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Lonna

Darwell, AB, Canada | Member Since 2003

50
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 15 reviews
  • 54 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • Catch the Lightning: A Novel of the Skolian Empire

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Catherine Asaro
    • Narrated By Anna Fields
    Overall
    (231)
    Performance
    (68)
    Story
    (66)

    In the distant future, the Skolian Empire rules one third of the human galaxy, and is the most powerful of all. For the ruling family has the power of telepathy, and through it, the ability to communicate faster than light, across interstellar space. But their most determined enemy, the traders, who thrive on human pain, need to interbreed with a Skolian to gain their powers. And now they have her.

    Lonna says: "Lots of technology, lots of romance"
    "Lots of technology, lots of romance"
    Overall

    Somehow, this book combines heavy theoretical physics and a love story in a way that actually works. For those with more restrained natures, the sexuality might be a bit much, but it was not gratuitous and did fit into the story.
    If you like a universe that hangs together and abides by it's own laws, you will enjoy this one. If detours into technical explanations of how the 'magic' works annoy you, then you may find this tedious in places. Personally, I found the explanations added to the depth of the artificial universe created by Asaro, and the characters are interesting. Overall, it's not a bad listen (although it did take me some time to get used to the reader's "male voices" - they sounded a bit odd).

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Summer's Path

    • ABRIDGED (4 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Scott Blum
    • Narrated By Diane Ray
    Overall
    (858)
    Performance
    (247)
    Story
    (245)

    Summer's Path is the remarkable story of Don Newport, an engineer that comes face to face with his personal destiny under extraordinary circumstances. After losing his job and his health insurance, Don learns he has a terminal disease with only a few months left to live. On his death bed, he meets Robert, a brazen angel of death that promises to help Don with a graceful exit.

    ArtC says: "A bad new-age after-school special"
    "Really, truly, awful"
    Overall

    I love audiobooks. I love books, period. I can listen to just about anything ... it takes an awful lot to get me to give up on a book.

    I gave up on this one.

    It started off reasonably enough ... and then it got really, really strange. Now, I'm open minded and interested in all sorts of odd philosophical and metaphysical ideas, but ... wow, this just stopped making sense.

    Not even worth it for free. Spare yourself.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Hallowed Hunt

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Lois McMaster Bujold
    • Narrated By Marguerite Gavin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (596)
    Performance
    (232)
    Story
    (235)

    The half-mad Prince Boleso has been slain by a noblewoman he had intended to defile. It falls to Lord Ingrey kin Wilfcliff to transport the prince to his burial place and to bring the accused killer, Lady Ijada, to judgment. The road he travels with his burden and his prisoner is fraught with danger. But in the midst of political chaos, magic has the fiercer hold on Ingrey's destiny, and Ijada herself may turn out to be the only one he dares trust.

    Kim says: "excellent story marred by tedious pausing"
    "Enjoyable as always"
    Overall

    I love the way Lois McMaster Bujold's tales weave together fantasy, adventure, and speculative theology. :)

    I was surprised to find little mention of Chalion in this particular story, but enjoyed learning about the characters and the unpredictable predicaments they found themselves in.

    If you have religious views that do not permit imagining alternative theologies, avoid these stories. If you like a good fantasy and don't object to a few bits of the supernatural showing up, listen on!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Scarlet Thread

    • ABRIDGED (3 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Francine Rivers
    • Narrated By Aimee Lilly
    Overall
    (21)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Two women, centuries apart, are joined through a tattered journal as they contend with God, husbands, even themselves, until they fall into the arms of the One who loves them unconditionally.

    Charliene says: "A book that makes you think"
    "Disappointing: Harlequin Romance for Christians"
    Overall

    I fully expected this to be a book with a Christian orientation, but I was hoping for much more than a trite storyline and a few flashbacks to 'pioneer days'. The 'pioneer days' part of the story was actually fairly good, but there wasn't much of it, and the 'modern days' part of the story was utterly painful to listen to.
    I suppose if you find comfort in simple answers to complicated situations, then perhaps this will work for you. As someone who has had plenty of complicated situations in her own life, I found it insulting.
    Another reviewer compared this to the Red Tent, but I feel that comparison is extremely misleading. I found the Red Tent to be engrossing and rich, with an open mindedness about ancient customs and traditions and how they entwine with modern takes on Christian faith. This book was narrow minded, predictable, and shallow. I could not possibly recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Traitor's Moon: Nightrunner, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Lynn Flewelling
    • Narrated By Raymond Todd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (287)
    Performance
    (96)
    Story
    (102)

    Master spies Seregil and Alec are no strangers to peril. Their assignments, night running for wizards and nobles, have led them into many deadly situations. But sometimes the greatest danger can lurk beneath a traitor's moon.

    Julie says: "Wonderful writer!"
    "Slow start, but enjoyable overall"
    Overall

    I've enjoyed the first two books of this series, and definitely wanted to listen to the third as well. I found the first part of the book a bit slow - it seemed to take a long time to "go anywhere", and I was getting worried that there was going to be too much focus on the romantic relationships and not much of the detective work / adventure stuff I'd so enjoyed from the earlier books. The tale definitely improves before long, and it is fun to follow the twists and turns. Some of the names take some concentration - it's a bit hard to sort out who is who sometimes, but in the end, it's a satisfying addition to the series. Fair warning to the less open-minded in the crowd: if the thought of romance between people of the same gender is disconcerting to you, you'll want to avoid this book. There's nothing explicit, but it's just kind of assumed that the listener will be "okay with that sort of thing".

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Paradise War: Song of Albion, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Stephen R. Lawhead
    • Narrated By Stuart Langston
    Overall
    (293)
    Performance
    (121)
    Story
    (122)

    In an ancient cairn in the wilds of Scotland, Oxford student Simon Rawnson vanishes, seemingly into thin air. Where has he gone? Unsettling signs, a mysterious Green Man, and a Celtic circle chalked on the sidewalk point his roommate, Lewis Gillies, to an impossible answer...and an incredible destiny on the other side of a doorway between worlds.

    Alcairha says: "Can;t recommend this highly enough"
    "Disapointing"
    Overall

    It sounded like a great concept for a book - modern folks lost in a parallel ancient Celtic universe. It started off slowly, making me wonder if I was in the right story ... then it picked up, and I thought, hey, this might be all right. However, by midway through the book I could see the plot turns coming from miles away, and by the end I found myself saying "well DUH!" out loud to the characters, as they couldn't seem to grasp things I'd figured out an hour earlier. I wish it had turned out better, it's a really interesting concept and the author paints a rich picture of early Celtic life ... unfortunately, it just doesn't live up to it's promise. Oh well.

    2 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Curse of Chalion

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Lois McMaster Bujold
    • Narrated By Lloyd James
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2069)
    Performance
    (884)
    Story
    (892)

    Amidst the decaying splendor and poisonous intrigue of Chalion's ancient capital, Cazaril is forced to confront not only powerful enemies but also the malignant curse that clings to the royal household, trapping him, flesh and soul, in a maze of demonic paradox, damnation, and death for as long as he dares walk the five-fold pathway of the gods.

    Pete says: "Excellent Fantasy... Epic in feel, finite in pace"
    "Great characters, excellent tale"
    Overall

    This story keeps unfolding into new and more thought-provoking places as it goes ... one is never quite sure what will come up next, but when you see what it is, it makes sense. Everthing hangs together. There's a really intriguing theology in this universe, which adds quite a bit to the tale (particularly if that sort of thing interests you at all). The narrator is very good, although some of the names are a bit tricky to get used to when you can't see them written, still, one does get the hang of it. Highly recommended!

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Saturn's Race

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Larry Niven, Steven Barnes
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (85)
    Performance
    (26)
    Story
    (26)

    Chaz Koto is a citizen of Xanadu, a near future perfect society hosting the wealthiest men and women on Earth. Along with his fellow citizens, he bears the burden of a dark secret that the outside world would be shocked to hear. Lenore Myles is a student who travels to Xanadu and becomes involved with Koto. When Koto unwittingly lends her his access codes, Lenore stumbles upon the grisly truth behind Xanadu's glittering facade.

    Kennet says: "Bland and Cheesy"
    "Not particularly satisfying"
    Overall

    Although the universe in this story had some interesting ideas, the plot just ... well ... it just didn't really all hang together, in my opinion. Not a *bad* listen, just not really a *good* one either. The narrator had a pleasant voice, at least.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Paladin of Souls

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Lois McMaster Bujold
    • Narrated By Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1354)
    Performance
    (529)
    Story
    (538)

    Three years have passed since the widowed Dowager Royina Ista found release from the curse of madness that kept her imprisoned in her family's castle of Valenda. Her newfound freedom is costly, bittersweet with memories, regrets, and guilty secrets, for she knows the truth of what brought her land to the brink of destruction. And now the road, escape, beckons...A simple pilgrimage, perhaps. Quite fitting for the Dowager Royina of Chalion.

    Madeleine says: "Superb"
    "If you enjoyed the first, you'll like this one too"
    Overall

    It's a bit slow to get moving, and not quite as engrossing as the first book, but it definitely has the same intriguing speculative theology and intrigue - all spiced with good humour and engaging characters. The narrator is a pleasure to listen to, and the story moves along at an good pace (after the first hour or two). I will definitely watch for any more books by this author, I find her work interesting and enjoyable.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Luck in the Shadows: Nightrunner, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Lynn Flewelling
    • Narrated By Raymond Todd
    Overall
    (537)
    Performance
    (200)
    Story
    (204)

    Spy, rogue, thief, and noble, Seregil of Rhiminee is many things, none of them predictable. And when he offers to take on Alec as his apprentice, things may never be the same for either of them. Soon Alec is traveling roads he never knew existed, toward a war he never suspected was brewing. Before long he and Seregil are embroiled in a sinister plot that runs deeper than either can imagine and that may cost them far more than their lives if they fail. But fortune is as unpredictable as Alec's new mentor.

    Julie says: "Looking forward to the second book in this series"
    "Good tale, 'comfortable friends'"
    Overall

    I'm enjoying this series (I've reviewed the second book too if you're interested). The characters feel like 'friends' after awhile, and I like that sense of companionship. They face interesting adventures, and take their time revealing themselves to each other and to the listener, so there's always something to discover. I listened to the story steadily but not obsessively ... which to me means it's a good tale!

    The universe is not difficult to imagine (even without a map), and it's culture is intriguing and presented in such a way that it makes sense to the listener. I will note that this is a culture where varying forms of sexuality are considered normal (something I seem to keep stumbling across in the books I've read lately - I find it refreshing, but I realize there are many who would find it distressing so I mention it here).

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Stalking Darkness: Nightrunner, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Lynn Flewelling
    • Narrated By Raymond Todd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (343)
    Performance
    (120)
    Story
    (126)

    A master of subterfuge, a rogue thief with a noble air, Seregil of Rhiminee has taught his young protege, Alec of Kerry, his greatest secrets of the trade. Together they've made their way with thieving jobs large and small, winning friends and enemies, their lives in constant danger and yet charmed by an aura of magic, friendship, and trust.

    Amy says: "Pretty darned good"
    "Interesting characters, good story"
    Overall

    I thoroughly enjoyed this second book in the series. The story clearly is going to continue, but as another reviewer said, you get to the end and go, "oh, well, that's all right then." It's interesting to see how all the pieces fit, even though there aren't really many startling twists or big surprises, it's nonetheless a thoroughly enjoyable tale. The characters feel like friends after 2 books now, and I like that feeling.

    I also liked the reader's voice - this is a series that I think I would have enjoyed far less were I reading it to myself.

    For those who are more "traditionally minded" it is worth noting that this is a universe where sexuality in all it's various forms of expression is considered perfectly acceptable - it's not graphic, but it is 'normal', so if that bothers you, you'd best avoid.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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