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Paisley

Fan of philisophical fantasy, historic fiction, Victorian gothic, books that make you think!

ASHEVILLE, NC, United States | Member Since 2013

9
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 9 reviews
  • 25 ratings
  • 77 titles in library
  • 19 purchased in 2014
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  • The Sugar Queen

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Sarah Addison Allen
    • Narrated By Karen White
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (294)
    Performance
    (166)
    Story
    (165)

    Twenty-seven-year-old Josey Cirrini is sure of three things: winter in her North Carolina hometown is her favorite season, she's a sorry excuse for a Southern belle, and sweets are best eaten in the privacy of her hidden closet. For while Josey has settled into an uneventful life in her mother's house, her one consolation is the stockpile of sugary treats and paperback romances she escapes to each night.

    Stephanie Berget says: "Must Read"
    "Cute and entertaining, but falls flat a bit"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does The Sugar Queen rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I've only listened to 3 so far, and this would rank as #2.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    Most interesting- the emotions tied up in why people in Blad Slope act as they do. The psychology behind Margaret's actions is particularly interesting, and made her a more likable character. Least interesting might be Josie herself- she seemed more of a slate for the story to run itself on, rather than a focal point sometimes.


    What about Karen White’s performance did you like?

    Brilliant narration! She gives the characters believable voices, doesn't over-act. Perfect, really.


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

    When Margaret's former lover finally spoke to her again.


    Any additional comments?

    Something was lacking in this one for me. I adored Garden Spells, and wanted more of that magic. I found myself irritated with most of the characters in this book, especially the situation with Chloe. I didn't think there needed to be so much pressure for her to forgive a man who cheated on her- I think it was a poor message to see her give this person another chance. The characters were a bit weak in spirit and seemingly naive to life. I would have liked to see more of the tension unfold with the issue of Josie's fathers' affairs and his offspring from that, but the book ignores this issue quite a bit.

    Overall, still a good story with an interesting twist near the end, but I don't think any of it was very unexpected. It's worth a listen, but take it as light entertainment.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Memnoch the Devil

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Anne Rice
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (83)
    Performance
    (77)
    Story
    (77)

    "[Memnoch] is one of Rice's most intriguing and sympathetic characters to date. . . . Rice ups the ante, taking Lestat where few writers have ventured: into heaven and hell itself. She carries it off in top form."(The Seattle Times)

    Paisley says: "You'll question everything you ever believed!"
    "You'll question everything you ever believed!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Memnoch the Devil the most enjoyable?

    I'd been looking forward to getting to this book in the Vampire Chronicles for a long time, and it did not disappoint. It is indeed much more philosophical than many readers might be prepared for, but I was sitting there with rapt attention, jaw hanging open, fully absorbed and fascinated by every word Memnoch had to say! Honestly, this might be the best book I've ever experienced. I'm already listening to it a second time so my boyfriend can experience it. He's the type to roll his eyes over anything involving vampires, so it was a hard sell, but he's just as entrenched in it as I was.

    Memnoch delves into the fascinating origins of life as we know it and the evolution of religion on a scale that is difficult to encapsulate in a short review. If you want a true Vampire Story, you really won't find much of one here, but what you will find is a haunting, mesmerizing tale that is unlike anything you've ever heard before.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    YES! I normally listen to my audiobooks while driving, and found I was just so engulfed with this one that driving became difficult. I gobbled it up with lightning speed!


    Any additional comments?

    Like I and other reviews have said- if you just want a Vampire Story, skip it. If you are a fan of physchologically introspective, philosophically compelling tales or find the subject of theology fascinating (I'm not Christian/religious at all, but find the origins or religion to be a very compelling subject) you must give this a try. Just embrace the story for what it is and you will find yourself questioning everything you ever believed, thought you didn't believe, or were told to believe.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Asylum

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By John Harwood
    • Narrated By Rosalyn Landor
    Overall
    (138)
    Performance
    (127)
    Story
    (128)

    Confused and disoriented, Georgina Ferrars awakens in a small room in Tregannon House, a private asylum in a remote corner of England. She has no memory of the past few weeks. The doctor Maynard Straker tells her that she admitted herself under the name Lucy Ashton the day before and then suffered a seizure. When she insists he has mistaken her for someone else, Dr. Straker sends a telegram to her uncle, who replies that Georgina Ferrars is at home with him in London: "Your patient must be an imposter." Suddenly her voluntary confinement becomes involuntary....

    Shaliali says: "Mesmerizing"
    "Encapsulates you in a small, fascinating world."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does The Asylum rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It's in the top rung! I loved listening to this one with my boyfriend and would highly recommend it as a road trip book or something to listen to with company. We had a great time dissecting the plot and stopping it every once in a while to throw our theories out as to how everything would be resolved.


    What about Rosalyn Landor’s performance did you like?

    She did such an excellent job of switching voices for characters that I honestly forgot this wasn't a full cast production. So many female narrators give male characters awful, unconvincing, or flat voices, but not this lady. Very impressive!


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

    *POTENTIAL SPOILER ALERT* There was a line near the end where Georgina comments that there was a greater reason she could never be Frederick's wife, beyond their relation, and it was that her love for Rosina had revealed a deeper truth of herself. I don't think even my boyfriend picked up on the fact that Georgina was saying she digs ladies and not men!
    That's not a "moving" moment, really, but a notable one that is pretty subtle and easy to overlook.


    Any additional comments?

    This is the second Harwood novel I've listened to, and I'm fascinated with how immersive his worlds are, despite being bound up in a relatively small scope. Everything is lushly detailed and character driven. You will find that even if you don't particularly care for a character, you are still listening with rapt attention and eager to find out more about them.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Her Own Devices: A Steampunk Adventure Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Shelley Adina
    • Narrated By Fiona Hardingham
    Overall
    (287)
    Performance
    (266)
    Story
    (268)

    Seventeen-year-old Lady Claire Trevelyan, left alone after the Arabian bubble financial disaster claims home and family, now leads the cleverest gang in the London underworld. Between outwitting a rival gang, inventing a device that will net her and her scientist employer worldwide fame, and keeping her mother from marrying her off, she can almost forget that a powerful lord wants to get closer…and if he succeeds, can destroy it all with a single word…

    Mike says: "Great Story, Halting Narration"
    "Couldn't handle the narrator anymore"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    It's a good series, but a little too YA level for me. My boyfriend and I (both 27) tried listening to the series together. He's still into it, but by this book I got very bored with the story.


    How could the performance have been better?

    I had to return this one. I got through about two hours and just couldn't handle the narrator any longer. Some of the accents she does (mostly for the children) were just like nails on a chalkboard and drove me absolutely up the wall! I can't even stand to recall them in my head as I write this, they were so painful to listen to.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Source: Witching Savannah, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By J. D. Horn
    • Narrated By Shannon McManus
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (402)
    Performance
    (368)
    Story
    (371)

    Savannah resident Mercy Taylor may now be in control of the South’s most powerful family of witches, but she’s struggling to master her newfound magic. Pregnant with her first child and still reeling from a heartbreaking betrayal, she just wants to be able to use her supernatural abilities without accidentally destroying dishes or blasting the doors off buildings.

    Chai on Life says: "Hold on, it's a rip roaring ride!"
    "Too many convoluted plotlines"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Not particularly. I loved the first book. As a former resident of Savannah, GA, hearing about the places I used to frequent (and the pub I used to work in- pretty sure it has to be the inspiration behind the one in the book) was very exciting. I loved listening to a story that seemed to evoke the feelings I had while living there and bring to life the innate magic that is daily life in Savannah. The second installment didn't possess that same sort of magic for me though. Too many plotlines emerged and as a result, the story felt chaotic and I didn't have much emotional connection with the characters anymore. Their emotional responses made sense, but seemed forced.


    Would you be willing to try another book from J. D. Horn? Why or why not?

    I will probably give the next book in the series a go, just because I want it to get back on track and feel loyal to it because of my Savannah connection, but I am not expecting it to be anything riveting.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Line: Witching Savannah, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By J. D. Horn
    • Narrated By Shannon McManus
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (735)
    Performance
    (665)
    Story
    (661)

    To the uninitiated, Savannah shows only her bright face and genteel manner. Those who know her well, though, can see beyond her colonial trappings and small-city charm to a world where witchcraft is respected, Hoodoo is feared, and spirits linger. Mercy Taylor is all too familiar with the supernatural side of Savannah, being a member of the most powerful family of witches in the South. Despite being powerless herself, of course. Having grown up without magic of her own, in the shadow of her talented and charismatic twin sister, Mercy has always thought herself content.

    gardener97 says: "Excellent Story and Excellent Narrator"
    "A surprising plot! Better than expected!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does The Line rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    So far as the Southern Gothic supernatural genre goes, this is by far the best I've listened to. At points I had criticisms of the way the plot seemed to be leaning, but was pleasantly surprised when things went drastically different from how I expected! Any complaints I had about seemingly vapid characters and useless influences wound up being cleverly tied up in the story and had a purpose in the end. The writing is nothing superbly spectacular, but it is above and beyond anything else I've read in this genre. J.D. Horn adds some dark, gritty elements to this story that are lacking in other series of the same ilk. As someone who considers Savannah, GA, home, I also may be biased in my love for this book. The author does a fantastic job of ensnaring the essence of Savannah, and I was so excited that he included so many real places that I am very familiar with. It made nearly every scene in the book come alive for me. I am shocked that the author is not actually a Savannah native!


    What other book might you compare The Line to and why?

    Bailey Cates' Southern Bakery series, the Sookie Stackhouse series, Anita Blake, Charley Davidson...though on a higher caliber of plot development, I must say.


    What about Shannon McManus’s performance did you like?

    She did a great job of switching to distinctly different voices for many characters. I didn't like the complacent, whiny element she added to the main character though. It came across a little Valley Girl-esque at times and didn't seem to fit.


    Any additional comments?

    This is NOT cut-and-dry chick-lit fluff! It's much better, and much darker! Give it a chance!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman
    • Narrated By Neil Gaiman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5243)
    Performance
    (4833)
    Story
    (4838)

    A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. He is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock. Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie - magical, comforting, wise beyond her years - promised to protect him, no matter what.

    Cynthia says: "Shadows Dissolved in Vinegar"
    "Subtle Magic is the Best Magic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Definitely! This is, by far, my favorite book by Neil Gaiman. The others I have read by him are often entertaining and the stories are interesting, but they lack a certain depth. Not so with this story. The tale is more introspective than anything else I have read by Gaiman, which is something I'm always left craving more of from his characters, it seems. So often he creates a character with interesting, quirky surface aspect, yet we never know much of their personal thoughts, motives, and emotional impetus. Gaiman weaves a subtle thread of magic throughout this tail which leaves you with questions at the end, but in this case, I believe the loose ends make it all the more memorable. My boyfriend and I listened to it while on a road trip and it enjoyed discussing it afterwards for a good while.


    What other book might you compare The Ocean at the End of the Lane to and why?

    I can only think of The Giver, for some reason. It has that same sort of vaguely unsettling, delicate magic and mystery to it.


    Any additional comments?

    If you have been unimpressed with Gaiman in the past, give it a chance!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Brownies and Broomsticks: A Magical Bakery Mystery, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Bailey Cates
    • Narrated By Johanna Parker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (527)
    Performance
    (464)
    Story
    (468)

    Katie Lightfoot's tired of loafing around as the assistant manager of an Ohio bakery. So when her aunt Lucy and uncle Ben open a bakery in Savannah's quaint downtown district and ask Katie to join them, she enthusiastically agrees. While working at the Honeybee Bakery - named after Lucy's cat - Katie notices that her aunt is adding mysterious herbs to her recipes. Turns out these herbal enhancements aren't just tasty - Aunt Lucy is a witch and her recipes are actually spells!

    Kathryn says: "A Little Mystery with your Magic"
    "Pleasant & light; perfect company for brownies"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Sure! For me, it was a good mental break from the intense epics I've been listening to (Game of Thrones, Outlander, etc.). It wasn't life-altering, but it was fun, and a series I would like to see expand. Also, as someone who lived in Savannah, GA, for years it made me terribly homesick! But it was nice to listen and think, "I used to go to that place all the time!" The essence of Savannah was captured beautifully.


    What aspect of Johanna Parker’s performance would you have changed?

    She read INCREDIBLY fast. So fast I felt like I was listening to an auctioneer. It was so terrible that I didn't think I was going to be able to listen to the book, until I tried slowing it down to half the original speed. That made it much more enjoyable!


    Any additional comments?

    If you were a fan of the Sookie Stackhouse series, it seems like this series might be a good way to recapture the magic those books had in the beginning.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Witch's Daughter

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Paula Brackston
    • Narrated By Marisa Calin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (241)
    Performance
    (225)
    Story
    (219)

    In the spring of 1628, the Witchfinder of Wessex finds himself a true Witch. As Bess Hawksmith watches her mother swing from the Hanging Tree she knows that only one man can save her from the same fate at the hands of the panicked mob: the Warlock Gideon Masters, and his Book of Shadows. Secluded at his cottage in the woods, Gideon instructs Bess in the Craft, awakening formidable powers she didn’t know she had and making her immortal. She couldn't have foreseen that even now, centuries later, he would be hunting her across time, determined to claim payment for saving her life.

    Paisley says: "Lots of potential..."
    "Lots of potential..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    For the most part, yes. I felt myself wanting the book to continue in more detail at certain points, yet other parts seemed very drawn out. It could have been much better if the storyline had not meandered quite like it did. It felt a bit rushed, and I wonder if it wouldn't have been better as several books- one for each era of Bess' life.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    The fact that there was actually some hard-core Satanic worshipping going on was a bit shocking...most books about witches make it a point to avoid that subject. Bess' upbringing was probably the most interesting storyline to follow throughout the saga. The way the villain shows up eventually in every era became very redundant, and I would say that is the biggest flaw of this book.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    I HATED the voice the narrator used for any male character. It was a terrible, drab, creepy sort of voice that didn't suit the author's intentions for some of the character's, I felt. It took away from Gideon's character a great deal, I felt. If I'd been reading the book to myself, he would have had a much more sultry, seductive voice, which would have made me understand his allure and power over Bess.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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