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Paisley

Fan of fantasy, historical fiction, and anything magical or psychologically compelling.

ASHEVILLE, NC, United States | Member Since 2013

3
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 5 reviews
  • 19 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 11 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
    (269)
    Performance
    (144)
    Story
    (142)

    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
  • The Line: Witching Savannah, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By J. D. Horn
    • Narrated By Shannon McManus
    Overall
    (347)
    Performance
    (315)
    Story
    (313)

    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.

    Robin in Vermont says: "Great new series!"
    "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!

    0 of 0 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
    (4488)
    Performance
    (4138)
    Story
    (4151)

    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.

    Dave says: "Oh, the Wondrous Ocean!"
    "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!

    0 of 0 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
    (370)
    Performance
    (321)
    Story
    (324)

    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
    (186)
    Performance
    (175)
    Story
    (170)

    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.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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