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Gail

Seattle, WA, United States | Member Since 2017

286
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 35 reviews
  • 2687 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 89 purchased in 2018
FOLLOWING
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FOLLOWERS
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  • The Redeemer: Harry Hole, Book 6

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Jo Nesbø, Don Bartlett (translator)
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (866)
    Performance
    (769)
    Story
    (762)

    Christmas shoppers stop to hear a Salvation Army concert on a crowded Oslo street. An explosion cuts through the music and the bitter cold: One of the singers falls dead, shot in the head at point-blank range. Harry Hole - the Oslo Police Department’s best investigator and worst civil servant - has little to work with: no suspect, no weapon, and no motive. But Harry’s troubles will multiply. As the search closes in, the killer becomes increasingly desperate, and Harry’s chase takes him to the most forbidden corners of the former Yugoslavia. Yet it’s when he returns to Oslo that he encounters true darkness....

    Private says: "Love Harry Hole, RIP Robin Sachs :("
    "Brilliant, Exciting Even Though Weakest in Series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    While this book does not as deftly and brilliantly cause the reader to stop breathing, lie lower wherever they are to hide from that "heavy force" as they realize they have entered into a realm of bewildering darkness such as Nesbø revealed in The Snowman and The Leopard and his other books, The Redeemer still is brilliantly and intricately crafted and rates better than most of the "Scandinavian Noir" books IMHO. Actually this book was written earlier than both The Snowman and The Leopard so we in America haven't the pleasure of reading in order. If you are new to Jo Nesbø and Harry, and want to read the books in order, most of this series has finally been translated. Here is the actual order of the series:

    The Bat
    The Cockroaches
    The Redbreast
    Nemesis
    The Devil's Star
    The Redeemer
    The Snowman
    The Leopard
    Phantom

    However, this is the rare instance when I recommend one read The Snowman first then The Leopard as each are not just brilliantly crafted mysteries, but transcend the usual mind-read state to capture you - the essence of your being and take it elsewhere. Then start the series in order.

    The Redeemer addresses more of a complex mix of everyday sicko murderer(s) and everyday corruption on many moral levels. Yet, personally I had to face why I felt less horrified than in his previous novels as murder is murder and corruption is corruption. Harry and others make interesting unlawful rationalizations which are tantalizingly easy to buy into...but should I? The ending in particular even though centered on a small thread of the multiple storylines in this book but add to a previous books conundrums then invites one to question "good/evil/justified/redemption" and reveals how easily one can start with high intentions then be blinded before realizing one has ended corrupt and evil on one level...then be faced with what one should do to atone or not; plus what should their peers do; how should they judge? It makes you think.
    Enjoy your pondering!

    10 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • All the Little Children

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Jo Furniss
    • Narrated By Fiona Hardingham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (638)
    Performance
    (567)
    Story
    (564)

    Struggling with working-mother guilt, Marlene Greene hopes a camping trip in the forest will provide quality time with her three young children - until they see fires in the distance, columns of smoke distorting the sweeping view. Overnight, all communication with the outside world is lost. Knowing something terrible has happened, Marlene suspects that the isolation of the remote campsite is all that's protecting her family. But the arrival of a lost boy reveals they are not alone in the woods, and as the unfolding disaster ravages the land, more youngsters seek refuge under her wing.

    Jeanne says: "disappointed"
    "Worst book of my 5,000 Audible. "
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The protagonist is perhaps the most stupid, self absorbed character ever portrayed. Horrible waste of time and credit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Tangled Lands

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Paolo Bacigalupi, Tobias S. Buckell
    • Narrated By Kate Reading, Tim Gerard Reynolds
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (51)
    Performance
    (50)
    Story
    (49)

    Khaim, The Blue City, is the last remaining city in a crumbled empire that overly relied upon magic until it became toxic. It is run by a tyrant known as The Jolly Mayor and his devious right hand, the last archmage in the world. Together they try to collect all the magic for themselves so they can control the citizens of the city. But when their decadence reaches new heights and begins to destroy the environment, the people stage an uprising to stop them.

    Mark says: "More, please!"
    "Repeat of Alchemist with Unsatisfying Additions"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Just thought I'd alert readers that this is a repeated take on "The Alchemist and The Executionist" with more with additions to three storylines, non of which came close to any plausible end. Just more hanging threads. Will they come out in a couple years and take the stories to another non-conclusion? I support authors repeating good story themes and returning to worlds they built for their readers, but, for me, the repeat was ok but the additional material was very depressing without knowing what all the angst and sad events was relevant to. Perhaps they have a direction for these hanging threads and plan another book repeating this and adding to it. At best this is a weird mid book. Do read all other Paolo B's work on Audible. I especially admire and love The Windup Girl.

    13 of 16 people found this review helpful
  • Police at the Station and They Don’t Look Friendly: Detective Sean Duffy, Book 6

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Adrian McKinty
    • Narrated By Gerard Doyle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1491)
    Performance
    (1396)
    Story
    (1396)

    Belfast, 1988. A man is found dead, killed with a bolt from a crossbow in front of his house. This is no hunting accident. But uncovering who is responsible for the murder will take Detective Sean Duffy down his most dangerous road yet, a road that leads to a lonely clearing on a high bog where three masked gunmen will force Duffy to dig his own grave. Hunted by forces unknown, threatened by Internal Affairs, and with his relationship on the rocks, Duffy will need all his wits to get out of this investigation in one piece.

    6catz says: "Nothing better than a Duffy tale!"
    "Best in Series-Powerful Poetic Profound "
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I demurred a bit before buying, as I had wondered if the author could keep me engaged and in awe in yet a sixth journey with the evermore edgy Sean Duffy. McKinty blew it out of the park with this story. Gerard Doyle's narration is magnificent! The union of McKinty and Doyle is what Audible is all about. Very close to the end I loudly screamed NO in a very public place-Twice.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Wall of Storms: The Dandelion Dynasty, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (29 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Ken Liu
    • Narrated By Michael Kramer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (236)
    Performance
    (224)
    Story
    (224)

    Kuni Garu, now known as Emperor Ragin, runs the archipelago kingdom of Dara but struggles to maintain progress while serving the demands of the people and his vision. Then an unexpected invading force from the Lyucu Empire in the far distant west comes to the shores of Dara - and chaos results. But Emperor Kuni cannot go and lead his kingdom against the threat himself with his recently healed empire fraying at the seams, so he sends the only people he trusts to be Dara's savvy and cunning hopes against the invincible invaders: his children.

    Hector hernandez says: "Wow highly recommend"
    "Teen Chicks vs. the Barbarians"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    While there are many moments where the world built in the Grace of Kings is revisited and intelligently, even awesomely expanded, the reader must be prepared for the unfolding that all the battles and strategies to defend or conquer the world almost entirely rest on the shoulders of tween and teen girls and one or two women over 20 years old. The male characters from book 1 really don’t matter in book 2 unless they are villains and those men the reader admired or hated in the previous book exhibit a huge a loss of spine and at least 30 IQ points. Still, if one can get beyond this implausibility, the story continues very satisfactorily. I like the Sci-Fi and Fantasy genre because while one usually knows the gender/species of a character, that identification usually is not the key emphasis of the entire adventure. This book tends to go beyond political correctness to a rather embarrassing emphasis, thus lessening the impact of the necessity of balancing a male dominance of this genre in the opinion of some readers. Personally I like to be grabbed and enthralled by characters I care about facing challenges and adventures in another place of being and feeling. Liu does enough of this to overcome his rather silly gender and age bias to warrant continuing reading the series. The end of this book did grab me enough to continue reading this series and reading this book is a must to continue understanding the series. I think if you realize the "girls rule" aspect and forget any implausibility that the Dandelion Empire rests of tweens, you will like the book.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Hunter

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Mercedes Lackey
    • Narrated By Amy Landon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1998)
    Performance
    (1852)
    Story
    (1852)

    They came after the Diseray. Some were terrors ripped from our collective imaginations, remnants of every mythology across the world. And some were like nothing anyone had ever dreamed up, even in their worst nightmares. Now, the luckiest Cits live in enclosed communities, behind walls that keep them safe from the hideous monsters fighting to break through.

    Jenna M Patterson says: "Refreshingly new"
    "Tedious Hate Speach"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    While I support the right of free speech and expression, it is surprising to me this author blames the post-Diseray of the world on evil Christ-ers (sp?). The author expressly states that because the evil-doer Christ-ers who expected an Apocalypse caused the end, survivors describe the end as Diseray not Apocalypse. The survivors (the Good) are stated to be descendants of a number of current world religions (Shinto, Hindu, Native Indian etc.). There is no fantasy or make believe as to which believers are evil. As this book is directed at teens or younger, parents might be aware so as to open discussion of less hateful viewpoints. Why the author thought this was apt or necessary is odd because it does not have much to do with the "story" such as it is.
    I was not able to get beyond the first couple hours of this book. There is not so much of a story as a long explanation of the world and situation building. It was an ok premise and some imagination exposed but these hours droned on and on. The narrator has clear diction but is rather one toned and robotic.





    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Kristin Lavransdatter

    • UNABRIDGED (44 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Sigrid Undset, Tiina Nunnally - translator
    • Narrated By Erin Bennett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (918)
    Performance
    (850)
    Story
    (845)

    As a young girl in 14th-century Norway, Kristin is deeply devoted to her father, Lavrans, a kind and courageous man. But when as a student in a convent school she meets the charming and impetuous Erlend Nikulaussøn, she defies her parents in pursuit of her own desires. Her saga continues through her marriage to Erlend, their tumultuous life together raising seven sons as Erlend seeks to strengthen his political influence, and finally their estrangement as the world around them tumbles into uncertainty.

    Chicago & Indiana Scientist/Gardener/Hiker says: "A grand listen"
    "Brooding Guilting Never Forgiving/Forgetting Ever"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    In 4,000++ Audible books I have never despised a character more than Kristin L. Trust me, you will get to know her to her deep wormy core via every guilty/righteous insipid hateful unforgiving thought encompassing almost all 40+ hours of vapid internal dialogue. She may be the most stupid, deeply disturbed passive AGRESSIVE woman ever brilliantly depicted in fine literature. Has a more selfish, impetuous HIGH DRAMA queen ever been depicted so deftly before or since?

    The author received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1929 for this huge body of work. The work unveils and invites one to inhabit a long life lived in Norway in the 1300's. To me, the canvas of what life was like in this place/space time was reveled in one vision then one feeling at a time ~ like an artist paints a canvass a stroke here, a color there, shading there... You are sort of are born and grow up into the vision of being and living there in that then. In this, the work is breathtaking.

    Initially the writing seems fairytale juvenile. Then suddenly I'd be captured by a description of place and time so gripping and pure I'd replay and replay - then just enjoy a quiet awe.

    I should say that perhaps the most major character is the Catholic church of the time thus the sin, repent, pay, hate, sin, pay, never forgive even though forgiven. I loved many characters aside from Kristen. I kept listening as I hoped Kristen would just get over it (she never does) but because I listened to the dreary non-transcendent (imho) pestilent end, I did hear an hour of unforgettable prose I am happy I experienced. I learned a bit of what life was like in the middle ages in Norway. I don't recommend this book though if you can forbear the unrelenting sin and guilt of a horrible woman, there are gems there.

    31 of 53 people found this review helpful
  • Interlude: Brandon: The Game Is Life, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Terry Schott
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (303)
    Performance
    (284)
    Story
    (285)

    Brandon Strayne. Brilliant computer programmer, businessman, and world leader. Where did this mysterious man come from? This volume details Brandon's history and rise to power. Before there was the Game, there was a boy. This takes the story of the Game even further by viewing how it all started!

    AmazonCustomer says: "Classic in a rush writing .."
    "Whirling Paradigm Shifting REVEALS"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    WoW. To fully this intellectual swirling of reveals, you must read the previous books first. It’s so interesting that the author had the patience to wait until the third book, which takes place before the prior two books to (in my case) blow my mind in that I had to re-assess all my previous thoughts on where and when and then whoa! For me this third book takes the ‘are we living in a dream or a computer game, where is the real to a couple huge OMG, ahhhh moments. So interesting, a rare treat. My advice is to “chart” as you go. Read the first two before this!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The City of Mirrors: The Passage Trilogy, Book Three

    • UNABRIDGED (29 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Justin Cronin
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6680)
    Performance
    (6156)
    Story
    (6145)

    The Twelve have been destroyed, and the 100-year reign of darkness that descended upon the world has ended. The survivors are stepping outside their walls, determined to build society anew - and daring to dream of a hopeful future.

    Amazon Customer says: "Ends the series with a whimper."
    "COME to ME… COME to ME"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    COME to ME and I will tell you about one of the Best books of the thousands of books I have listened to on Audible. Can you recall the unfolding of moments while reading when you think “This is Good” then “This is actually Great” to those very rare moments in your reading life when you realize, then doubt then confirm you are experiencing one of the best books you have ever read? The great news is that you MUST invest 62 hours reading the first two books to experience how this amazing story arc evolves. You will embark on an journey through an apocalyptic nightmare brought about by a misguided/evil military experiment…I know this sounds like a repeat of hundreds of stories, but it is beyond unique. Bravo and thank you, Justin Cronin and OMG, it is one of Scott Brick’s very best narrations as you won’t know it’s “Scott Brick” and he will lead you along the journey.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Bees: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Laline Paull
    • Narrated By Orlagh Cassidy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1172)
    Performance
    (1058)
    Story
    (1056)

    Flora 717 is a sanitation worker, a member of the lowest caste in her orchard hive, where work and sacrifice are the highest virtues and worship of the beloved Queen the only religion. But Flora is not like other bees. With circumstances threatening the hive's survival, her curiosity is regarded as a dangerous flaw, but her courage and strength are assets. She is allowed to feed the newborns in the royal nursery and then to become a forager, flying alone and free to collect nectar and pollen.

    Emily - Audible says: "My Favorite Book of 2014"
    "Adults Only!! Explicit Sexual Content"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    While this is a good debut effort, I think it was unwise to burden the author who has promising talent with the burden of comparisons to the phenomena that was/is, "Watership Down." It is a cruel set-up to fail/disappoint.

    Parents who think this might be a cute, creative story to share with their children should consider the fact that there is a big emphasis on drones and mating which is ok; everything mates,...but there are also numerous scenes describing male drones demeaning their slave female bees, getting them on their knees, demanding oral and manual hand "grooming" of ALL body parts. There are a few occasions when the drones get motivated and expose their blue members and strut and parade around to the delight of the female slave bees. It is explicit but not pornographic; kind of like cute comic book level silly but - graphic.

    Personally I did not enjoy the story as I could not find a character who I liked, hated or cared a twit about, nor could I experience an event that engaged or interested me in the outcome. But perhaps I was expecting cleaver and something similar to Watership Down.

    Oh, as I have barely 30% normal hearing, I am happy to hear anything and unlike other listeners have not disliked any narrator of the 3 or 4 thousand books I have on Audible...until this one. She was going for the squeaky little girl whiney thing being Bee sound...and I had to chide myself for squirming and not being thankful to hear at all.

    I am so old that I had to type my Economics Thesis (Tyranny and Economic Blah blah of Feudal Serfdom System) on a manual typewriter w/o spell check...gasp! Well my years of work and analysis actually wasn't ignored and it became famous...it was read by numerous professors even many outside the Econ dept., but not in a good way. I wrote passionately about the difficult lives of and abuse of 4 generations of European and Russian Phesants trapped in the evil feudal system. My 15 minutes of "fame". I think there were tear stains from laughter on most pages when it was finally returned to me kind of all crumpled up. It did read more like Watership Down than this book did sadly. You still may find merit in The Bees, just come at it w/o preconceptions. It is too late for me...in many ways, but I digress yet again.

    8 of 17 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
    (1433)
    Performance
    (1291)
    Story
    (1285)

    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....

    Russell says: "A Break From The Harry Hole Series Is a Hit"
    "WoW! Hole-y Transcends "Flawed Detective Formula""
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It took me awhile to realize (get) the thundering challenge Nesbø initially and so deftly hid within the usual 'flawed detective' ("FD") formula. Upon entering the world of this book and for quite a while thereafter, I thought it was worthwhile enough being there to stick around, but had to work through some initial disappointment that Nesbø wasn't yet again leading me into a darkly terrifying realm I could only endure by knowing I could escape then reenter, when renewed courage allowed, by simply closing the book or turning off the sound (i.e. Nesbø's "The Snowman"). Most all of these FD books surround the reader with sinners, saints, guilt, revenge, corruption, murder and/or inane mismanagement from the top, etc.; and I initially thought this book was riding this wave until something jigged and veered from the norm and I suddenly pictured myself at Pipeline in Hawaii grooving along thinking I'd soon be in the blue tunnel only to realize I had mis-"judged" everything and was falling off the lip to the exposed coral so faaaaaar below with that wall of water following to pound down, yikes...fortunately one can rewind an audio book and get a do-over. IMHO, Nesbø subtly challenges the readers mind to step out from just watching like a sheeple hating the evil and corruption to at least consider ...well, just when is unchallenged, ignored, too Big or Powerful to Jail, governmental, Criminal individual or gang, Corporate, Banker/Broker evil-doer harm enough for citizens to say enough is enough! If the appropriate powers ignore and will not implement "justice", when if ever should an individual or rise up and would they be justified in doing so? In the old days I watched for and applauded "Random acts of Kindness" ; now I am starting to applaud the few Random acts of civil disobedience I see reported more and more often...but I digress. You should like this book even if you just want to escape with a good book...no civil disobedience, or citizen revenge required. You will care deeply about many characters you meet, there are intelligent, plausible and surprising twists and shifts of viewpoints. I wish I could bet each reader $5 they will not guess the biggest surprise near the end...Brilliantly crafted...Bravo, Mr. Nesbø !

    10 of 14 people found this review helpful

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