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Stevon

I love books!

Tempe, AZ, United States | Member Since 2005

501
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 282 reviews
  • 419 ratings
  • 681 titles in library
  • 72 purchased in 2014
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87

  • The Dogs of Riga: A Kurt Wallander Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Henning Mankell
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (511)
    Performance
    (289)
    Story
    (283)

    On the Swedish coastline, the bodies of two victims of grisly torture and cold execution are discovered in a life raft. With no witnesses, no motives, and no crime scene, Detective Kurt Wallander is frustrated and uncertain that he has the ability to solve the case. After the victims are traced to Latvia, Major Liepa of the Riga police takes over the investigation. Thinking his work is done, Wallander slips back into his routine - until he is suddenly called to Riga and plunged into an alien world.

    Stevon says: "My first Mankell book"
    "My first Mankell book"
    Overall

    My interest was piqued when I read on the audible just released lists about Swedish author Henning Mankell. I read the publisher's summary and thought they looked interesting. I'd never read a Swedish author before, that I know of anyway, and thought why not give it a try. I've always found the Baltic history intriguing so decided to give Dogs of Riga a try as my first one. I thoroughly enjoyed the story and getting to know Kurt Wallander. It was a fun listen with with plenty of plot twists and turns. Henning writes a good story. I enjoyed hearing the descriptions of life in both Sweden and Latvia. You wonder sometimes what the citizens of both countries think about life there and it appears to have its challenges. I will look forward to listening to the other Mankell books on Audible.

    19 of 22 people found this review helpful
  • Pines

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Blake Crouch
    • Narrated By Paul Michael Garcia
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2605)
    Performance
    (2356)
    Story
    (2362)

    Wayward Pines, Idaho, is quintessential small-town America — or so it seems. Secret Service agent Ethan Burke arrives in search of two missing federal agents, yet soon is facing much more than he bargained for. After a violent accident lands him in the hospital, Ethan comes to with no ID and no cell phone. The medical staff seems friendly enough, but something feels…off. As the days pass, Ethan’s investigation into his colleagues’ disappearance turns up more questions than answers. Why can’t he make contact with his family in the outside world? Why doesn’t anyone believe he is who he says he is? And what’s the purpose of the electrified fences encircling the town? Are they keeping the residents in? Or something else out? Each step toward the truth takes Ethan further from the world he knows, until he must face the horrifying possibility that he may never leave Wayward Pines alive…

    Linda B says: "Well done story"
    "what's going on here genre"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    First time author, this book seems to come from the genre where you're in a reality that doesn't appear to be real and you're trying to figure out what the reality is. The plot keeps unfolding even right up to the end. I realized only while listening to the book and researching the author a bit that this is the first book in a trilogy so there's a ways to go before figuring it all out. It is interesting and the author was really imaginative in coming up with the plot. I did read where this book is the basis for a TV series on Fox network TV starting around May 2015.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Secret Place: Dublin Murder Squad, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Tana French
    • Narrated By Stephen Hogan, Lara Hutchinson
    Overall
    (1010)
    Performance
    (903)
    Story
    (896)

    "The Secret Place", a board where the girls at St Kilda's School can pin up their secrets anonymously, is normally a mishmash of gossip and covert cruelty, but today someone has used it to reignite the stalled investigation into the murder of handsome, popular Chris Harper. Stephen joins forces with the abrasive Detective Antoinette Conway to find out who and why.

    Jim says: "CAN NOT UNDERSTAND HALF THE BOOK (AUDIO)"
    "another good French"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If I only read the reviews in audible on this book I might not have purchased it. But I had so enjoyed the first four books by the author I knew I would buy it nonetheless and I'm glad I did. Often with foreign accented narrators it takes some time to get used to the accent, in this case a male and female with an Irish accent. The male was fine but the female could be a bit hard to understand although I did find that if I put on my Bose headset I more easily understood the female. But as the book wore on, as usual, it got easier and easier to understand them both even without the headset. I did find it interesting that the author would choose to have a crime story set in a girls prep school with the teenage students as the primary suspects. I'm not sure who the target audience is other than just Tanqa French fans. But I will say that once again the author proves she is a great writer with awesome insight into human nature. She goes inside the school and brings the teenage lives to life. She also goes inside the heads of the two main detectives, mainly the male whose perspective most of the book is written from. Once you get into the characters, the setting and get used to the narrators the book flows along quite nicely. Tana French has written each of the books in the series using different characters for each book. Sometimes I wish she would loop back around and bring back some of her old characters to life and finish some of the personal stories, relationships she nurtures in her books. I really do enjoy her book, that's for sure.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sentinels of Fire

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By P. T. Deutermann
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (30)
    Performance
    (29)
    Story
    (29)

    By the spring of 1945, the once mighty Japanese fleet has been virtually destroyed, leaving Japan open to invasion. The Japanese react by dispatching hundreds of suicide bombers against the Allied fleet surrounding Okinawa. By mid-May, the Allied fleet is losing a major ship a day to murderous swarms of kamikazes streaming out of Formosa and southern Japan.

    Stevon says: "WWII Pacific war stories don't get any better"
    "WWII Pacific war stories don't get any better"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    For fiction, PT Deutermann's depictions have to be among the best written in actually describing what the Navy war against the Japanese in the Pacific theater must have been like. This book describes the battle of Okinawa from a Navy perspective. The Japanese considered Okinawa part of their homeland, much like we think of Hawaii. The Japanese sensed the end of the war was coming and they were going to lose but their warrior mentality said, seemingly, that they were going to fight to their last breath. If you were in the American fleet in the Okinawa campaign you life was on the line every single day. I've come to really enjoy this author's books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Wayfaring Stranger

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By James Lee Burke
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (731)
    Performance
    (661)
    Story
    (661)

    It is 1934 and the Depression is bearing down when 16-year-old Weldon Avery Holland happens upon infamous criminals Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow after one of their notorious armed robberies. A confrontation with the outlaws ends as Weldon puts a bullet through the rear window of Clyde’s stolen automobile. Ten years later, Second Lieutenant Weldon Holland and his sergeant, Hershel Pine, escape certain death in the Battle of the Bulge and encounter a beautiful young woman named Rosita Lowenstein hiding in a deserted extermination camp.

    Charles Atkinson says: "Outstanding Addition to the Holland/Texas Saga"
    "another good one"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've stated before that starting a James Lee Burke novel is like meeting up with a good friend again where you just know you are going to have a good time. This book didn't disappoint. This book filled in the early days of the Hackberry Holland character, a series set mostly in west Texas although this one wasn't. Many of Burke's books have bad things happen to good people. When this one started off with Lt Weldon Holland rescuing Rosita Lowenstien from a German death camp at the end of World War II, marrying her and bringing her back to west Texas, as the story unfolded I got a sense of foreboding of bad things to happen. Burke sets the core of this story just after the war ends in south Texas and Louisiana when the oil boom is just getting going. I never really thought much about that time and place but Burke brings it to life. It stands to reason that there were lots of cutthroat people who would do anything to get at the riches of the black gold. There were plenty of bad hombres. Burke does his usual fine writing, flowery and intellectual, while Will Patton does his usual good job of bringing the story to life as the narrator. Burke could take the Holland character in so many directions after this book, it's hard to anticipate what he will do with this series. I'll look forward to it no matter where it goes, I just hope it keep going.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Wolf Winter

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Clare Francis
    • Narrated By Simon Russell Beale
    Overall
    (15)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (13)

    In the chill of the Cold War, two Norwegians are shot dead after straying into Soviet wilderness, killings that will bind together three people in a web of treachery and passion: Halvard Starheim, veteran explorer, torn by the deaths of his friends and his love for a beautiful woman; Ragna Johansen, the attractive widow of one of the dead men, on a desperate search for love and fulfilment; Rolf Berg, brilliant Norwegian journalist, whose secret other life holds the key to a deadly conspiracy.

    Needles says: "A good story, well told"
    "a great book, my favorite Francis"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a great book, period. I've listened to more than five of the author's books now over a long period of time it seems. This was her third book, written way back in 1987. It must not have been put into audio format until recently as it only not too long ago showed up on audible. How an English author came up with the idea for this book and researched it, set in the Lapland region of Norway and Finland is beyond me. But she weaves a really interesting, engrossing spy thriller that even at over 21 hours of listening kept my attention from start to finish, was a page turner, and I was sorry to see end. Side note, while listening to this book I went into audible to see what other Clare Francis books I might be interested in and couldn't find her books anymore. I chatted audible and they told me that the author evidently has changed publishers and they currently don't have a contract with the new publisher, at least for this author. While not widely popular, as far as I know, I've always enjoyed her books and would hate to see them no longer available here on audible. The chatter said audible has a mechanism to pass along my input.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Silkworm

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Robert Galbraith
    • Narrated By Robert Glenister
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4239)
    Performance
    (3910)
    Story
    (3909)

    When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, Mrs. Quine just thinks her husband has gone off by himself for a few days - as he has done before - and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home. But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine's disappearance than his wife realizes. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows.

    H James Lucas says: "A well-worn genre enlivened with fresh characters"
    "great second book in the series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Why would an author that has had great success take on a new genre? It can't be about the money. It must be that the author just enjoys writing, maybe it's the challenge of showing others or maybe just yourself that you can do it. But this author, by any name, gets it. This book is the second in the series and the author does a great job of building on the first while weaving an interesting crime thriller. I wouldn't say there is great suspense in this book but the characters are really well developed and interesting. It's a thinking person's book and the setting with a bunch of authors, editors, and publishers is good. You get into the mystery after a bit and the book just flows. I'll look forward to the next book in the series, the author can really take the series in many different directions.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Jade Island: Donovan Series, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Lowell
    • Narrated By Robin Rowan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (107)
    Performance
    (61)
    Story
    (63)

    Wild and restless, Kyle Donovan has freed himself from the constraints of his family's high-powered gem-trading empire to rove the world as a treasure hunter. Now the president of Donovan International has given Kyle an assignment with explosive ramifications. When one of China's legendary cultural treasures is stolen, Lianne Blakely, a mysterious and beautiful jade expert, is accused of the theft. It's Kyle's job to get to the bottom of what could be a potential disaster for the Donovans.

    Stevon says: "entertaining"
    "entertaining"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Interesting premise in this one, my second Lowell book. Two families involved in precious gems task a family member to get to know the other to get an inside track to the other family. The two not only get to know each other but sparks fly immediately. I don't know that Elizabeth Lowell is known as a romance writer but this one had plenty of romance in it. It was an entertaining listen, though, as the author wove the story line of the mystery, the gem in this story being jade. You learn a lot about jade in this book. I enjoyed the characters, the setting in Seattle and the San Juan Islands, and the plot was OK. Sometimes it seemed the book didn't flow as well as it should but it didn't detract from the book too much. I will listen to book 3 in this 4 book series.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Candice Millard
    • Narrated By Paul Michael
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2104)
    Performance
    (1833)
    Story
    (1834)

    James A. Garfield may have been the most extraordinary man ever elected president. Born into abject poverty, he rose to become a wunderkind scholar, a Civil War hero, and a renowned and admired reformist congressman. Nominated for president against his will, he engaged in a fierce battle with the corrupt political establishment. But four months after his inauguration, a deranged office seeker tracked Garfield down and shot him in the back. But the shot didn’t kill Garfield. The drama of what hap­pened subsequently is a powerful story of a nation in tur­moil.

    Melinda says: "Marvelous, Magnificent, Millard"
    "an interesting time"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I didn't really know much about the life and times of President James A Garfield when it was recommended to me. But I like history and it sounded interesting so I went for it. It's actually a fairly short listen and due to the interesting times was easy to stick with. The biggest fact I learned was that Garfield was a good man, made of presidential timber although he didn't even want the job and the mark he would have made could have been significant if he hadn't been shot just four months into his presidency. The book tells of his life from a young age until the end. When you read history you always find the key issues of the times and inventions that were being made that still affect us greatly today. Garfield was alive when Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone, they even knew each other, and both witnessed the beginning of that great revolution. What would both of them think of what a telephone can do now? This era was just 16 years after the end of the Civil War and here a second assassination of the nation's leader took place. You can imagine what this did to the psyche of the USA. Good book

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Old Fox Deceiv'd

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Martha Grimes
    • Narrated By Steve West
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (160)
    Performance
    (146)
    Story
    (146)

    It is a chill and foggy 12th Night, wild with North Sea wind, when a bizarre murder disturbs the outward peace of Rackmoor, a tiny Yorkshire fishing village with a past that proves a tangled maze of unrequited loves, unrevenged wrongs, and even undiscovered murders. Inspector Jury finds no easy answers in his investigation - not even the identity of the victim, a beautiful young woman. Was she Gemma Temple, an impostor? Or was she really Dillys March, Colonel Titus Crael’s long-lost ward, returning after eight years to the Colonel’s country seat and to a share of his fortune? And who was her murderer?

    tennreader says: "Second reading through narration a real pleasure"
    "what genre is this?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I came across this series and started with book #1 and this is my second in the series, book #2. I'm still not quite sure what genre to put this in? it's clearly a murder mystery but it's not really a thriller, not a page turner. It's more in the line of a Sherlock Holmes mystery, a thinking person's mystery. And, yet, there is also the aspect of an American author writing the story set in England and sort of making fun, a spoof almost, of the British way of life, the language, the aristocracy and the class system, which we Americans find interesting, I suppose, if not a bit strange. Still, with all this said, my goal in any book is to be entertained and that I was.

    0 of 0 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
    (714)
    Performance
    (643)
    Story
    (639)

    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....

    Charles Atkinson says: "Maybe The Best Mystery Novelist Anywhere"
    "stands on its own"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you are like me and started listening and enjoying Jo Nesbo due to his Harry Hole series, that is probably what drew you to this book. When I first read the summary and reviews, I wasn't sure if I wanted to tackle this book. In the end, it was my enjoyment of Nesbo and Harry that had me listen to this. I'm glad I did. There is no Harry Hole in this novel but the trademark dark, brooding characters are there. Nesbo really came up with a creative, imaginative story in this book, a young man who goes to prison to try and find out the truth as to what really happened to his father. Nesbo explores a lot of different angles of human nature, makes you think about your own life and those in it. As the story weaves its way through, you get caught up in it, think about it and it really flows to the end. I was almost dreading finding out what dark, dastardly things might happen. I really enjoyed the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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