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SHEILA

Member Since 2008

ratings
73
REVIEWS
17
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
41

  • The Rope: An Anna Pigeon Mystery, Book 17

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs)
    • By Nevada Barr
    • Narrated By Joyce Bean
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (456)
    Performance
    (374)
    Story
    (367)

    Thirty-five years old, fresh off the bus from New York City, and nursing a shattered heart, Anna Pigeon takes a decidedly unglamorous job as a seasonal employee of the Glen Canyon National Recreational Area. On her day off, she goes hiking into the park never to return. Her co-workers think she’s simply moved on - her cabin is cleaned out and her things gone. Anna herself wakes up, trapped at the bottom of a dry natural well, naked, without supplies and no clear memory of how she got into this situation. As she slowly pieces together her memory, it soon becomes clear that someone has trapped her there....

    karen says: "Great book, no question. But...."
    "Highly recommend this book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am quite familiar with the Anna Pigeon series, and am an avid fan. But this one stood out among the lot. First, it is, like most, just a very well-written book, based on a character I like, all crafted by a very talented author. Based on that alone, I would still rate this book as the best in the series. But I found something else in this book that surprised me. Without giving away the story, I must explain that early in this book, Anna experiences a woman's worst nightmare, as a captive with some seriously sexual undertones (don't worry, it is more psychological than physical.) However, the way Nevada Barr handled Anna's responses to the trauma afterward is remarkable. As a woman, I was stunned by the author's insight, and as a fortunate woman, having never experienced such trauma, I gained an insight that I would never have imagined. I came away feeling like I understood far more of the shame, confusion, and anger that comes with such an event. Moreover, I feel like I can understand more clearly why some people behave in ways that seem to be strange. Once I saw it so clearly through Anna's (Nevada Barr's) eyes, it began to make perfect sense. I also realized that I, as a woman, would get a totally different insight than a male reader, and that it might prove far more helpful to the male audience than to the female readers. I would recommend it to all, male and female, based solely on this feature, but I am quite confident that anyone and everyone will enjoy the story on its own merit. It is not until the very end that all is revealed, for throughout the story, I vacillated between my chosen villians, never quite sure. YES, this is a very good read/listen, and for several reasons. If you don't know Anna Pigeon, this is a great introduction. If you do, you'll find you never really knew her until now.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Angelfall: Penryn & the End of Days, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Susan Ee
    • Narrated By Caitlin Davies
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1061)
    Performance
    (977)
    Story
    (985)

    It’s been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her 17-year-old sister, Penryn, will do anything to get her back. Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel. Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl. Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival.

    Brooke says: "Creep-tastic!"
    "Very disappointed, very slow. Couldn't finish it."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made Angelfall better?

    This book was a big disappointment for me, and I tried hard to stick with it. The story was shallow, in that it was never made clear just exactly what was going on, WHY the world had turned so violent or how the angels became so hostile. I do not often read books about angels simply because they tend to trivialize the presence and value of angels, turn angels into servants of MAN and not of GOD, or, as in this book, into vengeful, self-serving versions OF man. I am offended by such depictions. But to make it worse, this was just boring.


    What was most disappointing about Susan Ee’s story?

    The author clearly has no respect for the concept of angels as she has turned them into something despicable and hostile. I think she'd have done better to have chosen a "creature" that has not become so embedded in our literature and faith that such a perversion would not be so hard to envision. It is just too offensive to me to allow me to tolerate the hostile, proud and arrogant beings in this book


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Caitlin Davies?

    Probably not, unless it was another narration by a child character. I will not, however, make a point of avoiding this reader.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    No. I found nothing in this book of interest or value. It felt like something "cranked out" in a hurry, by someone early in her career and who needs some seasoning to become a valued author. I do not know this woman's history, but if she is not new to the profession, she is simply lacking in skill or talent to become a truly accomplished author. I prefer to think she is just new, and this will someday be an example of her early works.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Callis Rose

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Mark Tufo
    • Narrated By Sean Runnette
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (342)
    Performance
    (321)
    Story
    (324)

    Callis Rose is a girl blessed with a gift from above or cursed with a ruthless power she barely understands; it's really just a matter of degrees. As her family life is turned asunder she is thrown into an indifferent Social Services program where she defends herself the only way she knows how. Callis is moved from home to home until she finally settles at the Lowries. As she starts her first day of high school she meets both her favorite and least favorite person. Both happen to be part of the same household.

    Teddy says: "I wanted Callis to have a happy ending but..."
    "couldn't get through it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made Callis Rose better?

    It was slow, predictable, and just not engaging for me. It gives a very poor representation of the entire foster system, both for the social workers and foster families. It was simply boring and suggests this author is lacking in either talent, an understanding of the foster system, or the intelligence of readers.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    It will not by one by this author.


    What three words best describe Sean Runnette’s performance?

    The narrator was adequate, but not outstanding. This could be, however, because of the book she was reading.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    I only got about halfway through it before I gave up. Perhaps it improved, but up to the point where I stopped, I would say no.


    Any additional comments?

    The story failed for me, but the narrator was adequate, which improves the overall rating slightly. I will not rule the narrator out in future selections, but I will avoid this author. I think it might be helpful for me to take a closer look at the authors' previous works, and avoid those without a good history. I'm finding more and more that selections I am making here are more and more disappointing. This is one of them.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Fire and Ice: A Liam Campbell Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Dana Stabenow
    • Narrated By Marguerite Gavin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (440)
    Performance
    (380)
    Story
    (375)

    In this mystery series by Dana Stabenow, the Edgar Award-winning author returns to the Alaskan setting she's famous for, with a wonderful character - state trooper Liam Campbell. Liam's just been transferred from Anchorage to the small fishing village of Newenham, Alaska - where a local pilot seems to have lost his head.

    Dr. Daniel Chapman says: "A quick heads up!"
    "I'm not a fan of Liam Campbell"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I did not realize this was not a Kate Shugak story when I bought it. I had some trouble getting into this one, as I did not find the character of Liam engaging. I will pay more attention now that I know the author has another character in the mix.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Honestly, I don't recall finishing it. If I did, I was not sufficiently impressed to recall.


    Which character – as performed by Marguerite Gavin – was your favorite?

    Again, I do not recall the specifics, but I DO like Marguerite Gavin's performances. It took a while to get used to her, as sometimes the inflexions seem out of character or inappropriate, but her depictions of the Alaskan natives, and their mannerisms is spot on!


    Any additional comments?

    I am not saying it was a bad book or story, or that you should NOT take it on. For me, this character simply cannot compete w/ Kate Sugak, which is what I was expecting. Some readers/listeners may prefer Liam to Kate. It just depends on the listener.

    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Cold Wind: A Joe Pickett Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By C. J. Box
    • Narrated By David Chandler
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (412)
    Performance
    (289)
    Story
    (285)

    When Earl Alden is found dead, dangling from a wind turbine, it's his wife, Missy, who is arrested. Unfortunately for Joe Pickett, Missy is his mother-in- law, a woman he dislikes heartily, and now he doesn't know what to do-especially when the early signs point to her being guilty as sin. But then things happen to make Joe wonder: Is Earl's death what it appears to be? Is Missy being set up? He has the county DA and sheriff on one side, his wife on the other, his estranged friend Nate on a lethal mission of his own, and some powerful interests breathing down his neck.

    Dennis says: "Excellent, edge of my seat the whole time"
    "Will be looking for more CJ Box books, maybe ..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Cold Wind the most enjoyable?

    I enjoyed the narrator and most of the characters. I came away feeling like I know a bit more about wind farms, and the industry. I thought the story moved well, no delays or tedium. I actually found myself thinking of the Longmire series. Somewhat comparable.


    If you’ve listened to books by C. J. Box before, how does this one compare?

    I do not recall the name, so if I have I was not impressed enough to have logged his name.


    What does David Chandler bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Had I been reading it myself, I probably would not have finished it. It did not excite me, but neither did it bore me. A good narrator can make or break an audio performance for me. The narrator here kept me listening.


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

    No, can't say there was. But I can say that there were some things that I did find overtly lacking. During the entire book, when the sheriff had a "witness" the defendant's attorney never once DEMANDED or even sought to depose that witness. I know enough about it all to know that whatever one side has by way of evidence MUST be revealed, and the existence of a witness upon whom the entire case hinges should have been at the top of the list for this hot-shot, high-profile lawyer. I felt like the sheriff was a little lacking in depth acting so blatantly biased to the point of stupidity. Lots of loose ends, somewhat hastily tied up.


    Any additional comments?

    I did enjoy the narrator! I'd look for more of his work in a heartbeat.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Blood of the Lamb: A Novel of Secrets

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Sam Cabot
    • Narrated By Jason Culp
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    Father Kelly, a Jesuit priest, is suddenly called to Rome to begin a desperate search for a document that could shatter the church. Meanwhile, Livia Pietro receives instructions: she must find a Jesuit priest recently arrived in Rome, and join his search. Thomas and Livia must race to stop the chaos and destruction that the revelation of this secret would create. Livia, though, has a secret of her own: she and her people are vampires.

    SHEILA says: "enjoyed it up until the end ... how disappointing"
    "enjoyed it up until the end ... how disappointing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Blood of the Lamb the most enjoyable?

    I will not reveal the true nature of this story. It did start out as an enjoyable imitation of many of the similar mysteries taking Biblical characters and drawing overt connections to some modern-day conspiracies. It could not be considered a great tale, but it was moving along very well, until the very end. I must say I was profoundly disappointed in the author. He simply went much to far in his absurdities. It said to me that his author had to reach further than his abilities, and he failed miserably. I will not say DO NOT BOTHER, for some may find it less offensive, even perfectly acceptable.. I think the author chose a lazy, silly, absurd ending to what could have otherwise been a good tale.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Disappointed beyond words. Weak and absurd beyond all reason.


    What does Jason Culp bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The narrator did a fine job. I would have had some difficulty with the Latin and Italian names and passages.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I do have an extreme reaction, but not as you ask. It is just embarrassing for the author to have chosen to end it as he did. It tells me he was either in such a hurry that he was grasping at straws, or he does not have all of the skills needed to craft a truly great story.


    Any additional comments?

    Such a shame. It will probably be the only one of his books I will ever "read". I cannot recommend it.were it not for the failings in the story's ending, I would have rated it much higher, but such was the nature of the final pages. Too bad.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in History

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By John M. Barry
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (1252)
    Performance
    (603)
    Story
    (613)

    No disease the world has ever known even remotely resembles the great influenza epidemic of 1918. Presumed to have begun when sick farm animals infected soldiers in Kansas, spreading and mutating into a lethal strain as troops carried it to Europe, it exploded across the world with unequaled ferocity and speed. It killed more people in 20 weeks than AIDS has killed in 20 years; it killed more people in a year than the plagues of the Middle Ages killed in a century.

    Nancy says: "Gripping and Gory"
    "Facinating, riveting, disturbing, a MUST READ all"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does The Great Influenza rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I would rate this as VERY significant, if only as a stunning shock of reality. I recall my grandmother telling how her younger siblings had died during the epidemic, but gave it little thought. How I wish now I could discuss that time with her. She was a young adult, old enough to have understood what was happening around her, and to have given us a remarkable accounting of life in Missouri/Kansas at the time. How I wonder that she only lost 2 of the 10 children, and large extended family!


    If you’ve listened to books by John M. Barry before, how does this one compare?

    I have not read any other books by John Barry, but I certainly will. I am reminded of THE DEVIL IN THE WHITE CITY, but Erik Larson, another revealing historical account, also narrated by Scott Brick.


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

    Scott Brick's mafter-of-fact naration lends a quality of credibility to an otherwise hard-to-believe accounting.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    A Silent, Patient Killer Destined to Return.


    Any additional comments?

    There is an enormous amount of information in this book, beginning with how the medical community of the US came into the 20th century in a shamefully unregulated state, how it evolved and rose quickly to take on the greatest public health emergency in our world's history. Having set the stage, the author then explains a bit about how epidemics develop and how the state of the world at that time fostered this disaster, how a number of preliminary localized epidemics of measles, polio, encephalitis all paved the way for this new, virulant virus to grow, evolve and eventually devestate the entire world. My presumptions and ignorance of the entire event have been revealed, leaving me frightened for the future. We have no living survivors to testify first hand to the experience, to the true horrors of the time, and history has already begun glossing over the dreadful mistakes made. For students of American history, this book tells us of a side of our American government and Wilson's presidency that we should all know about. What was done in the name of patriotic support is just as stunning and frightening as the statistics regarding lives lost to this epidemic. This is a CRUCIAL read for us all.

    Unfortunately, there is so much information to convey that at times, the author tends to repeat himself, recounting the same stories multipl times throughout the books. This would be a very difficult book for me to sit and read, but it is well suited for this audible presentation.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Glamorous Powers

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Susan Howatch
    • Narrated By Dermont Crowley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (43)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (19)

    In 1940, Jon Darrow, a man who has played many parts, returns to the world he once renounced. But faced with many unforeseen temptations, he fails to control his psychic powers. Corruption lies in wait for him, threatening his future as a priest.

    Susianna says: "Heart & Soul"
    "disappointing & enlightening. slow, tedious death"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was intrigued at first with this book. I was disappointed with it when it fianlly ended. The story is a narrative from a monk with the Church of England at the beginning of WWII, a time not often depicted in stories about monks. I soon found I was learning a great deal about the Church of England of modern times (I am old enough to see it as "modern"), but, as with most stories placed cloistered environments there was a clear definition of the characters to like and dislike, love and hate. While it felt formula-based, it was interesting all the same. Sometimes the narrator didn't seem genuine in some of the characters' statements, often inferring some attitude that I was not sure was intended. I found this a little distracting. But, as the story progressed it seemed to be taking a totally unexpected turn, moving from the monastery into the world so foreign to the 17-year monk. More interesting information about the way the Church functioned and how it reintroduced its isolated members into the traditional world. I was still enjoying it, but feeling like the story was getting lost a bit. Then the bad-buys became good-guys and the good drifted into the bad side, and it all became a little muddled. Clearly the author was well-versed in the Church and its willingness to care for its own, about modern psychologhy and even current views on metaphysical theories, although I am not convinced that these were applicable in the 1940's. However, the last 3rd of this very lengthy story just got lost. The author spent more time psychoanalyzing the characters, and the value of understanding and forgiveness than on resolving the conflicts in the story. I was actually relieved when the story ended, but then the narrator continued on with a monologue from the author. "Give it up ", I thought, and stopped the recording. I felt like the author or editors were either trying to justify the dismal twist of the story or convert their audience into some belief or another. I didn't not wait to see.

    Personally, I'd not say this was a bad book. I came away feeling I had learned some bit more about a world otherwise foreign to me. I DID find myself agreeing with the author's overt lessons about listening, understanding, and forgiving others and oneself for perceived transgressions, and I did enjoy the voice of the narrator, if not his intrepretation of some of the dialogs. However, I also understand that for most readers, these are not necessarily good selling points. Based on the story alone, I found this book wonting. I was very disappointed, and if I were not almost obsessive about finishing books I have started, I probably would have gently set this one aside at the midpoint and moved on.

    If you would like to learn more about the Church of England and how it is structured, or a bit more about charismatic healing and the connections between psychic healing, the Church and how Devine energy, focused energy, prayer and mysticism all interconnect (at least according to this author), this is a fine example. But, do not expect a strong story line. It simply is not there. Sorry.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Be Different: Adventures of a Free-Range Aspergian with Practical Advice for Aspergians, Misfits, Families & Teachers

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By John Elder Robison
    • Narrated By John Elder Robison
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (87)
    Performance
    (69)
    Story
    (68)

    John Robison argues that Asperger's is about difference, not disability. In this book he offers stories from his own life and from the lives of other Aspergians to give the reader a window into the Aspergian mind. Equally important, he offers practical advice - to Aspergians, their parents, and educators - on how Asperians can improve the weak communication and social skills that keep them from taking full advantage of, or even recognizing, their often remarkable gifts.

    SHEILA says: "You have to BE an Aspie to see the full value"
    "You have to BE an Aspie to see the full value"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    For many years, I lived like so many, feeling NOT NORMAL but not knowing why. Once I realized why, I began to understand more and more about myself, and just HOW I am different. I am not sure anyone except those of us who live it can fully appreciate just what the author is describing here. I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone, if only to broaden the readers' views on a world many may not even know exists. It will open your eyes to just how such a brilliant mind can be hidden inside a troubled boy. Mr. Robison is different, not just in how his brain works, but in his ability to turn his difference into such an asset.Even at my age, even I found inspiration and hope after this book. For someone 50 years younger, the potential is wonderful, if only so they can come to understand the nature of their difference and learn to not blame themselves along the way. This is the kind of book one will want to buy to share with others. Look/listen closely to Mr. Robison's description of how he saw/heard the sounds from the mega-amps, watching and understanding the sounds through all the senses, then turned that incredible insight into a musical/magical instrument. There is some depth in his perceptions at that moment that many will not recognize ... don't miss it.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Afraid

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Jack Kilborn
    • Narrated By Phil Gigante
    Overall
    (441)
    Performance
    (246)
    Story
    (248)

    Welcome to Safe Haven, Wisconsin. Miles from everything, with one road in and out, this peaceful town has never needed a full-time police force. Until now.... A helicopter has crashed near Safe Haven and unleashed something horrifying. Now this merciless force is about to do what it does best. Isolate. Terrorize. Annihilate. As residents begin dying in a storm of gory violence, Safe Haven's only chance for survival will rest with an aging county sheriff, a firefighter, and a single mom.

    coreybeth says: "Run, catch, torture, repeat puhleeezz"
    "Be afraid of this book ... very afraid"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book started out well. In fact, I enjoyed the book completely for the first 1/3rd of the story, until I realized that this is just a horrific collection of unimaginably gruesome ways for people to die And die they do, one after another, one bloody,paintful and nightmareish way after another. I can tolerate such horror when it is peppered throughout, but in this book, the gore and bloodshed is as thick as peanut butter on a PBJ sandwich. To make matters worse, the actions of the "heros" of this story are so absurd as to be insulting to the reader. As I got into the 2nd half of the book, I began to realize that it was escalating to the point where I was not sure if I wanted to continue. But I kept hoping/expecting something would change. Time after time, just when I thought one character or another would manage to escape some horrific fate, I came to expect disappointment. Before long, I realized that this book was just DARK. The entire story, how it was constructed and how it unfolded, is discouraging, depressing, and frightening, not in what is happening to the characters/victims, but frightening to realize that someone could write such a book, that a publisher would promote it, and that the public might read it. This type of book, these descriptions, in the hands and minds of suseptable people is what scares me. While I do not advocate censorship, I also do not advocate that this book be considered anything but dismal, dark, and DANGEROUS. This author scares me, and I will remember the name, as one to avoid. The mind that could write such a book, and consider it worthy ... this is what scares me. I would not want this person for a neighbor.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • The Third Gate: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Lincoln Child
    • Narrated By Johnathan McClain
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (872)
    Performance
    (745)
    Story
    (739)

    Under the direction of famed explorer Porter Stone, an archaeological team is secretly attempting to locate the tomb of an ancient pharaoh who was unlike any other in history. Stone believes he has found the burial chamber of King Narmer, the near mythical god-king who united upper and lower Egypt in 3200 B.C., and the archaeologist has reason to believe that the greatest prize of all - Narmer's crown - might be buried with him. No crown of an Egyptian king has ever been discovered, and Narmer's is the elusive crown of the two Egypts.

    Amanda says: "Reliable Entertainment for Child Fans"
    "Predictable if you're familiar with the author"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was disappointed in this book, but as I have read/listened to quite a few of Lincoln Child's work (alone and with others), I think it may be time for me to set aside this author for a while, as I found this one predictable and so similar to others as to be a bit formulaic. If I were not familiar with his work, I would probably be giving it a much higher rating. However, I must say this is the first time I have found him wonting a bit in his research (on NDE's.) The entire plot was a little trite. As with his other books, I find myself curious about the location of this story, and about the history he describes, so if you are interested in ancient Egypt and the early pharohs, you might find this to be a great choice. The narrator does a fine job. I will watch for his name elsewhere, and Mr Child's descriptions are engaging and very effective. He has a superb talent for descriptions and action. For all of that, if you are familiar with Mr. Child's work, you may find this one a bit of a letdown, as did I. Not saying it is a bad book, just that, for me, it was just too much like his others to stir me.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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