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Karen

San Diego, CA, United States | Member Since 2009

ratings
65
REVIEWS
18
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
1
HELPFUL VOTES
27

  • Free Fall: An Elvis Cole - Joe Pike Novel, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Robert Crais
    • Narrated By Mel Foster
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (306)
    Performance
    (173)
    Story
    (175)

    Elvis Cole is just a detective who can't say no, especially to a girl in a terrible fix. And Jennifer Sheridan qualifies: Her fiance, Mark Thurman, is a decorated L.A. cop with an elite plainclothes unit, but Jennifer's sure he's in trouble - the kind of serious trouble that only Elvis Cole can help him out of.

    robert says: "CPC all you'll ever need (Crais, Pike, Cole)"
    "I'll stick to the print version of Elvis Cole"
    Overall

    I am a great fan of Robert Crais/Elvis Cole and this is my second audio disappointment. The first book I listened to (The First Rule) was read by the author. Bad choice. This book is narrated by Mel Foster, who is NOT the right voice for the wise-cracking "World's Greatest Detective". I guess I'll stick to print versions of Robert Crais novels from now on.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Dark Tower: The Dark Tower VII

    • UNABRIDGED (28 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3611)
    Performance
    (1737)
    Story
    (1758)

    All good things must come to an end, Constant Listener, and not even Stephen King can write a story that goes on forever. The tale of Roland Deschain's relentless quest for the Dark Tower has, the author fears, sorely tried the patience of those who have followed it from its earliest chapters. But attend to it a while longer, if it pleases you, for this volume is the last, and often the last things are best.

    Dawn says: "Unbelieveable"
    "Ka is a wheel"
    Overall

    After investing dozens and dozens of hours in listening to this series of books, I was sad to finish them finally. I know that many readers were dissatisfied with the ending, but I believe that it ended on exactly the right note. While I relished the late, great Frank Muller's narration in the early books, I grew to enjoy George Guidall's telling of the story as well, and will certainly look for more books that he has narrated.

    The final chapter of the ka-tet's adventure is long and sometimes tedious, and could probably have benefited from a bit of editing. King could not resist entering the book himself, which I found a bit irritating, but after all of his work to finish it, I suppose he had the right to do so. There is sadness in this final chapter, which the author foreshadows and warns us about, and there is also joy. All of your questions will be answered, and all of your longing will be satisfied, say true. If you are listening in the company of others, as I often do (my audiobooks are my companions as I do dishes each night and clean my kitchen), anyone listening may be taken aback by your tears or your laughter. A thoroughly satisfying denouement to a marvelous adventure.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Hunting Season

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By P. T. Deutermann
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    Overall
    (778)
    Performance
    (294)
    Story
    (296)

    When college kids hiking near an abandoned military industrial complex in West Virginia mysteriously disappear, special agent Janet Carter - earnest, honest, and fed up with the stifling chauvinistic environment at the Roanoke FBI headquarters - is called in to investigate. Unfortunately, there are no leads - it's as if the three just vanished into thin air.

    Sharon says: "Hunting Season"
    "Narrator is a distraction..."
    Overall

    I have not finished this book, and I may not. The plot is arresting and the narrator is popular, I know. But his depiction of women is really abysmal. One of the main characters, whom the author clearly intends to be a competent and bold woman, is portrayed as speaking like a little girl, in a falsetto voice. Hill tries to differentiate among the other characters, but does not succeed well. I am about to give up on it, as I simply find this too distracting. Perhaps I'll purchase the book in print, and finish it that way, because I really like the story and the author.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Star Island

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Carl Hiaasen
    • Narrated By Stephen Hoye
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (869)
    Performance
    (279)
    Story
    (284)

    Meet 22-year-old Cherry Pye (nee Cheryl Bunterman), a pop star since she was 14 - and about to attempt a comeback from her latest drug-and-alcohol disaster.Now meet Cherry again: in the person of her undercover stunt double, Ann DeLusia. Ann portrays Cherry whenever the singer is too indisposed - meaning wasted - to go out in public. And it is Ann-mistaken-for-Cherry who is kidnapped from a South Beach hotel by obsessed paparazzo Bang Abbott.

    Suzn F says: "Laugh Out Loud"
    "Wish I had read the reviews first!"
    Overall

    This may indeed be a good book, but the narrator is so poor that I am unable to get more than a quarter of the way through it. I find it impossible to distinguish among characters, and the reader shows little or no enthusiasm for the content. Please bring back George Wilson! I loved Tourist Season, and will look carefully at the narrator before spending money or credits on another book.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Case Histories: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Kate Atkinson
    • Narrated By Susan Jameson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (488)
    Performance
    (312)
    Story
    (317)

    Case One: A little girl goes missing in the night. Case Two: A beautiful young office worker falls victim to a maniac's apparently random attack. Case Three: A new mother finds herself trapped in a hell of her own making - with a very needy baby and a very demanding husband - until a fit of rage creates a grisly, bloody escape.

    Carrie says: "Deftly written, completely original mystery"
    "One of the best audiobooks I've heard"
    Overall

    I am always slightly puzzled by the mixed reviews on various books, and realize that everyone has different tastes. Having said that. however, I am a loss to understand why this book did not captivate everyone who read it. As other reviewers have stated, the structure of the book is ingenious. The characters are fascinating, and the ending has some surprises. Jackson Brody is not a typical hero, and the people who populate the book are eccentric and unpredictable. The narrator was flawless, and I was disappointed to discover that she only narrates one other Kate Atkinson book, and that only five of her books are even available on audio. One of them (the next book in this series) is only available in an abridged form. I've already bought the book in print form (well, actually for my Kindle - so Amazon gets my money in either case) and will hope for more Kate Atkinson books on audio, hopefully read by Susan Jameson.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest: The Millennium Trilogy, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Stieg Larsson
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (17925)
    Performance
    (8125)
    Story
    (8156)

    Lisbeth Salander—the heart of Larsson’s two previous novels—lies in critical condition, a bullet wound to her head, in the intensive care unit of a Swedish city hospital. She’s fighting for her life in more ways than one: if and when she recovers, she’ll be taken back to Stockholm to stand trial for three murders. With the help of her friend, journalist Mikael Blomkvist, she will not only have to prove her innocence, but also identify and denounce those in authority.

    B.J. says: "Perfect."
    "So sorry that there are no more."
    Overall

    I wish Steig Larsson could have known what an impact this trilogy has had on readers worldwide. While many books in a series can be cheerfully read out of order, if this is your first Steig Larsson, you should stop NOW and read the first two in the trilogy.

    Lisbeth Salandar is a truly unique literary character, drawn so slowly, carefully and skillfully by Larsson. I felt that I knew her by the time the trilogy ended, and I want to know what happens next. Suffice to say that these books will have you sitting and listening well into the night. And like me, wishing for more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Outlander

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Diana Gabaldon
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (15562)
    Performance
    (9899)
    Story
    (9781)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: An all-time Audible favorite that mixes historic fiction, adventure, and romance with one of the most fascinating literary devices: time travel. Outlander introduces an exhilarating world of heroism and breathtaking thrills as one woman is torn between past and present, passion and love. In 1945, former combat nurse Claire Randall returns from World War II and joins her husband for a second honeymoon. But their blissful reunion is shattered....

    Lulu says: "The Reason for the Existence of Audio Books"
    "Could not stay with it..."
    Overall

    I have read all of the books in this series in print, and really enjoyed them. I thought it might be fun to listen to them as well. I was sooooo wrong. This experience really points out the essential difference between reading a book in print and listening. When I am reading, I often skip over sections that do not appeal to me. When I am listening on my iPod, this is not easy to do, so I have to listen to every word, which is sometimes a great benefit, especially if the writer is skilled.

    My first clue should have been Davina Porter's simpering voice when she portrayed the female protagonist. I heard a very different book than I read. Like Kay and Thomas (previous reviewers), I tired of the lurid bodice-ripping scenes very quickly. I am NOT a fan of romance novels and I read this series in print for the historical interest, as well as the day to day detail of life in the 18th century, which I found fascinating. I am not entertained by damsels in distress getting raped, nearly getting raped, or getting "spanked" for disobeying a husband. Unfortunately, I have purchased four of the audio novels in this series, and while I barely got through the first part of Outlander, I will not be subjecting myself to any more of them.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Scarecrow

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Peter Giles
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2534)
    Performance
    (916)
    Story
    (913)

    Forced out of the Los Angeles Times amid the latest budget cuts, newspaperman Jack McEvoy decides to go out with a bang, using his final days at the paper to write the definitive murder story of his career. He focuses on Alonzo Winslow, a 16-year-old drug dealer in jail after confessing to a brutal murder. But as he delves into the story, Jack realizes that Winslow's so-called confession is bogus. The kid might actually be innocent.

    P. Giorgio says: "Depth & Breadth"
    "I may not get through this one"
    Overall

    I have now listened to about half of this book, by a fine author whom I admire greatly. But the narration is so distracting that I may not be able to finish. Just as a good narrator can make a writer seem better than he or she is, a bad narrator can mask a writer's talents. I realize that this is a matter of personal taste. but this story about an LA Times reporter on the ropes, who finds a new angle to a murder investigation, would be captivating if read differently. The narrator sounds as if he usually reads children's stories...his emphases are inappropriate, and at times, he seems bored with the story. Do yourself a favor and buy this one in paperback.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • In the Electric Mist with Confederate Dead

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By James Lee Burke
    • Narrated By Mark Hammer
    Overall
    (270)
    Performance
    (100)
    Story
    (101)

    Dave Robicheaux is dried out, back on the force, and remarried. When the ghost of a long-dead Confederate general begins to haunt his latest murder case, Dave's new found peace is threatened with mayhem and madness.

    Eva Gannon says: "Good, Although Not His Best"
    "I agree, this was not his best..."
    Overall

    ...but I enjoyed it nonetheless. The characterization was strong, the plot was linear and easy to follow, and as always, Burke writes with a lyricism that far transcends the ordinary detective genre. I enjoyed the hint of things that cannot be rationally explained - that seems like a natural step for Burke to take. I think what was missing for me was simple: Clete Purcell, his old partner, is a dramatic foil to Robicheaux in every book, but in this book, he is missing. Why? Perhaps it would have been too messy for impulsive Clete to deal with the movie production on location, plus the Mafia characters. At any rate, I missed him. I am also disappointed in the lack of dimension in Bootsie, Dave's wife. We find out more about her, but I never feel like I know her, the way I do the other ongoing characters in this series. If you are a Robicheaux fan, don't take a pass on this one. You will enjoy it.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Golden City: The Fourth Realm, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By John Twelve Hawks
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (626)
    Performance
    (234)
    Story
    (236)

    Struggling to protect the legacy of his Traveler father, Gabriel faces troubling new questions and relentless threats. His brother Michael, now firmly allied with the enemy, pursues his ambition to wrest power from Nathan Boone, the calculating leader of the Brethren. And Maya, the Harlequin warrior pledged to protect Gabriel at all costs, is forced to make a choice that will change her life forever.

    Martin says: "Didnt feel like the end of the trilogy"
    "Left me wanting more..."
    Overall

    The Fourth Realm trilogy by John Twelve Hawks is not conventional science fiction by any means. In fact, it is debatable whether it belongs in the science fiction category at all - but I will leave that to other readers to sort out. I picked up the first book (The Traveler) in print form in a used bookstore. It sat on my "to read" shelf for months, until I ran out of anything else to read. As soon as I started reading, I was hooked, and listened to the subsequent two audiobooks. with their excellent narration by Scott Brick. I only wish there were more, as I became very caught up in the story line, the theme and the characters. John Twelve Hawks is a mystery (google the name), which may enhance the reading experience for some. Two remarkable attributes made this book stand out for me: (1) Scott Brick, who is obviously a popular narrator of audiobooks, did an outstanding job with this series, especially with the female characters. I am often irritated by some male narrators who portray all women in silly falsetto voices, completely distracting the listener and making it impossible to consider these characters seriously. Mr. Brick delineates each character well, and the strong female characters in this book are not diminished; and (2) the characters are allowed to grow and develop as the saga unfolds. Whoever John Twelve Hawks is, I hope to read more books by this author.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Swan Peak: A Dave Robicheaux Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By James Lee Burke
    • Narrated By Will Patton
    Overall
    (1321)
    Performance
    (381)
    Story
    (380)

    Swan Peak finds Detective Robicheaux far from his New Iberia roots, attempting to relax in the untouched wilderness of rural Montana. He, his wife, and his buddy Clete Purcell have retreated to stay at an old friend's ranch, hoping to spend their days fishing and enjoying their distance from the harsh, gritty landscape of Louisiana post-Katrina.

    Deborah says: "Christmas/Birthday in July"
    "One of my best ever audiobook experiences."
    Overall

    James Lee Burke plus Will Patton plus an unabridged book equals a perfect audio experience for me. I was a bit reluctant to order this book, because it is set outside Dave Robicheaux's usual Louisiana haunts. Dave and ex-partner Clete find themselves in Montana, taking a vacation that does not stay tranquil for long. Burke's rich character development and Patton's careful narration combine to make this a suspenseful and meaningful listen. This is not an ordinary detective novel: it is dark, it is lyrical, it is ambiguous and it is didactic. Burke is no ordinary writer, but transcends the mystery genre to pure literature. I only wish more unabridged James Lee Burke books were available from Audible.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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