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S. Marie

Honolulu, HI United States | Member Since 2017

  • 23 reviews
  • 87 ratings
  • 306 titles in library
  • 4 purchased in 2018

  • The Curse of Chalion

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Lois McMaster Bujold
    • Narrated By Lloyd James
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    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.

    Terri says: "What makes a hero... LMB knows"
    "An imperfect hero captures your heart."

    Though somewhat lacking in action, this tale of court intrigue and death magic held me in thrall. As in real life, the main characters were neither purely good nor evil. And most are far from perfect. The main protagonist is a case in point, he is an embittered, semi-crippled man, who is neither young nor handsome, yet his plight grabs the reader and the portrayal of his every action rings true-to-life.. This is a solid story unlike any other fantasy I?ve yet read, and well worth the book credit.

    29 of 34 people found this review helpful
  • Wolf Hall

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Hilary Mantel
    • Narrated By Simon Slater
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In the ruthless arena of King Henry VIII's court, only one man dares to gamble his life to win the king's favor and ascend to the heights of political powerEngland in the 1520s is a heartbeat from disaster. If the king dies without a male heir, the country could be destroyed by civil war. Henry VIII wants to annul his marriage of twenty years, and marry Anne Boleyn.

    Tim says: "Divorced, beheaded, died..."
    "A unique perspective of history"

    I am a fan of all things Tudor, so had consumed many fiction (e.g. Phillipa Gregory) and non-fiction (e.g. Jane Dunn) about Henry VIII and his offspring. This book is different from any I have read before. This is not just another bodice-ripping period piece like Showtime's The Tudors, it is actually beautifully written literature. A warning though, it may be difficult to keep track of the many characters without already being familiar with King Henry's court during the time of his separation from Katherine and marriage to Anne Boleyn. Excellent book all around!

    88 of 91 people found this review helpful
  • Homer & Langley

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By E.L. Doctorow
    • Narrated By Arthur Morey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    From Ragtime and Billy Bathgate to The Book of Daniel, World's Fair, and The March, the novels of E. L. Doctorow comprise one of the most substantive achievements of modern American fiction. Now, with Homer & Langley, this master novelist has once again created an unforgettable work. Homer and Langley Collyer are brothers - the one blind and deeply intuitive, the other damaged into madness, or perhaps greatness, by mustard gas in the Great War.

    Kris says: "Good On So Many Levels"
    "Moderately fascinating ..."

    I listened to this book pretty much over a single weekend. The writing is well done and you care for the protagonist, but, the storyline is meandering and seems pointless. It certainly sparked my interest in finding out the "real" story behind these two recluses. As others have pointed out, the truth of their lives needs little embellishment, yet this author decided to fabricate many of the details. It wasn't a bad book, just slightly disappointing. I found E.L. Doctorow's, The March, a more satisfying listen.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Last Centurion

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By John Ringo
    • Narrated By Dan John Miller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In the second decade of the 21st century, the world is struck by two catastrophes: a new mini-ice age and a plague to dwarf all previous experiences. Rising out of the disaster is the character known to history as "Bandit Six", an American Army officer caught up in the struggle to rebuild the world and prevent the fall of his homeland - despite the best efforts of politicians, both elected and military.

    Lindsay says: "Enjoy the story and forget the politics"
    "Disappointing political rant"

    A promising start and good reader soon degenerates into thinly veiled right-wing preaching. At three hours, when I finally gave up on this novel, the storyline had not yet progressed beyond criticism of (democrat) government response to events recently past.

    12 of 43 people found this review helpful
  • Bag of Bones

    • UNABRIDGED (28 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Stephen King
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Even four years after the sudden death of his wife, best selling novelist Mike Noonan can't stop grieving, nor can he return to his writing. He moves into his isolated house by the lake, which becomes the site of ghostly visitations, ever-escalating nightmares, and the sudden recovery of his writing ability. What are the forces that have been unleashed here - and what do they want of Mike Noonan?

    Amazon Customer says: "My Favorite King Novel"
    "Weird, strangely offensive"

    I like SK, especially his science fiction and fantasy. I adored The Stand and rather liked the Dark Tower series. This story didn't do much for me. I downloaded it based on the great reviews, managed to get through the whole thing and was a bit disgusted in the end. I suggest you pass on this one, there is better SK out there.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Nobody's Fool

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Richard Russo
    • Narrated By Ron McLarty
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Divorced from his own wife and carrying on halfheartedly with another man's, saddled with a bum knee and friends who make enemies redundant, Sully now has one new problem to cope with: a long-estranged son who is in imminent danger of following in his father's footsteps. With its sly and uproarious humor and a heart that embraces humanity's follies as well as its triumphs, Nobody's Fool is storytelling at its most generous.

    Marsha says: "Wonderful Book Fabulous Narrator"
    "Ponderous & depressing"

    Like other reviewers, I loved Empire Falls so entered this one with high hopes. I was able to finish it, but it was not an enjoyable experience. The writing was excellent, but the story is a meandering stream headed nowhere.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Other Boleyn Girl

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Philippa Gregory
    • Narrated By Susan Lyons

    When Mary Boleyn comes to court as an innocent girl of 14, she catches the eye of Henry VIII. Dazzled by the king, Mary falls in love with both her golden prince and her growing role as unofficial queen. However, she soon realizes just how much she is a pawn in her family's ambitious plots. The king's interest begins to wane, and she is forced to step aside for her best friend and rival: her sister, Anne. Mary realizes that she must defy her family and her king, and take her fate into her own hands.

    Carol T. Carr says: "The Dangers of Court Life"

    I listened to this book nonstop, even to the point where I almost called in sick to work just to finish. It was gripping from the first 5 minutes. Just amazing!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Black Swan Green

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By David Mitchell
    • Narrated By Kirby Heyborne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    From award-winning writer David Mitchell comes a sinewy, meditative novel of boyhood on the cusp of adulthood and the old on the cusp of the new. Black Swan Green tracks a single year in what is, for 13-year-old Jason Taylor, the sleepiest village in muddiest Worcestershire in dying Cold War England, 1982. But the 13 chapters, each a short story in its own right, create an exquisitely observed world that is anything but sleepy.

    Leslie says: "Great intro to Mitchell's world: Black Swan Green"
    "Clear, gripping prose"

    Just a really great story and easier to follow than Mitchell's other work- Could Atlas. Of the two, I preferred this one, although both are beautifully written. On the surface the story appears straightforeward, but then makes strange turns. I generally dislike literal novels and prefer immersive fantasy, but this was some of both.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Gilgamesh: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Joan London
    • Narrated By Deidre Rubenstein

    Edith and Frances, living with their mother on a tiny farm in the south-east of Australia, are visited by their cousin Leopold and his Armenian friend Aram. The two young men are taking the long way home after working on an archaeological dig in Iraq. It is 1937. The modern world, they say, is waiting to erupt. Among the tales they tell is the story of Gilgamesh, the legendary king of Uruk, in ancient Mesopotamia.

    Marius says: "Unsatisfactory"
    "Clear, luminous prose"

    Set in Australia and Armenia, this novel is beautifully written. The bleak and wild landscapes compliment the characters as if one is a reflection of the other. Paced neither slow nor fast, enough action takes place to keep you interested. Reccomended.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Fires of Heaven: Book Five of The Wheel of Time

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Robert Jordan
    • Narrated By Kate Reading, Michael Kramer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In this sequel to the phenomenal New York Times best seller The Shadow Rising, Robert Jordan again plunges us into his extraordinarily rich, totally unforgettable world.

    Jeff says: "The fires of Heaven"
    "The saga of Rand al?Thor staggers on."

    Pulled in by the Eye of the World and the Great Hunt, I have become attached to the series, but this will be my last Jordan book. The plot becomes ever more meandering, with hundreds of pages passing and little or no action taking place. The characters wallow in adolescent angst. They are strangely attracted to, but disgusted with, the opposite sex, tantalized by nudity, but ashamed of their own bodies. Like teenagers they spent a lot of time obsessively discussing the object of their affection, and then denying the crush exists. For people supposedly engaged in a battle to save the world (and entering their early twenties), they are unbelievably self-absorbed and naive. The writing is adequate, not awful like Terry Brooks, but the dialog is so corny I cringe to hear it. My advice is to take a pass on this one.

    17 of 37 people found this review helpful
  • Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed

    • ABRIDGED (9 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Jared Diamond
    • Narrated By Christopher Murney

    In his million-copy best seller Guns, Germs, and Steel, Jared Diamond examined how and why Western civilizations developed the technologies and immunities that allowed them to dominate much of the world. Now in this brilliant companion volume, Diamond probes the other side of the equation: what caused some of the great civilizations of the past to collapse into ruin, and what can we learn from their fates?

    Rebecca says: "an fascinating book, but better on paper"
    "Humanity?s mistakes need not be its future."

    A grim, riveting and, at times, disturbing look at how environmental factors can destabilize society, this book urges us to learn from history in order to preserve ourselves and our future. I only wish it had been unabridged.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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