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Cindy

I'm a high school English teacher, partner, mom, daughter, sister, and adventurer.

Torrance, Ca USA | Member Since 2013

15
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 20 reviews
  • 27 ratings
  • 51 titles in library
  • 14 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
3

  • Kill Decision

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Daniel Suarez
    • Narrated By Jeff Gurner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2925)
    Performance
    (2610)
    Story
    (2620)

    Linda McKinney is a myrmecologist, a scientist who studies the social structure of ants. Her academic career has left her entirely unprepared for the day her sophisticated research is conscripted by unknown forces to help run an unmanned - and thanks to her research, automated - drone army. Odin is the secretive Special Ops soldier with a unique insight into the faceless enemy who has begun to attack the American homeland with drones programmed to seek, identify, and execute targets.

    Madeleine says: "What's that droning sound?"
    "A high tech, thought provoking, action story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Kill Decision in three words, what would they be?

    high tech, thought provoking, action story


    What other book might you compare Kill Decision to and why?

    Daemon & Freedom - same author.. same reader.... same foundation of technological advancements and a world in which they're used differently.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The beginning scenes of the software development team and the "professor" before she joined "the team"


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

    No.... I just really like thinking about and envisioning how technology may be used in the future and what that might be like.


    Any additional comments?

    I appreciate the abundance of research Daniel Suarez does in order to get the details of the science and technology right. If it weren't realistic, I wouldn't be interested. But, it's a great vision into the possible.

    I also appreciate his representation of women in strong professions. However, that said, his dialogue is rather staid, forced, and simplistic. The female characters, in particular, are a bit reductive and over dramatized.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Call for the Dead: A George Smiley Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By John le Carré
    • Narrated By Michael Jayston
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (239)
    Performance
    (209)
    Story
    (210)

    George Smiley is no one's idea of a spy - which is perhaps why he's such a natural. But Smiley apparently made a mistake. After a routine security interview, he concluded that the affable Samuel Fennan had nothing to hide. Why, then, did the man from the Foreign Office shoot himself in the head only hours later? Or did he? The heart-stopping tale of intrigue that launched both novelist and spy, Call for the Dead is an essential introduction to le Carre's chillingly amoral universe.

    Darwin8u says: "Subtle story of friendship, espionage, guilt, etc"
    "Difficult to follow"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made Call for the Dead better?

    If le Carre had developed and distinguished his characters more clearly.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Sarah Water's The Paying Guests.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Smiley's first interview with the widow.


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

    I was disappointed that w book deemed as a 'classic' was so mundane and boring.


    Any additional comments?

    I wish I had chosen a more recent le Carre book to introduce me to this author.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Fingersmith

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Sarah Waters
    • Narrated By Juanita McMahon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (460)
    Performance
    (387)
    Story
    (393)

    Orphaned as an infant, Susan Trinder was raised by Mrs. Sucksby, “mother” to a host of pickpockets and con artists. To pay her debt, she joins legendary thief Gentleman in swindling an innocent woman out of her inheritence. But the two women form an unanticipated bond and the events that follow will surprise every listener. Fingersmith was shortlisted for the Orange Prize and the Booker Prize, and was chosen as book of the year 2002 by more organizations than any other novel. Sarah Waters was named Author of the Year at the 2003 British Book Awards.

    shopper from Playa del Rey says: "The BEST BOOK I"ve read this year!"
    "Great story....a bit wordy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Fingersmith to be better than the print version?

    I haven't read the print version but I think the audio version would be better for getting through some of the minutae.


    Would you recommend Fingersmith to your friends? Why or why not?

    If there were an abridged version, yes.


    Did Juanita McMahon do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    Yes, but I imagined some of the voices to be a bit different than how she read them. Also, the editing was not terrific since I heard a lot of mouth noise and swallowing....


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Yes. Some of Waters's twists were surprising and impressive! I didn't see most of them coming at all but they all made sense.


    Any additional comments?

    Waters's restraint in her descriptions in The Paying Guests seems to be much more discerning and mature than Fingersmith.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Paying Guests

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Sarah Waters
    • Narrated By Juliet Stevenson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (349)
    Performance
    (323)
    Story
    (320)

    It is 1922, and London is tense. Ex-servicemen are disillusioned; the out-of-work and the hungry are demanding change. And in South London, in a genteel Camberwell villa, a large silent house now bereft of brothers, husband, and even servants, life is about to be transformed, as impoverished widow Mrs. Wray and her spinster daughter, Frances, are obliged to take in lodgers.

    Cainaan says: "Stunning"
    "Captivating!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Paying Guests?

    The sensual scenes and the ending..... Very well written.


    What other book might you compare The Paying Guests to and why?

    Charles Dickens partly because of the location but more for the type of i depth descriptions that bring the characters and settings to life.


    What about Juliet Stevenson’s performance did you like?

    Terrific!


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

    So many moments moved me with their believability, suspense, and catharsis.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm happily exploring Sarah Waters other books now and have become a big fan!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Allegiant: Divergent Trilogy, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Veronica Roth
    • Narrated By Emma Galvin, Aaron Stanford
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8724)
    Performance
    (7981)
    Story
    (8067)

    What if your whole world was a lie? What if a single revelation - like a single choice - changed everything? What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected? The explosive conclusion to Veronica Roth's #1 New York Times best-selling Divergent trilogy reveals the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of listeners in Divergent and Insurgent.

    Judy says: "What a let down!"
    "Interesting plot, wish it were written better"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made Allegiant better?

    If I'm supposed to buy in to a fabricated state of the nation, I need more background as to why and how it became that way. I also needed more information on how and why Tobias would decide to return and stay.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    I didn't really like how in the 3rd and last of the trilogy, the format was changed to include a perspective from Four. I felt like it was a cheap ploy to sell more books in the hope that people would buy the supplements


    What didn’t you like about Emma Galvin and Aaron Stanford ’s performance?

    After listening to even 1 of the books, it bothered me how she emphasizes her "p" sounds. (picky, I know). But listening to someone read is a bit intimate and if the voice bothers you... well, it's hard to keep listening to.


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

    The ending was sad.


    Any additional comments?

    I liked the plot and really wished it had been written better.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Robert Louis Stevenson
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (167)
    Performance
    (122)
    Story
    (124)

    When a brute of a man tramples an innocent girl, apparently out of spite, two bystanders catch the fellow and force him to pay reparations to the girl's family. The brute's name is Edward Hyde. A respected lawyer, Utterson, hears this story and begins to unravel the seemingly manic behavior of his best friend, Dr. Henry Jekyll, and his connection with Hyde.

    Kristi Richardson says: "Classic novel of the duality of man"
    "Classic tale of human duality"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde again? Why?

    I might listen to it again to hear the layers of psychological duality that Stevenson was exploring.


    What other book might you compare The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde to and why?

    Frankenstein because of the psychological aspect of creation, father/son conflict, and pride.


    Have you listened to any of Scott Brick’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No.


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

    No.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Goldfinch

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Donna Tartt
    • Narrated By David Pittu
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9924)
    Performance
    (9082)
    Story
    (9094)

    The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America and a drama of enthralling force and acuity. It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

    B.J. says: "A stunning achievement - for author and narrator"
    "Boring"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Wow. So many people rated this book highly. It's a NY Times Best Seller. I thought, "this will be great!" However, it seems as if I"m in the vast minority. I kept waiting for something revolutionary to happen WITHIN the character... but it didn't. Events happen around the character, but I felt no growth, no real internal conflict, no climax. There was SO much detail - which some reviewers said was poignant - but I felt was overbearing and irrelevant. A great quote from the movie Amadeus is "Too many notes." The story could have been told much more concisely which might have actually heightened the emotional impact. For me, in a word, boring.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    A LeCarre detective story


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

    Terrific accents and other language pronunciations


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

    I would have drastically cut down the amount of detail - which some reviewers said was relevant - but I truly struggled to see the import.


    Any additional comments?

    Theodore Decker, to me, was unlikable and anti-climactic. I really WANTED to like this novel. Disappointed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs)
    • By Jenna Miscavige Hill
    • Narrated By Sandy Rustin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (867)
    Performance
    (789)
    Story
    (791)

    Jenna Miscavige Hill, niece of Church of Scientology leader David Miscavige, was raised as a Scientologist but left the controversial religion in 2005. In Beyond Belief, she shares her true story of life inside the upper ranks of the sect, details her experiences as a member Sea Org - the church's highest ministry - speaks of her "disconnection" from family outside of the organization, and tells the story of her ultimate escape.

    Tim says: "The Despicable Truth Behind Scientology"
    "Somewhat Interesting, but not enthralling"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    A lot of reviewers have criticized the reader, but the reader's voice actually isn't too far off from the author's voice. So, it may have been a choice for authenticity.


    Has Beyond Belief turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No.


    What aspect of Sandy Rustin’s performance would you have changed?

    Nothing. She portrayed the author as accurately as I can imagine.


    Could you see Beyond Belief being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    No. Besides the story having some interesting revelations about this "religion", I didn't feel invested in the protagonist.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Influx

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Daniel Suarez
    • Narrated By Jeff Gurner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2849)
    Performance
    (2620)
    Story
    (2625)

    Particle physicist Jon Grady is ecstatic when his team achieves what they've been working toward for years: A device that can reflect gravity. Their research will revolutionize the field of physics - the crowning achievement of a career. Grady expects widespread acclaim for his entire team. The Nobel Prize. Instead, his lab is locked down by a shadowy organization whose mission is to prevent at all costs the social upheaval sudden technological advances bring.

    Sterling Okura says: "Entertaining Physics SciFi"
    "Influx is so bad, I want to cry..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    If it were 100% better quality of writing and more adherent to Suarez's previous style. I excused a lot of the quality of his writing before due to my interest in his vision of future technology. However, Influx is inexcusable.


    What was most disappointing about Daniel Suarez’s story?

    I began the Suarez collection with Daemon, followed that up with Freedom, and backtracked to Kill Decision. I enjoyed all those books because (as Suarez readily admits on his Google talk) he had always written about technology that's on the brink. This made the stories have an air of realism, futuristic possibility, a vision of a potential world. However, with Influx, he ventures into "deeper" sci-fi, but in such a way that feels like a caricaturization, rather than a serious undertaking.

    The dialogue is staid, names are inert, and action scenes are indulgent. I'm so disappointed that I highly doubt I'll return to any future Suarez novel.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The beginning of the novel was good because I thought it was going to be like his other novels. Once I discovered that Suarez has journeyed into so much sci-fi that it's almost a caricature of sci-fi, then I lost interest.


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

    Anger that I wasted my time.


    Any additional comments?

    I forced myself to finish the novel but hated every minute.

    14 of 20 people found this review helpful
  • Freedom (TM)

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Daniel Suarez
    • Narrated By Jeff Gurner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5283)
    Performance
    (3236)
    Story
    (3255)

    In a world of conflicted loyalties, rapidly diminishing human power, and the possibility that anyone can be a spy, what's at stake is nothing less than human freedom's last hope to survive the technology revolution.

    James says: "wow - a must read"
    "Compelling and vivid peak at possible world change"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Freedom (TM)?

    The use of current technology to launch into visionary tech possibilities.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The use of current technology to launch into visionary tech possibilities.


    Which character – as performed by Jeff Gurner – was your favorite?

    John Ross and Laney Price


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

    Visions of the small communities that embraced the Daemon and were uplifted by communal participation


    Any additional comments?

    I wish some of this were possible as I think it's too easy to feel helpless in our current capitalistic-run state.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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