To add to his problems, the time has come to take on an apprentice of his own, and it's the last person he ever would have expected. Fighting his personal demons, Will has to win the trust and respect of his difficult new companion - a task that at times seems almost impossible.

    Jason says: "Saying goodbye to old friends"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I wish I had not read this story as it takes away from the ending of the original run. Compared to the initial series, Book 12 lacks the same intriguing character connection. The update regarding Will's life at the beginning derails the tale and it never quite recovers.

    What do you think your next listen will be?

    I hope the next Brother Band book closes the existing story loops and that the characters are not altered as drastically as those in the Apprentice series.

    Have you listened to any of John Keating’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Mr. Keating did a wonderful job of story telling.

    Do you think The Royal Ranger needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No. The original run was an excellent adventure for boys, the role reversal in this new effort takes away from the story line. There are very few books out that I can recommend for my boys, they were so disappointed the main character has shifted to a girl.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Dragon Conspiracy

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Lisa Shearin
    • Narrated By Johanna Parker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    We're Supernatural Protection & Investigations, known as SPI. We battle the real monsters of myth and legend, but this Halloween we're searching for diamonds.... A gala opening at the Metropolitan Museum of Art has attracted the upper crust of Manhattan - and thieves. A trio of vile harpies attacks the crowd and steals the stars of the exhibition: a colorful cluster of seven cursed diamonds known as the Dragon Eggs. In the right mage's hands, each stone can pack a magical wallop.

    Ms. Terry Lunney says: "I enjoyed it!"
    "Too Sexual - Poor follow-up to Book 1"
    What would have made The Dragon Conspiracy better?

    The main character is too sexually preoccupied with the Goblin/Demon character. A good portion of the book was the character justifying her lust for what was supposed to be an underhanded, manipulative villain... Isn't she supposed to be a kind of cop and good-guy? Got sick of hearing her descriptions and sexual fantasies...

    Would you ever listen to anything by Lisa Shearin again?

    Not after this. If I wanted potential soft porn I'd read Anne Rice.

    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Dragon Conspiracy?

    Cut the sexual insinuations and justifications for the drug use and debauchery - "It's what Goblins do"... And get back to the focus of SPI being a security/law enforcement agency and balance between the human and supernatural worlds.

    What happened?

    Any additional comments?

    My daughter and I were so bummed after we enjoyed the first book so much. She didn't finish the book. I don't blame her.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Wizard of Dark Street: An Oona Crate Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Shawn Thomas Odyssey
    • Narrated By Shawn Thomas Odyssey

    Oona Crate was born to be the Wizard's apprentice, but she has another destiny in mind. Despite possessing the rare gift of natural magic, Oona wants to be a detective. Eager for a case, she wants to show her uncle - the Wizard of Dark Street - that logic is as powerful as magic. But when someone attacks the Wizard, Oona must delve even deeper into the world of magic. Full of magic, odd characters, evil henchmen, and a street where nothing is normal, The Wizard of Dark Street will have you guessing until the very end.

    Amazon Customer says: "Great story, great entertainment."
    "Incredible Surprise!"
    What did you love best about The Wizard of Dark Street?

    Excellent concept with some of the best character development I have seen since the early Potter books! The story is imaginative, riveting and fun from page one.

    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Each character was unique and intriguing. Oona and her Raven, Deacon, are an excellent duo!

    What about Shawn Thomas Odyssey’s performance did you like?

    Not since Jim Dale have we been so entertained! Shawn Thomas Odyssey is a family favorite. The kids listened to this story, then completed the second book, and then went back to book one! Great for family story time and road trips.

    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The tragedy in Oona's early life was very grim to be sure, but my family is convinced their is still hope (this book is about a magical place after all) and they are impatient for the third book... Mr. Odyssey, PLEASE HAVE A THIRD!

    Any additional comments?


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The House of Hades: The Heroes of Olympus, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Rick Riordan
    • Narrated By Nick Chamian
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    At the conclusion of The Mark of Athena, Annabeth and Percy tumble into a pit leading straight to the Underworld. The other five demigods have to put aside their grief and follow Percy's instructions to find the mortal side of the Doors of Death. If they can fight their way through the Gaea's forces, and Percy and Annabeth can survive the House of Hades, then the Seven will be able to seal the Doors from both sides and prevent the giants from raising Gaea. But, Leo wonders, if the Doors are sealed, how will Percy and Annabeth be able to escape?

    amyrex2 says: "I really HATE it when narrators are switched"
    "Disappointing and Political"
    What disappointed you about The House of Hades?

    Riordan introduces a homosexual character and situation that ruins what was an excellent story line for all ages. The saddest part is, the development does nothing to enhance the story, but only introduces a social issue that has no place in the story line and is inappropriate for younger audiences. I have been reading these books to my young family members and recommending them to students because they have been fun adventures. I will not continue this practice as there was no need to introduce homosexuality the way it was done.

    The Olympian gods did some bizarre things, we get it, but making a main character gay served no purpose other than to promote Riordan's work within the gay community. If the book were geared more for young adults I would not take such an issue with this development, but younger audiences love these stories and are ill-equipped to understand such a controversial subject.

    Amazingly, Rowling pulled no such political / social ploy and Harry Potter's popularity did not suffer for it.

    Badly done.

    Would you ever listen to anything by Rick Riordan again?

    Not without proof reading it first. I would not want to blind side parents or my children with someone else's agenda.

    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    The narrator was fine, if a bit less polished than the previous reader. I was not expected the shift after so many other books. I look forward to hearing this narrator in another performance.

    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The House of Hades?

    The entire homosexual issue needs to be cut. It serves no value and makes light of a serious social issue of gay teens... The character had issues to begin with, but now homosexuality is used as an explanation for not fitting in. This reinforces a stereotype that many wish to break. My issue is primarily the topic is not suitable for young audiences. If these books are truly geared for young adults, why the constant and juvenile references to flatulence? Most teens are not amused by such references. For example, Twilight did not experiment with gross humor, but because it was focused on a young adult audience, much of the relationship oriented material made good story sense..

    Any additional comments?

    I wish Mr. Riordan had picked another story line to introduce his reference to a sensitive subject without slapping it into the final pages of what has been a fun adventure for all ages.

    5 of 8 people found this review helpful

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