Chesapeake, OH, United States | Member Since 2004
Theo Waitley, the child of two scholars on the matriarchal world of Safe Delgado, finds her life falling apart as her mother decides to leave the genetic scholar Jen Sar's house and move into an apartment in the Wall. Theo does not want to leave Jen Sar's comfortable house and garden. She also does not want to leave her father with who she has an attachment unusual on Delgardo.
However Theo has problems of her own including a notation in her file that she was physically challenged. As a result of this she is frequently in danger of losing status and companionship. It is when her mother's duties as a scholar result in the two of them having to leave Delgardo to allow her mother to investigate a serious breach of scholarship, that Theo starts to understand that there are dangers beyond a bit of clumsiness on a moving sidewalk.
Meanwhile Jen Sar is also pursuing his own path.
And Theo's all important fifteenth birthday is approaching.
I ended up thinking that this first volume in Theo's story is one that reminded me of the best of Robert Heinlein or Andre Norton's juveniles.
The narration is truly excellent. I think I enjoyed listening to Eileen Stevens read the book more than I enjoyed reading it myself. One of my tests for excellence of narration is to try to read a chapter without hearing the voice of the narrator in my head. If I cannot put aside the voice of the narrator then I know I have had a great listening experience.
I bought this book because it was a whispersync deal at a good price and because it was narrated by the late Anna Fields who I had heard good things about.
In the hands of a less skilled narrator I would have probably abandoned it in the middle when the story line seemed to lose focus.
A Boston cold case detective consults with a psychic about the murder of a prominent Bostonian's son that he himself had investigated decades before. A man was arrested and convicted but there are doubts about his guilt. Meanwhile Reggie, the psychic, a divorced former corporate wife, is brought by a realtor to check out a house that the new owners thought was haunted.
It felt like this was not the first book in the series but I checked on both Fantastic Fiction and Amazon and couldn't find a prior book-- there is a later one. While I have read books where the author deliberately made it seem that there had been prior books, this one made me feel a little off kilter. There was just too many loose ends like the person that Reggie was always waiting to hear from and the biker with whom she is co-parenting a beagle.
I might pick up another book by this author if it was the right price or a loan but I wouldn't go checking for her books.
By the time I'm writing this the October Daye series has reached at least 7 books so I'm a bit behind, or I've been reading them out of order, which is entirely possible. Except for some references that I had to look up, the book stands alone pretty well. I generally like Seanan McGuire's writing though and I thought this story about children, Fae and human being stolen from their beds is fresh and interesting.
The story opens with October meeting her fetch-- the look alike who appears to someone before her death. The fetch is named May Daye which is painful given the fact that May is the opposite month from October and the use of May Day as code for a distress signal. Then the children of friends of her is stolen and Toby sets out to rescue them.
While it's not the greatest Urban Fantasy I have ever read it is quite good and entertaining.
Mary Robinette Kowal also does a good job with the narration. I found this an engrossing experience.
Up to this point the mysteries (2 prior books) involving Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Québec have been on the cozy side, with the inhabitants of the small village located a couple of hours from Montreal depicted as pleasantly off kilter. However, in this book Penny digs deeper into the character of the villages to paint a darker picture.
It's Easter and the inhabitants of Three Pines hold a seance. A person dies-- murdered or a heart attack-- or maybe both.
While investigating this mystery Gamache also is having to deal with an episode from his past that is reaching its tentacles into his present and figure out who among his subordinates might be in alliance with his enemies.
The ending is satisfying although not everything is solved.
Really enjoyed the narrator also. Cosham's French sounds elegant although I've seen some complaints about his accent, not Québécois but more standard in accent. Very pleasant and easy to listen to though.
King has a way of pulling the reader into what is considered objectively, very improbable stories. This novel set in Paris in the late summer of 1929 is a slow starter. It's the second in the series which may have contributed to some problems orienting myself but I thought it did pretty well as a stand alone. It's just that there is a large cast of characters and introducing them all took quite a while.
A young woman has disappeared in Paris and her concerned mother and uncle have contacted Harris Stuyvesant, former G-Man and current Private Investigator, to attempt to find her. Harris begins his investigation with the disappeared woman's room then expands out to some of the luminaries (imaginary and real) of the right and left banks of the Seine.
King introduces the reader to the Théâtre du Grand-Guignol of Paris, which specialized in grisly horror shows and to the equally grisly cemeteries and catacombs of Paris as well. Harris acts like a rambunctious American male of the period. At times he sounds like some of the tough male characters from popular fiction of the era. King has softened him up a bit when it comes to race and women though so he's quite relatable for the modern reader.
The narrator, Jefferson May does a tough guy edge to his reading that is quite appealing. He also handles the French language bits with aplomb and assurance. I can't say how accurate he was but I believed he was speaking French.
An American Blogger wins a writing contest and ends up invited to a Romance Novelist's convention in England. She is delighted. She loves reading and she is eager to meet the authors of the books she has been reviewing. Of course she isn't to know that this is her last invitation.
Smith's part time sleuth, Emily Castles has been hired to perform temporary services at the convention. She finds herself in the midst of as fine a group of English eccentrics as she is likely to meet and ends up investigating the death of the Blogger.
I really liked this novel. It's a bit shorter than I normally listen to, but I did like Smith's satire. I found myself backing up the file to listen to the romance scene written by one of the characters in the story for the contest. I thought it was wickedly funny and reminded me a bit of the old Purple Prose contest that used to be hosted by one of the early popular Romance blogs-- (AAR? I can't remember the name unfortunately.)
Anyway, while not a fabulous mystery this was a very fun read and come recommended. Also look out for the next book in the series!
I'm trying to mention all of the things that might make this book either annoying or attractive to a reader. It's first person, it's more romantic suspense than mystery. There's a twist at the end but it's unnecessary and out of left field.
The heroine is a beat down southern employee of the DMV in a small town where everyone knows everyone else's business. She also is set aside because she has visions that she immediately blurts out to whoever she is talking to when they occur, making the town (for some odd reason) think she is peculiar. On this date she is trying to process a license renewal when she has a vision of herself dead and passes out.
She lives with her abusive mother, has a cute neighbor named Joe and finally decides that she is going to escape from her life of not so quiet desperation. So she sits down with a Wal-Mart slip and makes a list of things she wants to do before she dies which is where the title comes from because the list contains 28 items.
I was enjoying it in a casual way up to about half way through it, knew who one of the villains was because there was no attempt to hide it, and then revelations occurred that just made the whole story less interesting.
This is another book that I'm glad I bought at the reduced whispersync price. The narrator was good but I lost interest after the revelations, skipped to the Kindle version and skimmed to the end to see it was going to get any better. It doesn't.
So, if you like first person romantic suspense with some ESP set in the south and are not too demanding about the suspense part then this is worth the reduced price. It just didn't do it for me. I thought the author got sloppy with the revelations that killed some of the interest I had in the characters up to that point.
This is the first book in a series but I'm not going to be buying any more.
I've bought and loved all of the prior Peter Grant. Even in one case when I had been given an ARC of Midnight Riot (the US title for the first Peter Grant book) I also bought the Audible download because of the excellent narration by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith. Therefore it pains me a great deal to have to say that I do not think this story is quite up to the standard of the first three.
There's a lack of cohesion to the plot which bounces around from story line to story line without settling down. Then I didn't find the ending particularly satisfying. There's a big unanswered question at the end. If you need to be spoiled before starting the book look at the Amazon reviews. Look for the review that Tells All.
Quite liked the title given the theme of the novel and Peter gets to display his architectural background as well as some fascinating tidbits about London. Numerous characters from past books make appearances. Although the story line about the Faceless Man moves forward a bit, it also started to feel like there were too many characters.
New readers go back to the first book and start there. You need to be invested in the characters and the story before you can really appreciate this one.
I also saw where the series has been optioned for television. I would be really pleased if it did go into production.
This is the 5th book in the Fran Harmon Series. Read by Diana Bishop, this story of kidnapping of a young child at a local tennis club drawing in the retired ACC Mark Turner and his soon to be wife, Chief Superintendent Fran Harmon, who is still on the job. Police budgets are being cut while more is being demanded of them. Fran at this time is heading the Major Crime Review Section, then when a colleague has an emergency illness she is put in charge of the kidnapping investigation as well.
With trouble on the force, two major investigations and her wedding fast approaching this is an entertaining entry in the series by Cutler I find the most consistently interesting.
Diana Bishop's voice is perfect age wise for this series, whose main characters are aging and forced to accept the limitations and diminution of faculties brought about by age.
While Audible is missing one book, 2005's Life Sentence, the first in the series, I think that reading the books in order is called for to enjoy the complete story arc.
From the wrap up I'm a bit afraid that this might be the final book in the series. But there's still some threads that could be picked up for a future book.
This is the first book by Rowson I have read and the 6th in the series. Her continuing character is DI Andy Horton and this story is set in the Solent area. A couple of her earlier novels had won awards which is why I picked this one up, maybe I should have read one of those because I can't see it here.
DI Andy Horton has every police procedural cliche that I can think of: a superior who hates him and wants to undermine him while claiming credit for his successes. The superior is a totally unsympathetic female character. He also so has an unfaithful almost ex-wife with a wealthy father and who tries to keep him away from their eight year old daughter because Horton was falsely accused of rape in some previous book. The almost ex-wife's lover is fat and pusillanimous. He wears leathers and rides a Harley. His mother left him as a child and he was reared by mainly abusive foster parents. He lives on a yacht moored at a marina. I could list police procedurals where all of these tropes appeared, admittedly not all at once, and where they contributed to a compelling read.
What DI Horton lacks is believability or any reason to want to read about him. I also wonder why all of the women in the book are either dead, disappeared, promiscuous, duped by men, or actively vicious. Any overweight character is depicted as criminal or immoral. Some authors are able to bring even minor, unattractive characters to life with a few lines, but Rowson is not one of them-- at least not in this book.
There is also one of my least favorite denouements where the villain explains in detail what was done to outwit the police and why it was done.
Read by Gordon Griffith not one of my favorite narrators but not actively annoying here. On my iphone Audible app I could put the speed on 1.25X which helped some.
Peter Shand was in his current position because he needed some hands on experience as an investigator. Until now all of his police work had involved administrative evaluation of cases handled by other CID officers. While he was excellent at what he did it did not prepare him for what would happen when the quiet rural patch he had been sent to would become the center of a media frenzy when a woman's body is found in the center of a stone circle with another woman buried alive beneath her.
He also finds that far from peaceful, the village has a simmering underbelly where incomers are fighting with villagers for control, where the weapons are Parish Counsel elections, livestock, and local legends.
The book was quite fun as poor Peter struggles to get his feet under him as he deals with a local psychic, a malicious reporter, and another murder.
The only problem I had was with the narrator. While he wasn't terrible in the sense that you could clearly understand his voice except when he came up with some very peculiar pronunciations of "denouement" and "assuage". He had a middle of the road US accent except when he assayed some truly dreadful local accents-- I had no idea what part of the UK he was aiming for with these. Given the book was set in England this was distracting and did the book a disfavor.
Luckily this was a whispersynced audible deal because I would have been really annoyed if I had paid more than a couple of dollars for the narration.
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