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Karen

Oregon City, OR, United States | Member Since 2008

148
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 22 reviews
  • 293 ratings
  • 1019 titles in library
  • 116 purchased in 2014
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15

  • Blood Engines: A Marla Mason Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By T. A. Pratt
    • Narrated By Jessica Almasy, T. A. Pratt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (287)
    Performance
    (147)
    Story
    (149)

    Sorcerer Marla Mason, small-time guardian of the city of Felport, has a big problem. A rival is preparing a powerful spell that could end Marla's life - and, even worse, wreck her city. Marla's only chance of survival is to boost her powers with the Cornerstone, a magical artifact hidden somewhere in San Francisco. But when she arrives there, Marla finds that the quest isn't going to be quite as cut-and-dried as she expected...

    Starr says: "The Title Explains It All"
    "Good Beginning to series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am definitely glad I had listened to Bone Shop first, so that I had some historical background of Marla Mason and Rondeau. Marla comes across as cold and calculating and a bit ruthless at times. Rondeau helps to counterbalance that and to also allow some of her softness to show or she might be a bit to cruel to be considered as a heroine. Also, one wonders if she might be a bit gentler is she still possessed her memories of Daniel, which she has erased from her memory in Bone Shop by a spell she asked for. At least we know now that she realizes that she has to be careful how she uses her cape, lest it take her over and she becomes a rampaging serial killer. Despite all of this, one comes to appreciate and even like Marla. You get the feeling that she really does appreciate her friends and she is trying to do what is right. I hope we get to see 'B" in future novels as his "seeing" can provide a different slant on how the direction of the story can go. I also have been actually enjoying Jessica Almasy's reading of this series. I wasn't sure I would at the beginning of Bone Shop, but she actually does a credible job. I didn't find her annoying at all once I got into the story.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • My Life as a White Trash Zombie

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Diana Rowland
    • Narrated By Allison McLemore
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2126)
    Performance
    (1963)
    Story
    (1961)

    Teenage delinquent Angel Crawford lives with her redneck father in the swamps of southern Louisiana. She's a high school dropout, addicted to drugs and alcohol, and has a police record a mile long. But when she's made into a zombie after a car crash, her addictions disappear, except for her all-consuming need to stay "alive".

    Marvin says: "New diet trend, become a zombie!"
    "Not what I expected; excited for more to come."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I admit, I haven't read many zombie novels. I mean what's to know about zombies? They have no minds, right? They're dead, right? Wrong. I really enjoyed this author's imagining of zombies. I find I have a vested interest in the characters in the book as they are well developed. I appreciate the fact the Angel is given a chance to make something of her life, all-be-it after her 'death.' This book addresses some sensitive topics, such as domestic violence and the cycle that victims can get trapped in. I appreciate how Angel is showing what a strong woman she is becoming, and how she is straightening out her life and her ability to understand others' psychology because of her own background. Angel is doing a good job of exerting her own humanity over her zombie tendencies, and exerting her conscience as best she can over her zombie desires.
    I look forward to listening to her continued exploits and am eager to see where her adventures will lead her next....

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Serpent's Kiss: Elder Races Series #3

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Thea Harrison
    • Narrated By Sophie Eastlake
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1164)
    Performance
    (1048)
    Story
    (1055)

    In order to save his friend's life, Wyr sentinel Rune Ainissesthai made a bargain with Vampyre Queen Carling - without knowing what she would ask from him in return. But when Rune attempts to make good on his debt, he finds a woman on the edge.

    ducksandruns says: "My Favorite of the Series!"
    "Narrator mistakes detract from story."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I listened to the first two books by Thea Harrison and thoroughly enjoyed them. I had a much harder time getting involved in this one and I'm not really sure why, but I just found I wasn't as interested in the story. Maybe it was the beginning, where we are getting to know Vampyre Queen Carling. She just doesn't seem like a very nice person and I really didn't want the story to be about her. Rune, yes. Carling, no. As the story progressed, I became more empathetic with Carling, but still couldn't really embrace her. Also, it seemed to take a long time to figure out what was going on. Maybe my mind wandered and I missed something, but I kept thinking that the writer was going to take the story in a different direction or include some other notions to make the whole story line more plausible. But even after the story ended, I kept thinking there were some missing pieces that could have really helped to tie the whole story together. The story ended with me kind of wondering what really happened. There were, to me, a lot of unanswered questions, even at the end.

    And then there was the narrator. Really, I would expect a reader to be more educated, but she mispronounced what I think of as common words. Filleted did not have the French pronunciation fill ayed. She enunciated it all Fillit ed. It really irritated me for some reason. Luckily I figured out what the word should have been strictly from the context of the sentence (slicing someone up - like deboning a fish). Another was reticule (pronounced reticle). There were other words, and I recall she had problems with the other two books, but really, if your not sure you should look it up. Or are there editors for audiobooks. Whatever, they didn't catch the errors and it was annoying, making a fairly good story only adequate. Sophie Eastlake needs to be more careful, and, to me, take her job more professionally.

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Twice Bitten: Chicagoland Vampires, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Chloe Neill
    • Narrated By Cynthia Holloway
    Overall
    (1066)
    Performance
    (813)
    Story
    (824)

    Merit, Chicago's newest vampire, is learning how to play well with others. Other supernaturals, that is. Shapeshifters from across the country are convening in the Windy City, and as a gesture of peace, Master vampire Ethan Sullivan has offered their leader a very special bodyguard: Merit. Merit is supposed to protect the Alpha, Gabriel Keene - and to spy for the vamps while she's at it. Oh, and luckily Ethan's offering some steamy one-on-one combat training sessions to help her prepare for the mission.

    Karen says: "Another writer for my "paranormal favorites' list"
    "Another writer for my "paranormal favorites' list"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have really been enjoying this vampire/supernatural series. The explanation for vampirism seems almost more plausible than most of the paranormal fiction novels I have read. For example: an alteration in the DNA. They are still living, still warm, can eat food but need blood supplements, are mostly immortal with some fatal flaws.... It is a bit irritating that we are kept in the dark as to Merit's real first name. And Merit should just boot Ethan to the curb. Cynthia Holloway's narration can be a bit confusing at times as there often isn't enough variation to differentiate between characters but she still does a pretty good read. Definitely not detracting enough to take away from the story. Bottom line is that if you enjoy listening to authors like Ilona Andrews, Jim Butcher, Jennifer Estep, Carrie Vaughn, Kim Harrison, Richelle Mead, Patricia Briggs, Charlaine Harris, J. R. Rain (another really good find), and T. A. Pratt, you will probably enjoy this series as well.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Bone Shop: A Marla Mason Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By T. A. Pratt
    • Narrated By Jessica Almasy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (115)
    Performance
    (103)
    Story
    (105)

    Marla Mason is the chief sorcerer of Felport, a woman who's tangled with gods and monsters and come out on top (if a bit damaged in the process). Bone Shop tells the story of Marla's evolution from runaway to sorcerer's apprentice to mercenary magician and beyond. Fans of the urban fantasy series from Bantam Spectra that began with Blood Engines will find surprising secrets revealed about Marla's past, and new listeners can get to know the character from the very beginning.

    Dave says: "Top-Shelf Marla (and Pratt)!"
    "Revealing background into Marla's history"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm glad I listened to this book first as the prequel to the other Marla Mason novels, even though it was written after Spell Games and before Broken Mirrors. It gives some much needed background of Marla's history. Knowing this gives insight into why she acts the way she does. I also wonder if she will ever recover her memories that were erased, with a spell she asked to be cast, in future novels (which I haven't finished yet). Marla is quite human in her psychology and therefore she is flawed. It is nice to have a main character that isn't perfect, nor are any of the other characters, though some are better than others. I hadn't listened to Jessica Almasy as a narrator before, and at first I wasn't sure I liked her, but as the reading continued, I found myself relating very well to her reading of the book. I look forward to listening to the rest of the Marla Mason novels.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Moon Child: Vampire for Hire, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By J. R. Rain
    • Narrated By Dina Pearlman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (338)
    Performance
    (298)
    Story
    (298)

    Private investigator Samantha Moon is faced with an impossible decision - a decision that no mother should ever have to make. A decision that will change her life, and those she loves, forever. And through it all, Sam finds herself in a lethal game of vampire vs. vampire as a powerful - and desperate - enemy will stop at nothing to claim what he most desires.

    Karen says: "Excellent vampire series with a new slant."
    "Excellent vampire series with a new slant."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This series explores more of Samantha's developing powers and explores her relationships with two men that are falling for her. We also find out if Samantha can find a way to cure her terminally ill son without condemning him to a life as a vampire at the age of 7. I appreciate the fact that Samantha and her ex can be civil and without ranker during this trying time of dealing with their son's illness. Hopefully, future books will allow them to both be more mature in how they deal with sharing the children during their divorce. (I hate seeing divorcing parents making children feel less loving toward one or the other parent and create animosity.) This book neatly wraps up the medallion question, and what Samantha will (or won't) have to give up to get what she needs to make things right for her son. Samantha is able to be more open about what she is to Detective Sherbet, and she finds another vampire that she can learn from. There is still a lot of room left for further exploration and I hope we see more from this writer. The books are shorter so, even though main points are covered, there is still a lot of continuing development left for us to consider. The narrator, Dina Pearlman, is the icing on the cake.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • American Vampire: Vampire for Hire, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By J. R. Rain
    • Narrated By Dina Pearlman
    Overall
    (395)
    Performance
    (354)
    Story
    (349)

    In American Vampire, the sequel to Vampire Moon, private investigator Samantha Moon receives a heartbreaking phone call from a very unlikely source: a five-year-old girl who's been missing for three months. Now on the hunt, Samantha will use her considerable resources, including her growing supernatural abilities, to locate the missing girl before it's too late.

    Tracy says: "Good, Light Reading"
    "Good, but not quite as satisfying as the first two"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really enjoyed the first two installments of this series, but not so much this one. It was good, too. But I felt that there was a bit too much unexplained as far as Fang was concerned. Also, because the title was "American Vampire" and we learn that that was Fang's moniker when he was being tried for murder I thought there would be more explanation and exploration about Fang. It fell kind of flat in that aspect, though there is enough other continuing drama in Samantha's life to carry the book. There was just too much unexplained as far as Fang is concerned. I appreciate that Samantha is able to get some of her "life" back in a satisfying way so that her ex isn't always able to get the best of her. Again, we are left hanging at the end as it segues into another storyline. Dina Pearlman is a first rate narrator.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Vampire Moon: Vampire for Hire, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By J. R. Rain
    • Narrated By Dina Pearlman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (452)
    Performance
    (401)
    Story
    (400)

    Now in Vampire Moon, sequel to Moon Dance, private investigator Samantha Moon finds herself hunting down a powerful crime lord and protecting an innocent woman from her ruthless ex-husband—all while two very different men vie for her heart. And as the stakes grow higher and her cases turn personal, Samantha Moon will do whatever it takes to protect the innocent and bring two cold-blooded killers to justice—her own brand of justice.

    Karen says: "Series continues in fine form"
    "Series continues in fine form"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am enjoying the continued character development in this series. Since the books are shorter than some, there is a lot of room for more discoveries. It is nice for Samantha to find others to lean on and share her woes with as her family life alters, rearranges and adapts to her vampiric life. I appreciate the fact that there is some explanation to vampire legend as it explores what is truth and what is "myth." I also like the fact that the author gives us a slightly new take on vampires, as this author has determined. A fresh outlook is often welcome. The book sort of leaves us hanging at the end so we can look forward to the next book giving us more focus on that. Dina Pearlman "is" the voice of Samantha Moon. I hope that all future books are read by her. She does an outstanding performance and, I think, gives it just the right touch.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Moon Dance: Vampire for Hire, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By J. R. Rain
    • Narrated By Dina Pearlman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (793)
    Performance
    (714)
    Story
    (709)

    Mother, wife, private investigator... vampire. Six years ago federal agent Samantha Moon was the perfect wife and mother, your typical soccer mom with the minivan and suburban home. Then the unthinkable happens, an attack that changes her life forever. And forever is a very long time for a vampire. Now the world at large thinks Samantha has developed a rare skin disease, a disease which forces her to quit her day job and stay out of the light of the sun.

    Karen says: "A Nice Surprise"
    "A Nice Surprise"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I thought I would try some of Audible's productions and saw that Mr. Rain was a #1 Kindle book seller, so I thought I would give him a try. I was not disappointed. This has a little bit of a different spin on the vampire/werewolf supernatural genre. First Mrs. Moon doesn't (usually) drink human blood. Second, she tries to keep up appearances as a human by even going so far as to slather on sunscreen and a hat and shades so she can pick up her kids from school. Third, she is a PI (former Federal Agent for HUD) and doesn't want to become a killer, like a lot of legends have portrayed many vampires. Only a few people close to her even know the truth about her "skin disease." This series really humanizes many aspects of the supernatural and how they are coping with their "condition," and how they carry on relationships. Whether they consider themselves still one of "God's children" or not; if they think they, themselves, are good or bad.

    The books are not very long, compared to some, but there is a lot of ground covered. It will be interesting to see the continued character development in the next installments of this series. I appreciate Audible taking a chance with this author and would probably enjoy some of his other books in audio format as well. Too bad my library doesn't carry his books.

    Dina Pearlman does an outstanding job in her reading of this work.

    21 of 22 people found this review helpful
  • Succubus Revealed: Georgina Kincaid, Book 6

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Richelle Mead
    • Narrated By Elisabeth Rodgers
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (845)
    Performance
    (770)
    Story
    (766)

    Georgina Kincaid has had an eternity to figure out the opposite sex, but sometimes they still surprise her. Take Seth Mortensen. The man has risked his soul to become Georgina's boyfriend. Still, with Lucifer for a boss, Georgina can't just hang up her killer heels and settle down to domestic bliss. In fact, she's being forced to transfer operations...to Las Vegas.

    Cindy Webb says: "Satisfying! Loved IT!"
    "The Conclusion to Succubus Kincaid?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I assume this is the finale to the Georgia Kincaid series, since there is a definite ending. This is hard to write without giving some spoilers. I really enjoyed the plot of this entire succubus storyline and this installment finally wraps up many loose ends. We find out about the contracts with hell; we find out about Eric's death; we have many answers revealed about the Mortenson family. I kind of saw how some of this was heading throughout the series, but there were a few twists I didn't see coming. There are also some questions left kind of hanging. I have really enjoyed this series more than I ever thought I would. Who ever thought anyone could actually like a succubus and see the good in her or any of the characters that Georgina has been hanging around with? Richelle Mead really humanizes these "lesser immortals" and makes you root for them. It makes me want to believe that they all can get "saved" from hell. I hope there are more books that will tell us about some of the other characters Georgina hung around with. The Narrator for this series was great, too. This was very worth the credit spent.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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