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Leslie

I'm an engineer that took all my electives in English and Art! Fantasy novels with moral depth and colorful worlds fill my library.

ratings
73
REVIEWS
16
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
17

  • The Sworn: The Fallen Kings Cycle, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Gail Z. Martin
    • Narrated By Kirby Heyborne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (82)
    Performance
    (52)
    Story
    (54)

    As plague and famine scourge the Winter Kingdoms, a vast invasion force is mustering from beyond the northern seas. And at its heart, a dark spirit mage wields the blood magic of ancient, vanquished gods. Summoner-King Martris Drayke must attempt to meet this great threat, gathering an army from a country ravaged by civil war. Neighboring lands reel toward anarchy while plague decimates their leaders.

    Pamela Allred says: "Great Read poor Reader"
    "I keep rewinding as I zone out...zzzz"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made The Sworn better?

    Any other reader. Any. Even my kid.


    What could Gail Z. Martin have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    I will have to buy the paper version because I can't get through this. I have well over 100 audio books and this is the worst performance except one (of many) I read in the public domain (i.e. FREE.) Did the author have input here? I have to guess no.


    What didn’t you like about Kirby Heyborne’s performance?

    Words mispronounced. Sounds whiney and singson. Even fighting demons sounds boring. I would never have thought that a reader could break anything this badly. I will never buy another book read by this guy. However much it costs to re-read these two books, Audible should consider it. If this had been my first series, I'd be tempted to be done.


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

    This series has lots to recommend it. I'd say the setting, characters, depth of plot and well thought out world are awesome. I feel betrayed by Audible not G Martin.


    Any additional comments?

    How could you change readers midstream, and not get someone else that even knew how to pronounce the word "scimitar" in a fantasy novel? I hope I've given enough positive reviews to match the hate in this one--overall I'm an Audible addict.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The King of Plagues: The Joe Ledger Novels, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Jonathan Maberry
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    Overall
    (1701)
    Performance
    (1503)
    Story
    (1500)

    Saturday, 0911 hours — A blast rocks a London hospital and thousands are dead or injured. 1009 hours — Joe Ledger arrives on scene to investigate. The horror is unlike anything he has ever seen. Compelled by grief and rage, Ledger rejoins the Department of Military Sciences, and within hours he's attacked by a hit team of assassins and sent on a suicide mission.

    Jeremiah says: "Better Than The Second Joe Ledger"
    "Great action between the twisted history"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The first book in the series was great, the second, way too much drama --and a tear jerker too. This one spends HOURS describing twisted left-leaning political drivel to build a "plausible" (seriously?) storyline--but this portion reads like a very bad history book. If the author wants to include history, then he would be best off to learn it (as he has the other things--police work, combat fighting, etc.-- that he does write well about.)

    When the action is happening--Joe and his team make for great action scenes--but most of the time, I had to force my way through the historical perspective of the terrorists behind the scenes. Why not keep it simple--this depth of background doesn't add anything. This is 85% drama and 15% action.

    I don't think I'll buy any more of this author. It just isn't enough action to balance out the boredom.

    The reader continues to rock--he makes this series interesting when otherwise I might not have given this third book a go.

    In short if the last book left you bored, then this one is much worse. The first book was as good as it gets. If you liked the last one, then proceed--it is more like the second than the first.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Rithmatist

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Michael Kramer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1486)
    Performance
    (1369)
    Story
    (1373)

    More than anything, Joel wants to be a Rithmatist. Chosen by the Master in a mysterious inception ceremony, Rithmatists have the power to infuse life into two-dimensional figures known as Chalklings. Rithmatists are humanity’s only defense against the Wild Chalklings - merciless creatures that leave mangled corpses in their wake. Having nearly overrun the territory of Nebrask, the Wild Chalklings now threaten all of the American Isles.

    Brandon says: "Beware of the chalk!"
    "Young teenagers could like this book."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    It was pleasant to listen to, so I might allow my young daughter to listen to it. I did not find it to be an adult level book. Quite unlike the author's other works--so perhaps he is trying for young readers?


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

    The idea and magical nature are intriguing--there could be lots more, if he is looking for today's version of the Hardy Boys, or other juvenile efforts, then this could work.


    Any additional comments?

    Not any depth in this at all.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Jhereg: Vlad Taltos, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Steven Brust
    • Narrated By Bernard Setaro Clark
    Overall
    (387)
    Performance
    (343)
    Story
    (349)

    Vlad Taltos, a mobster and assassin in the magical metropolis of Adrilankha, is given the largest contract of his career, but the job is even more complicated than he expects.

    D says: "Dragons, Assassins, and Intrigue"
    "Still excellent...after 20 years of re-reading"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Jhereg in three words, what would they be?

    Exciting, funny, clever


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Loiosh, Vlad's jhereg familiar, consistently adds the wise crack to a situation that already has the reader grinning. He is quick witted, clever, and provides for a reasonable dialog even when Vlad is alone, or internalizing. I have read the paperbacks until the covers have worn thin, but i still laugh at his quick witted remarks.


    What about Bernard Setaro Clark’s performance did you like?

    I thought he did a great job with Vlad, and all of the main characters. I wasn't thrilled with Loiosh's accent, but after reading it for so long, its unlikely to hear all the voices the way the performer does them. In all, he is very talented, and I'll listen to this over and over.


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

    This book is good--but the series is fantastic. The main character is a short-lived human in a world where hulking "elves" rule over them as less-than-equals. Vlad's way of working the organized crime angle, being a witch, an assassin--and still being the hero in the tale makes this a very unique read. Some books from your teen years don't hold up over time--this one is just as entertaining now as it was then.


    Any additional comments?

    I buy long books--short books are annoying to figure it all out just to have it end. There are LOTS of these books in the series...so the story just keeps going, you don't have to keep starting over! Prequels and sequels--I think this one is in the middle somewhere.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Skinwalker: Jane Yellowrock, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Faith Hunter
    • Narrated By Khristine Hvam
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2861)
    Performance
    (2435)
    Story
    (2437)

    Jane Yellowrock is the last of her kind-a skinwalker of Cherokee descent who can turn into any creature she desires and hunts vampires for a living. But now she's been hired by Katherine Fontaneau, one of the oldest vampires in New Orleans and the madam of Katie's Ladies, to hunt a powerful rogue vampire who's killing other vamps.

    Mobilis says: "How refreshing"
    "Why is drinking human blood tied to erotica?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Faith Hunter and/or Khristine Hvam?

    I truly enjoy Khristine Hvam--she is a performer that I search on as I do for good authors. She brings this story to life--and does so in her other works. She is definitely top ten. Faith Hunter has a good (excellent maybe?) storyline, character development, and setting--but gets off on these Ann Rice-like tangents where these blood sucking monsters and there servants somehow make adult women think like 15 year old boys. It isn't romantic--or even realistically lustful, its shallow juvenile erotica. And it frustrated me intensely because the story could have been great! I bought and read the next two books, trying to ignore it, but the story isn't good enough to eclipse this stuff.


    Has Skinwalker turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Yes, I will now dodge any further vampire books. The Ann Rice vampire books had sex in them, but mature sexual thought and the shallow, teen lust her doesn't fit for me.

    The American Indian background was awesome, skin walker magic a totally new twist-- and the characters good. I can't figure why this great story has to be all twisted into sex. I'm so disappointed. I wish there was a version for adult men.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I like the development of Jane, her interactions with Beast, and her ongoing conflict between her spirit and that of the "big cat." I liked the way this woman can handle herself in a jam.


    Was Skinwalker worth the listening time?

    Yes, it is a good story, a good author, and a great reader. Could it be a poor support team on this set of books that forced teenage erotica into an otherwise professional and well conceived story? I could not recommend it unless the teen vamp sex thing is good to you.


    Any additional comments?

    I'd like to know if Faith Hunter (which sounds like a false name,) has written non-vampire erotica books--because she is very skilled apart from this one annoying, repetitive, and time wasting problem.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Valentine's Rising: The Vampire Earth, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By E. E. Knight
    • Narrated By Christian Rummel, E. E. Knight
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (294)
    Performance
    (160)
    Story
    (158)

    Ozark Free Territory, 2071: The Kurian Order has reigned for 50 years. Using the dreaded power of their Reaper avatars, the alien, vampiric Kur hold dominion over the Earth and its inhabitants. Yet there are those who would rather die fighting than surrender to the unquenchable thirst of the enemy - those like David Valentine .

    Rick says: "More of the same - but that's a good thing!"
    "The very best of Vampire Earth!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Read this book.In the first three books Mr Knight develops an incredible future Earth where old myths gather new and cohesive explanations that make stories about vampires, berserkers, Native American legends, holey artifacts and trees, and other long ago oddities into a believable whole. He chronicles the life of a hero from his teens tbrought the angst of a constant war between humanity and a race of nearly immortal beings that knock man off the top of the food chain. Each book further develops the characters more deeply--exploring the very best--and the shameful--thoughts that make every human such a mixed bag of hero and villain. I've read this series many times--and this book is always my favorite. Non-stop white knuckled action told by Mr Rummel in perhaps his best performance (and he has lots of good performances!) This looks like a pulp fiction style novel from it's description--but it isn't; this is excellent literature with thought provoking but realistic (though fantastic) scenarios. Read it the first time for non-stop action, then come back and find that this author not just a good storyteller, but a clever and skilled author as well. Read this series--and in particular this book--I can't imagine any fantasy / science fiction, action / war, or thriller story fan not enjoying this. It rocks. All the way through.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Humanity at it's worst in war, but at it's best in the selfless individuals laying down their lives for their fellow soldiers, and commitment to freedo--just as our soldiers do every day.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I most enjoyed the end--so would be a spoiler!


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

    There is a minor sub-plot over the past three books, where despite incredibly unfair, selfish and unjust treatmen resulting in an end to Valentine's career dreams --results in an understandable grudge. But when fighting for the good of his men, Valentine sacrifices that grudge, much as he would sacrifice his life for his fellow soldiers. This was very thought provoking to me.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Magic Strikes: Kate Daniels, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Ilona Andrews
    • Narrated By Renée Raudman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1363)
    Performance
    (901)
    Story
    (913)

    Drafted into working for the Order of Merciful Aid, mercenary Kate Daniels has more paranormal problems than she knows what to do with. But when Kate's werewolf friend Derek is discovered nearly dead, she must confront her greatest challenge yet. As her investigation leads her to the Midnight Games---an invitation-only, no-holds-barred, ultimate preternatural fighting tournament---she and Curran, the Beast Lord, uncover a dark plot that may forever alter the face of Atlanta's shapeshifting community.

    BlueMtn says: "Fantastic Listen!!"
    "Has any Narrator better fit a great story?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Magic Strikes to be better than the print version?

    Ms. Raudman nails this main character and story line like none I've read. She must connect with Kate Daniels on a spiritual level. Without the synergy between story and performer, this series wouldn't be nearly so much fun to read!


    What did you like best about this story?

    Non-stop action--but with a thought provoking monologue humorously describing Kate's too-real feminan thoughts about various over-testosterone driven male characters. Somehow this neutralizes some of the far-fetched occurrences in a world where vampires with purple sunblock march merrily along with our sexy swords-woman, a shape changing frost giant, and several were-beasts in downtown Atlanta!


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The fight scenes in the gladiator style combats that feature Kate stretching her blood magic.


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

    This chick rocks--clear a path, comin' thru. (well it is a silly prompt!)


    Any additional comments?

    I love this series--fun to read, and carries you right along. It is very hard to shut this one off. Try it--even outside your normal genre--you will enjoy this completely different twist on the future and magic!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Company: A Novel of the CIA

    • UNABRIDGED (41 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Robert Littell
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (4998)
    Performance
    (2106)
    Story
    (2099)

    "If Robert Littell didn't invent the American spy novel," says Tom Clancy, "he should have." In this spectacular Cold-War-as-Alice-in-Wonderland epic, Littell, "the American le Carre," takes us down the rabbit hole and into the labyrinthine world of espionage that has been the CIA for the last half-century. "Ostensibly a single novel, The Company can also be listened to as an anthology of cracking good spy stories," says (Publishers Weekly).

    Cynthia says: "Hang on to your Hat"
    "A long book that reads very quickly!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This genre is a stretch for me--and this story-line in particular! It was all fiction--but tied to enough facts to make it realistic. I had to go and read over 'The Bay of Pigs' and Russian history just to know reality!. It begins with the birth of the CIA, and three key men's moving from lucrative law careers to low-paid but patriotic And meaningful work/careers-- as cold war era spies.

    The twists and turns of these fascinating lives are most often driven by implacable, and equally patriotic double agents feeding information To the enemy at key points in the story.

    Character development is amazing--each key character feels deep and truly human--I considered looking to find out if this was fiction or biographical. An example is the brilliant but flawed Sorcerer--a WWII survivor, struggling to forget the horrors of his post-war cleanup work, he drinks whiskey like water, and lives in paranoia so deep that discussion isn't permitted without the howling of the phonograph to cover conversation from the many 'bugs' he expects probing his every word--even in his near madness, he is a true genius of espionage--digging at double agents, or drawing conclusions from data like a Cold War Sherlock. And he is one of many such characters.

    Reading this book is submersive. The reader plunges into an alternate reality--it is very hard to tell where history ends and fiction begins.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Jack, the Sorcerer's Apprentice, is the character I'd enjoy playing. He. Is patriotic, intelligent--but mostly world-savvy. Any stirrings he leads in is always action packed. His humor and good nature make hime more than a great spy--he lives with his heart on his sleeve.


    What about Scott Brick’s performance did you like?

    No matter the huge character number, he performs each of them he is the reason a 40 hour read is possible--he brings them all to life.


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

    No--perhaps as it was outside my norm, I didn't fully connect that deeply.


    Any additional comments?

    I wasn't thrilled with the portrayal of our Presidents. It felt like the author was a liberal, and handcuffed to Kennedy's known mishandling of the CIA and Viet Nam, he worked to make Reagan an embecile--apparently out of whole cloth (it is FICTION after all!)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Crossbow: Vietnam Special Forces, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Don Bendell
    • Narrated By Gene Engene
    Overall
    (26)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (15)

    Crossbow was Don Bendell's first book ever, but many still say that it was his best, as it was written very much from the heart. It is the autobiographical story of a young very gung ho Green Beret first lieutenant in 1968 and 1969 and his love affair with the Jeh tribe of Montagnards, a proud, family-oriented tribespeople in Vietnam's mountainous Central Highlands region, the action and intrigue of a horrific war, and the plight of the Montagnards who were racially-discriminated against by our allies in Saigon.

    Leslie says: "Real fiction--meaningful read"
    "Real fiction--meaningful read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Crossbow in three words, what would they be?

    Not a battle story, but a real story of how it was, and how real people struggled against real prejudice. I gained a perspective I could never have found in any history book


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Crossbow?

    The main character leads a mission and an older, self-appointed bodyguard is critically injured. He is Montain-Yar (sp) so is minority and hated by both North and South Vietnamese. The medic won't treat this man because of his race. The American treats the injured man himself. He beats the prejudiced medic senseless. In this place of hate and torment, the Seal uses his strength to protect the weak. He is the way I envision our best servicemen.


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

    He speaks the language well enough to make repeated words clear. In print I would have stumbled over these. He brought the people to life.


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

    The real victims in Nam, and how our men protected them.


    Any additional comments?

    I felt strong empathy and patriotic emotion in this novel. I think this part of Nam has been lost in the press. Just because a soldier is strong, does not mean he can't be empathic to those weaker than he.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Magic Bites: Kate Daniels, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Ilona Andrews
    • Narrated By Renée Raudman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2087)
    Performance
    (1325)
    Story
    (1341)

    Atlanta would be a nice place to live, if it weren't for the magic. When the magic is up, rogue mages cast their spells and monsters appear, while guns refuse to fire and cars fail to start. But then technology returns, and the magic recedes as unpredictably as it arose, leaving all kinds of paranormal problems in its wake.

    Sara says: "Pure Steel!"
    "Good, but..."
    Overall

    I think this is a young or new author with little experience, or else the editor was an English teacher. The story was excellent, and though a little clunky, the character development was good too. The world was pretty clearly developed--and it was a pretty interesting place. Unfortunately, the wording and descriptions were a thesaurus of synonyms usually used to impress an English teacher--it just doesn't flow together. I think as this author matures, her work will greatly improve. I haven't yet decided to buy the next work...

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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