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ZenMuppet

Obsessed with Terry Pratchett's Discworld and the TV show The Big Bang Theory. LOVE books, especially audiobooks.

ratings
73
REVIEWS
7
FOLLOWING
3
FOLLOWERS
1
HELPFUL VOTES
34

  • The Rook: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Daniel O'Malley
    • Narrated By Susan Duerden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2217)
    Performance
    (2008)
    Story
    (2012)

    Myfanwy Thomas awakes in a London park surrounded by dead bodies. With her memory gone, her only hope of survival is to trust the instructions left in her pocket by her former self. She quickly learns that she is a Rook, a high-level operative in a secret agency that protects the world from supernatural threats. But there is a mole inside the organization - and this person wants her dead.

    Ethan M. says: "Harry Dresden meets English bureaucracy"
    "Loved it!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Let me say right off the bat, I am not a fan of mysteries or "whodunnits". Even so, I loved this book, and I sincerely hope the author writes a few sequels. The premise of the story was intriguing, the setting was vivid the plot kept the intrigue up right until the end. The main characters were well-written but still left some questions open, and that's a good thing, since the ending leaves room for this to become a series. The narration was great and I had no trouble keeping track of the different characters. Also, it was really nice to read a book with a female main character that does NOT involve a love story anywhere along the line.
    Overall, a great read. I'd highly recommend this one, especially to women.

    22 of 24 people found this review helpful
  • Sunset Strip: A Tale from the Tome of Bill

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Rick Gualtieri
    • Narrated By Trish Mckinnley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (53)
    Performance
    (50)
    Story
    (51)

    My name is Sally. For over 30 years I've prowled the night, one of the undead. In that time I've walked amongst you - a wolf in sheep's clothing - doing unspeakable things, killing countless people. Now, on the eve of Armageddon, a chance for redemption presents itself. My past has come looking for me, beckoning me back to the city of my rebirth. Those who killed me the first time are intent on finishing the job. I'm outnumbered and outgunned, but they've got another thing coming if they think I'm outclassed.

    Cliff says: "Something to tide you over"
    "Terrible narration!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was happy to learn that Gualtieri had written a Tome of Bill book from the female perspective, and it was good to finally have some clarity on Sally's backstory. Unfortunately, the narrator for this audiobook nearly ruined it for me.
    How can I put this? She sounds like she learned English entirely from watching cheesy TV news anchors. Her cadence is frequently awkward, with random pauses ... in between words for no ... apparent reason. Worse, however, is the cheesy, staged, fake tone of her voice (like a cheesy anchorwoman). It's not appropriate to the character, and it's tremendously distracting.
    I can honestly say I will never buy another audiobook that this woman narrates.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Holier Than Thou (The Tome of Bill)

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Rick Gualtieri
    • Narrated By Christopher John Fetherolf
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (149)
    Performance
    (138)
    Story
    (141)

    Bill Ryder - gamer, geek, and legendary vampire - has woman troubles. The girl he wants is deadly to him. The girl who wants him is deadly to everyone else. He's trapped in the most lethal love triangle he can imagine and it's only going to get worse. On the eve of war, The Icon - ancient foe of the vampire race - has arisen. Panic is about to break out within the undead ranks and Bill is caught smack dab in the middle of it.

    Cliff says: "Bill is starting to grow up, but just a little..."
    "Great story, mediocre narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm on the 5th book of the Tome of Bill series, and it's a great story. Funny, relatively believable, and full of action. The narrator (Fetherolf), however, could really use some help. Specifically, he has no idea how to pronounce 10% of the words in any of these books. Not particularly obscure words, either: "caste" and "penchant", for instance. It's not like these books are recorded alone in a basement . . . where was the rest of the crew?
    Also, I noticed a few editing gaps in this book; the narrator would do a second take on a sentence, but they never edited the first take out. Not a big deal, but a little unprofessional.
    Overall, the narration is decent, and the mispronunciation is annoying, but not enough to ruin the story for me. Just be forewarned.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Hero's Guide to Being an Outlaw

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Christopher Healy
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (84)
    Performance
    (74)
    Story
    (76)

    Prince Liam. Prince Frederic. Prince Duncan. Prince Gustav. You think you know those guys pretty well by now, don't you? Well, think again. Posters plastered across the 13 kingdoms are saying that Briar Rose has been murdered - and the four Princes Charming are the prime suspects. Now they're on the run in a desperate attempt to clear their names. Along the way, however, they discover that Briar's murder is just one part of a nefarious plot to take control of all 13 kingdoms - a plot that will lead to the doorstep of an eerily familiar fortress for a final showdown with an eerily familiar enemy.

    W. Roberts says: "Most fun fractured fairy tale laugh out loud funny"
    "Entertaining, even for a kid's book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a great idea for a book series. Even though the audience is clearly meant to be children, I really enjoyed the plot of each book. A huge added bonus is the fact that the female characters are often the real heroes of the story, both in unexpected, subtle ways, and in flat-out, pants-wearing, sword-wielding, kick-ass adventuring.
    Bronson Pinchot did a remarkable job voicing the characters, especially considering how many there were. There were, however, 2 exceptions which nearly ruined the series for me. Snow White and Prince Duncan's voices were the most annoying thing I've ever experienced in an audiobook! It was such an over-the-top choice, and it nearly convinced me to quit the books several times. I understand they're supposed to be simple-minded and stupid to the point of idiocy, but Pinchot makes them sound like a caricature of burnt-out, spacey stoners, and it got really annoying really fast.
    Other than that, however, I loved the series. I'd really like to see the idea spun into a more adult-level series, someday.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Talulla Rising

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Glen Duncan
    • Narrated By Penelope Rawlins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (59)
    Performance
    (56)
    Story
    (56)

    The woman is Talulla Demetriou. She's grieving for her werewolf lover, Jake, whose violent death has left her alone with her own sublime monstrousness. On the run, pursued by the hunters of WOCOP (World Organisation for the Control of Occult Phenomena), she must find a place to give birth to Jake's child in secret. The birth, under a full moon at a remote Alaska lodge, leaves Talulla ravaged, but with her infant son in her arms she believes the worst is over - until the windows crash in, and she discovers that the worst has only just begun.

    ZenMuppet says: "Worst. Narration. Ever."
    "Worst. Narration. Ever."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a sequel to The Last Werewolf, which was a great book with a great narrator. Tallula Rising is a pretty good book with a terrible narrator, which ruined the book for me. I assume Penelope Rawlins is a good narrator for particular roles, but this was NOT one of them. The third book is due out in 2014 and I'm begging Glen Duncan: PLEASE do not use this voice actor again!
    Let me elaborate. The main character of this book is a 30-something cynical woman from Brooklyn who becomes a werewolf. The narrator of the audiobook sounds like a 20-year-old girl and has a neutral, middle-East Coast patois, but randomly slips into a Bostonian/Bronx accent with words like "orchard" (awwchud) and "pattern" (pat'n). If the whole narration was done as a New Yorker, she might have pulled it off, but it's so arbitrary that it sounds like an amateur mistake and gets really annoying by the halfway mark.
    More annoying is the frequent and bizarre mispronunciation of common words. How can a professional voice actor repeatedly mispronounce "capillary" and "Haitian"? This happened so often that I found myself correcting her out loud, in my car, my house and on the street. By Chapter 20, I was shouting. People stared.
    Even so, I have to admit that I really enjoyed the storyline. A warning: the author is rather obsessed with the word "c*nt", and there's a lot of gore (it IS about werewolves), but as long as that doesn't bother you, it's a great storyline. If I had read the traditional, paper book, it would have gotten 4.5 stars.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Adulting: How to Become a Grown-up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Kelly Williams Brown
    • Narrated By Anjili Pal
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (68)
    Performance
    (64)
    Story
    (63)

    If you graduated from college but still feel like a student...if you wear a business suit to job interviews but pajamas to the grocery store...if you have your own apartment but no idea how to cook or clean...it's OK. But it doesn't have to be this way. Just because you don't feel like an adult doesn't mean you can't act like one. And it all begins with this funny, wise, and useful book. Based on Kelly Williams Brown's popular blog, Adulting makes the scary, confusing "real world" approachable, manageable - and even conquerable.

    steve says: "Great for Young Adults"
    "Mandatory reading for 18 - 14 yr olds!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Adulting is a book of great, concise, useful information delivered in a realistic, approachable, and funny manner. Seriously, everyone in America should read this as a high school senior. It would have saved me A LOT of headaches (and embarrassment) if I had this book in high school or college. Even if you're a grown woman like me (I'm 37) you should read it for the laughs and nostalgia . . . and who knows, you might even learn a thing or two!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Through a Dog's Eyes

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Jennifer Arnold
    • Narrated By Jennifer Arnold
    Overall
    (141)
    Performance
    (59)
    Story
    (58)

    Few people are more qualified to speak about the abilities and potential of dogs than Jennifer Arnold, who for the past twenty years has trained service dogs for people with physical disabilities and special needs. Arnold has developed a unique understanding of dogs' capabilities, intelligence, sensitivity, and extra-sensory skills.

    Brent Williams says: "Great book provides insight and instruction"
    "Heartwarming, but extremely subjective."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It's clear that the author truly loves dogs, and that comes through in every chapter. She's probably a great trainer and I'm sure dogs adore her. This book is full of heartwarming stories and good advice on working with dogs. My only criticisms are
    a) the author's southern drawl can get a little cloying after a while.
    b) she often delivers personal (and obviously subjective) opinion as if it's scientific fact, sometimes contradicting other 'facts' that she's previously established.
    Overall, I really enjoyed the book, and it's helped me be a better 'parent' to my dog. If you've never had a dog and are thinking of adopting one, you should read this book first.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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