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Douglas

Owen Sound, ON, Canada | Member Since 2006

65
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 20 reviews
  • 42 ratings
  • 600 titles in library
  • 97 purchased in 2014
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  • Oath of Fealty

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Moon
    • Narrated By Jennifer Van Dyck
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (490)
    Performance
    (353)
    Story
    (353)

    Paksenarrion Dorthansdotter follows her dream of becoming a hero out of legend by running away to join the army. Military life and warfare aren't anything like she imagined - yet she holds to both her duty and her dreams. Sheepfarmer's Daughter, Divided Allegiance, and Oath of Gold tell of her rise to become the paladin who saves a kingdom. In this new trilogy, Paks's former comrades in Duke Phelan's Company assume new roles and the story turns to follow their adventures.

    James says: "More Moon Magic"
    "Weak beginning better ending"
    Overall

    This and the two others to follow will have big shoes to fill when it comes to following up the previous three books. And while reading the first three books isn't necessary it provides a lot of background to the story presented. My only real issue with the book (and it might ahve been the narrator) was the Arcolin/Phaelan bits seemed... stilted. I wish there had been more Dorrin as her parts seemed to be rushed somehwat. Overall though I enjoyed this and look forward to the next book which isn't out until 2011.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • The Iron Trial: Book One of The Magisterium

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Holly Black, Cassandra Clare
    • Narrated By Paul Boehmer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (14)

    Most kids would do anything to pass the Iron Trial. Not Callum Hunt. He wants to fail. All his life, Call has been warned by his father to stay away from magic. If he succeeds at the Iron Trial and is admitted into the Magisterium, he is sure it can only mean bad things for him. So he tries his best to do his worst - and fails at failing. Now the Magisterium awaits him. It's a place that's both sensational and sinister, with dark ties to his past and a twisty path to his future.

    Douglas says: "Harry Potter it ain't!"
    "Harry Potter it ain't!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Iron Trial the most enjoyable?

    The characters were well voiced and most of the main characters had a seperate voice. The Narrator was animated and matched mood of the current scene well.


    What other book might you compare The Iron Trial to and why?

    I've seen claims that this is similar to Harry Potter and really it's not. I'd be more incline to compare this book to "The Dark Is Rising" volume 2. I think this is a better comparison because unlike Harry otter, both this book and the otehr are gears towards and older YA range.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I can't really answer this without giving away spoilers


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

    Yes. While there were some areas that dragged, I was hooked form the beginning and had to resist the urge to skip to the end to find out what happened.


    Any additional comments?

    I'll be interested in seeing if the second book in the sereis stands up just as well as the first book. I enjoyed this novel because the characters seemed fleshed out, there was some mystery and not everything is neatly wrapped up.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • If You Find Me

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Emily Murdoch
    • Narrated By Tai Sammons
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (171)
    Performance
    (154)
    Story
    (156)

    Fourteen-year-old Carey and six-year-old Jenessa have lived in the woods with their mother for as long as they can remember. Now abandoned, they must fend for themselves - until they’re found by Carey’s father and thrust into a bright and perplexing new world of comfort. Carey desperately wants to believe in this new reality but is held back by loyalty to her mentally ill mother, who gave Carey her violin and taught her to play the music that helps her survive.

    The Reading Date says: "Heartfelt and Harrowing"
    "Lots of potential"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of If You Find Me to be better than the print version?

    I don't know I've only listened tot eh audio edition. I'd like to see the print one... just to see if the audio edition missed a few pages though.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Emily Murdoch? Why or why not?

    Yes, I'd be willing to give this author another listen. While I do have some issues with the book itself I did enjoy the story overall.


    What does Tai Sammons bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The narrator helps carry the story along, providing distinct voices to most characters and just provides polish to the story.


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

    A few scenes could have moved me if they'd been executed better.


    Any additional comments?

    I don't know if it's the author's fault or the narrator's but there's spots in the book where scenes shift without much lead in. For example, in one scene Carey and her family are around the table eating. An argument breaks out. Carey's dad says he'll talk with Del (Carey's step-sister) after dinner. He never does and the author loses a chance for some character development.

    The book could be 4 or 5 stars, except that it feels more like a teen-fiction checklist. It sometimes felt like the author had a checklist and she was writing stuff to cross those items off rather then a full story. There was quite a bit of insta-love going around too.

    I did really like the idea and quite a bit of the story. It was the execution that brought the quality down.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Girl Who Has Everything

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Jennifer J. Stewart
    • Narrated By Miranda Stewart
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    Phoebe Marchant isn't your average poor little orphan. In fact, as heiress to her father's fortune, she may be the richest 12-year-old in America. But life isn't always easy for Phoebe. Along with Poppy's fortune, she's inherited a big problem, Vicki-with-two-i's, the last and luckiest in her long string of stepmothers. Luckily, Phoebe's a professional when it comes to getting rid of unwanted stepmothers. She's also used to getting her own way.

    Douglas says: "Narration kills the story."
    "Narration kills the story."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Rerecord it in a proper sound booth. There's hissing and the narrator sounds like the distance form the mic is changing constantly.

    A different narrator might not have made the book such a painful listen either.


    Would you recommend The Girl Who Has Everything to your friends? Why or why not?

    Yes, I think I would. It's a different and somewhat refreshing take on the rich girl theme. I didn't really care for Vickii but again it's not the typical step-mother cliche found in most books.


    How could the performance have been better?

    The main character is supposed to be 12 but she sounds about six. But it's the recording quality thatneeds to improve.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Girl Who Has Everything?

    I don't think I would cut anything. I would have liked to seem some expansion on things though. I mean our main character was at a boarding school and is now being sent to a "normal" (read public) school. This is brushed over in the rush to rach the ending.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Matter of Time

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Glen Cook
    • Narrated By Daniel Thomas May
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    May 1975, St. Louis: In a snow-swept street, a cop finds the body of a man who died 50 years ago. It's still warm. July 1866, Lidice, Bohemia: A teenage girl calmly watches her parents die as another being takes control of her body. August 2058, Prague: Three political rebels flee in to the past, taking with them a terrible secret. As past, present, and future collide, one man holds the key to the puzzle. And if he doesn't fit it together, the world he knows will fall to pieces. It's just a matter of time....

    Douglas says: "Disoranized"
    "Disoranized"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Glen Cook and/or Daniel Thomas May?

    No, While the narration wasn't terrible the story was badly structured, and seemed to try too hard to be mysterious.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Glen Cook again?

    I'd have to be paid to listen to any of the author's work.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Not sure, the story suffered form too many structure issues.


    What character would you cut from A Matter of Time?

    Michael as he seems redundant.


    Any additional comments?

    It started off good but soon devolved. I didn't know what was happening. Not knowing w2hat is happening does not make it "mysterious".

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Jaunten: Advent Mage Cycle, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Honor Raconteur
    • Narrated By Mark McClain Wilson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (157)
    Performance
    (147)
    Story
    (149)

    I'm the first Mage born in 200 years. I've turned a city into an island, erected a barrier around an entire country, and awakened a war hero from a 200 year old slumber. Prophecies have marked my coming. Kings and nations have begged for my aid in times of peril. I hold the power to create and destroy nations. My name is Rhebengarthen. To my friends and family, I'm just Garth. The world knows me as the Advent Mage. And despite the rumors that you might have heard about me, this is what really happened.

    adam says: "a great change"
    "I can see why he/she got so many rejection letters"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    I don't blame the narrator, I blame the author for giving the narrator such bad material to work with.


    What could Honor Raconteur have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    A book that didn't start off with a big, fat Dues Ex Machina in the very first 10% of the first chapter.

    What I got form the cover was that the main character was going to be teh greatest mage in the world. I thought the book would detail his growth into that position. What the author gives us instead is a shortcut to this greatness.

    The "Jaunten" are a race that passes knowledge down through the blood. So whatever the persons ancestors knew they know. No this isn't a spoiler, it's spelled out within the first 10 pages or so of the first chapter. Our protagonist meets Jaunten and they trade blood. Ta-da! Instant suped up main character without any need to actually grow into the role of the advent Mage.


    How could the performance have been better?

    Have a better novel to read. Honestly the narration suffered because the writing was just horrible.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Jaunten?

    The entire scene where our main character meets the Jaunten. If the author's resorting to these sorts of shortcuts in the very beginning of a book they really should restructure the plot.


    Any additional comments?

    I have the impression the narrator was trying to go for a Asian accent of some sort for our protagonist but he just sounded like he was constipated. An Asian accent would have been understandable given names of people(s) and places. The narrator just can't do the accent justice though.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Serpent's Shadow: Elemental Masters

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Mercedes Lackey
    • Narrated By Michelle Ford
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (581)
    Performance
    (438)
    Story
    (444)

    From the magical mysteries of India to the gaslit streets of Victorian London, Mercedes Lackey's unique departure from her Valdemar series follows a young woman doctor as she searches for the secret behind the sorcery in her blood.

    CatBookMom says: "Very enjoyable"
    "Not as good as it sounds"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about The Serpent's Shadow?

    While I normally enjoy strong female protagonists, I found Maya (our heroine) too strong. Her world view (and I think the author's) is that if your female your a perfect being. If your male your lower then scum.

    I could accept Maya's world view because of the time period the story was set in. But As soon as our main male character meets up with Maya he's immediately cowed by her verbal warning.

    I could also accept this if Peter was presented as a whishy-whashy man, he's not though. He's presented as a strong Water Master, that he was a ships captain for several years before starting a business ashore.

    Maya has an English father and an Indian mother. This in itself isn't a problem except that everyone that meets her (except the white males) loves her instantly without her having to do anything. She faces no discrimination because of her sex/race except, again, from teh white males who seem to be put in her path so that the author can preach the evils of men.

    If the time period was a modern era setting I could understand the lack of discrimination better. However my understanding is that this book is set around 1902 so the lack of discrimination and insta-love for our main female character just doesn't make sense to me.


    What was most disappointing about Mercedes Lackey’s story?

    The handling of Maya's mixed race. Maya could have been half-human/half-martian and it wouldnt have made much difference to the way people react to her. As I said above if the time period was more modern I could understand people's reaction to Maya's mixed racial background better.


    Which character – as performed by Michelle Ford – was your favorite?

    Peter Scott.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Serpent's Shadow?

    I don't think cutting any scenes would ahve saved this book, there were too many flaws int eh foundation.


    Any additional comments?

    I wanted to like this book, the premise was interesting. I just didn't like the main character Maya.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Shogun: A Novel of Japan

    • UNABRIDGED (48 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By James Clavell
    • Narrated By David Case
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1099)
    Performance
    (668)
    Story
    (678)

    A bold English adventuer. An invincible Japanese warlord. A beautiful woman torn between two ways of life, two ways of love....An English captain and his crew are shipwrecked on the coast of feudal Japan. They must deal with two Japanese warlords who are struggling to attain the title of Shogun - and the ultimate power that comes with it.

    Matthew Stavros says: "You have got to be kidding"
    "I liked it better when I was younger"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I think if you haven't seen the miniseries or are looking for a Romeo-Juliet sort of story you could enjoy this work. I certainly did when I was in my teens.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Disappointment because while there's resolution, you're mostly told what happens rather then shown what happens. I also wanted to know more about Blackthrone's future.


    What didn’t you like about David Case’s performance?

    The narrator only had three "voices" for all the characters. Blackthorne/narration, female and everybody else. Sadly the "Everybody else" voice sounded like the narrator was being tortured while reading the speaking parts.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    As I've said when I was a teen I liked this book. The story/idea was very interesting. I enjoy stories set in Japan, each character was distinct from the other characters and didn't feel like cardboard cutouts.


    Any additional comments?

    I think the author became confused about who was main protagonist was because as the story went on Blackthorne seemed, to me at least, to become a secondary character.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Thread Slivers: Golden Threads Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Leeland Artra
    • Narrated By Denise Poirier, J.M. Badger, Michael Braun, and others
    Overall
    (15)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (13)

    Ticca is a newly-minted Dagger, a young honorable mercenary out to prove her worth in the big city. Her first job seems like a simple one, but it sets her on a path to a destiny bigger than she ever dreamed. The friends she makes along the way may have destinies of their own to fulfill...The three of them are swept into a series of deadly events. Fighting to stay ahead of their adversaries, they stumble into secrets that catapult them towards disaster that even the Gods are not prepared for.

    Sam Poe says: "How to break immersion..."
    "Great start but run out of steam"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made Thread Slivers better?

    The character of Duke is an unpleasant creature whom I didn't like spending time with. He detracted from the story and lessened the importance of the two protagonists introduced at the beginning of the story.

    Sula's heritage is so overly hinted at that it ruins some of the mystery surrounding her.

    More showing of Ticca's past rather then telling of her past.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Leeland Artra again?

    Probably not. I might give the second book a chance if it's ever on sale.


    How could the performance have been better?

    Cut out the sound effects. They added little to the performance in my opinion and in some cases were distracting/badly timed.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Thread Slivers?

    Anything involving Duke. He seemed like an unnecessary chracter and feels more like an author self-insertion.


    Any additional comments?

    The premise was enough to get me to spend one of my credits on the book. It started out well but as more and more characters were added the entire flow of the story bogged down.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Capturing Faith: Volume 1

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Victoria G. Schwimley
    • Narrated By Randi Larson
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    Chelsea Warren is the most popular girl in school, and the leader of the tightest clique on campus. The most important things to her are her looks and the respect of her followers. But Chelsea has a secret she doesn't want anyone to know. Amber Walker is compassionate, trustworthy, and the most well-adjusted girl in school. The most important thing to her is serving God and her community. When an argument between Chelsea and her best friend occurs, she runs straight to Amber for help.

    Douglas says: "Capturing Emptiness"
    "Capturing Emptiness"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made Capturing Faith better?

    Despite the strong and interesting summary, the actual plot was shallow and lacked any real depth. The word choice and phrasing might have worked better as a children's book, rather then as a book directed at teens.

    The book starts to raise interesting questions of a person's faith but then seems to shy away from the topic. As if the author felt the reader wouldn't be able to understand.

    The main character, Amber, lacked flaws. She was jsut "too good" to be real. Again, in a children's book this sort of main character could pass easily but I expect more depth from a teen/YA focused story.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Victoria G. Schwimley again?

    I'm not sure. I normally don't listen to faith-centric books. I picked this one up because of the strong plot summary but the execution of the ideas in the story were a letdown. I'm not sure if I'd listen to the author's other stories.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The scene where Chelsae wished her family was back the way it sued to be.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment was my reaction. I had high expectations of the story.


    Any additional comments?

    I enjoyed the narration. The narrator tried to give each character a different voice and generally was successful.

    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
    (465)
    Performance
    (424)
    Story
    (422)

    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 good start but stumbles a bit."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Line?

    The plot was interesting, limited info dumping to a minimum and didn't give the plot immediately away within the first chapter.


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

    The main character Mercy was the most interesting. She seemed fairly fleshed out as well as Oliver.

    The entire love quadrangle. If Mercy was younger (13-15) I cold maybe see this as an important plot element but it just bogged things down.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    The Voice Actress could convey emotion well and fitted it to what was happening in the narration.

    I didn't like that there were only a few unique voices and sometimes the VA mixed up which character was speaking and used a different voice.


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

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    Overall it's not a bad beginning to a series. The novel suffers from a few issues, like having a too neatly tied up ending. I wish Jackson, for example, could have been a great loose end.

    The whole love plot was strange and detracted from the plot for me.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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