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Nancy F.

Live on edge of National Forest with lake, birds & wild animals. No more perfect place to indulge life-long love of reading.

Sierra Foothills, Northern CA | Member Since 2007

33
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 72 reviews
  • 79 ratings
  • 985 titles in library
  • 71 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
13
FOLLOWERS
1

  • Dark Assassin: A William Monk Novel #15

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Anne Perry
    • Narrated By David Colacci
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (115)
    Performance
    (75)
    Story
    (75)

    A superintendent in the Thames River Police, William Monk is on a patrol boat near Waterloo Bridge when he and his men notice a young couple standing at the bridge railing, apparently engaged in an intense discussion. The woman waves her arms and places her hands on the man's shoulders. A caress or a push? He grasps hold of her.

    Professor Sombrero says: "Brought to life"
    "Wanted More"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a wonderful series. I've enjoyed every book in the series and will not only finish it, but I'll relisten to the whole series. However, this time, I found myself wanting more of the drama and fascinating characters that I've gotten to know in previous books.

    I'm a fan of Perry's other well know series, Charlotte and Thomas Pitt. That series bogs down when too much of the story line focuses on Thomas vs Charlotte. Same thing happened in this book: too much emphasis on William and not enough of Hester in the plot line. My suspicion is that Perry is wonderful with all characters, but is spectacular with her female characters. This listener noticed the difference.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Queen of Bedlam: A Matthew Corbett Novel, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Robert McCammon
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1194)
    Performance
    (1086)
    Story
    (1075)

    Robert McCammon brings the hero of his previous novel, Matthew Corbett, to 18th-century New York, where a killer wields a bloody and terrifying power over a bustling city carving out its identity - and over Matthew's own uncertain destiny.

    The unsolved murder of a respected doctor has sent ripples of fear throughout a city teeming with life and noise and commerce. Who snuffed out the good man's life with the slash of a blade on a midnight street? The local printmaster has labeled the fiend "the Masker," adding fuel to a volatile mystery...

    Kathy says: "Addicting"
    "Early New York Detective Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I thoroughly enjoyed this story, its characters, and the wondrous narration of Edoardo Ballerini.

    Set in 1702 in a quite young and rough New York City, our main character is an orphan who has set out to seek his way as a young adult. He encounters charming and likable characters as well as sinister denizens of the criminal underworld. He becomes an apprentice to a small detective agency that bills itself as solvers of problems. From there various crimes needing solving are presented. They eventually knit themselves together in a rather satisfying way, All of this is brought to life by Ballerini, one of Audibles premier narrators.

    Much of the storyline is charming with a youthful innocence appropriate to the primary character. Yes, there are some violent and dark parts, but they complement the storyline. For much of the book I was certain that, although this is part of a series, the story would stand on its own and not need to be read in sequence. And then I got to the end of the book which leaves a large open hole in the plot -- clear evidence that the reader/listener is intended to follow on to book 3.

    I recommend this book. It's good as a standalone, but clearly wants to be read/heard as part of a series. And, btw, without the ending "hole", this was a clear 5 star in my mind.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Tonight I Said Goodbye

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Michael Koryta
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (670)
    Performance
    (540)
    Story
    (529)

    Investigator Wayne Weston is found dead of an apparent suicide in his home in an upscale Cleveland suburb, and his wife and six-year-old daughter are missing. Weston’s father insists that private investigators Lincoln Perry and Joe Pritchard take the case to exonerate his son and find his granddaughter and daughter-in-law. As they begin to work, they discover there is much more to the situation than has been described in the prevalent media reports.

    Eric says: "Just could not get this engine to rev...."
    "Story Is Entertaining; Narrator Not So Much"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm always looking for a new author offering a new and interesting series. I like detective stories and crime solving novels with interesting characters and an appropriate amount of complexity and plot twists.

    I read all of the (very mixed) reviews for this book and became curious how so many reviewers could differ so broadly? Could Scott Brick really have done that bad a job? Was this really a new and interesting author with intriguing main characters? Was the story line truly confusing and hard to follow? Here are my thoughts regarding those questions.

    The author does seem very promising. I liked the main character and his partner. (They are Cleveland ex-cops who are now private detectives.) The story line had the necessary complexities but wasn't overwhelmingly confusing. It's a fairly large cast and it's not easy to know who are the bad guys vs the good guys. But if you pay attention it will all become clear in the end. The ending, while not a total surprise, wasn't easy to see coming. My only quibble with the author is that the story managed to wrap all the loose ends up quite quickly and a little too easily. All in all, a good story and promising beginning to a series.

    Now, on to Scott Brick. I have long been a fan of this talented narrator. But this is the 2nd book I've listened to where I thought he periodically sounded like a Victorian maiden having an attack of the vapors. Some of the character interactions came off as implausible (at the least) and downright melodramatic (at the worst). I couldn't tell how much Brick's narration contributed to that reaction on my part or whether it was the writing. And having finished the book and reflected on it, I still don't know.

    If the next books in this series had a different narrator, I would download them immediately. Given that Brick is the narrator for all of them released so far, I'm emphatically on the fence.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Android's Dream

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2711)
    Performance
    (2373)
    Story
    (2373)

    A human diplomat creates an interstellar incident when he kills an alien diplomat in a most unusual way. To avoid war, Earth's government must find an equally unusual object: A type of sheep ("The Android's Dream"), used in the alien race's coronation ceremony. To find the sheep, the government turns to Harry Creek, ex-cop, war hero and hacker extraordinaire.

    James says: "Philip K Dick meets Douglas Adams"
    "Quirky, Geeky, Charming"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is everything I love. Lots of techy stuff, laugh out loud humor, and amazing twists along the way. (Background: my undergrad degree was English Lit. My professors told me after graduation I would return to my love of SciFi but that I'd be over that phase in a couple months. All of these yrs later I love, love, love me some great SciFi. Apologies to my esteemed educators.)

    I bow in total admiration to Scalzi's fertile imagination. Wil Wheaton was masterful in keeping a dry tone. I don't know how he read some of the dialog without having to smother guffaws and giggles.

    I have filed this book in my "must relisten" file in my iTunes library. Not only will I relisten because it's just that good (and fun) but it is so loaded with whimsy and unexpected stuff I'm certain that I didn't really get it all on the first listen.

    This is a joy ride encapsulated in 10 hrs 34 mins. Do yourself a favor and don't miss this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Cuckoo's Calling

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Robert Galbraith
    • Narrated By Robert Glenister
    Overall
    (6616)
    Performance
    (6018)
    Story
    (6025)

    After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: his sister, the legendary supermodel Lula Landry, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man.

    Tracey says: "Unbelievable debut mystery set in London"
    "Liked It, But Didn't Love It"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I don't know if I would have purchased this book if it weren't for J.K. Rowling's authorship. All said, I'm glad I did. However, I wouldn't put it in the category of the Harry Potter series -- which I loved.

    Glenister did a masterful job of the narration. He handles women's voices deftly -- something that is hard for most male narrators. His ability to do multiple accents was excellent and a lot of fun to listen to. Definitely better than I could have done in my mind were I reading this hardcopy.

    The two main characters were unusual and interesting. I thoroughly enjoyed their interactions. The secondary characters were not as well drawn nor nearly as likable.

    The story: herein lies the problem. The story line had promise that wasn't well fulfilled. It moved from being muddled and confusing to dull and tedious and then to some spates of intense action. If this is Rowling's first step into something other than YA stories, that might explain some of the weaknesses.

    Given the narrator and the primary characters, I will keep listening to this series.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Abby Cooper, Psychic Eye: Psychic Eye Mysteries, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Victoria Laurie
    • Narrated By Elizabeth Michaels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1435)
    Performance
    (1111)
    Story
    (1108)

    Abby Cooper is a P.I., psychic intuitive. But her insight failed her when she didn't foresee the death of one of her clients - or that the lead investigator for the case is the gorgeous blind date she just met. Now, with the police suspicious of her abilities and a killer on the loose, Abby's future looks more uncertain than ever.

    Roger says: "review of Abby Cooper series"
    "Light & Frothy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book has a youngish charm to it mixed with almost complete implausibility. Although it's supposed to be a crime drama it's violence is at a minimum and any darkness is quickly resolved with a humorous twist.

    The narrator is somewhat heavy handed on the "smile in the voice" and "aren't I funny" passages. The over-acting got on my nerves periodically but did let up in the second half of the book.

    I actually enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone looking for a break from heavy or gut wrenching stories/books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Words of Radiance: The Stormlight Archive, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (48 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Michael Kramer, Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7031)
    Performance
    (6679)
    Story
    (6702)

    In that first volume, we were introduced to the remarkable world of Roshar, a world both alien and magical, where gigantic hurricane-like storms scour the surface every few days and life has adapted accordingly. Roshar is shared by humans and the enigmatic, humanoid Parshendi, with whom they are at war.

    Lore says: "48 more hours of Sanderson goodness!"
    "Exhausting"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This review is written after finishing Stormlight Archive Books 1 and 2 and covers both of them. These are long books, a form I like and don't shy away from. If the characters and story arc are engaging, then the longer the better in my opinion.

    The narration was excellently done ... thank heavens or I would have not finished the books. Reading and Kramer give life and texture to the characters that they portray. Kudos to them both!!

    The primary characters are well written, have interesting stories and (mostly) very enjoyable dialogues. The secondary (as well as the huge number of lesser) characters are not nearly as well drawn. Many of them are confusing and tend to pop up at inexplicable times. The story shifts from settings without giving new contexts. Some of the characters appear and then are not heard of again -- although this might be because they are going to be integral to the 3rd installment of this series.

    The plot lines are compelling when the major characters are involved and there is tension and action occurring. The rest of the plot lines range from philosophical tedium to hard to follow military actions. Given the length of these books, I found most of the action to be either confusing or tedious.

    So why did I actually finish both of these books? 1) I respect this author, and kept hoping that things would all come together. 2) The primary characters and their story lines are compelling. It's just that there was too much of the secondary stuff to reward this dedication.

    Will I listen to the 3rd installment when it is released? Probably not.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Way of Kings: Book One of The Stormlight Archive

    • UNABRIDGED (45 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Kate Reading, Michael Kramer
    Overall
    (10495)
    Performance
    (7956)
    Story
    (8002)

    Roshar is a world of stone and storms. Uncanny tempests of incredible power sweep across the rocky terrain so frequently that they have shaped ecology and civilization alike. Animals hide in shells, trees pull in branches, and grass retracts into the soilless ground. Cities are built only where the topography offers shelter. It has been centuries since the fall of the ten consecrated orders known as the Knights Radiant, but their Shardblades and Shardplate remain: mystical swords and suits of armor.

    Lore says: "Wow - 45 hours long and leaves you wanting more!"
    "Exhausting"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This review is written after finishing Stormlight Archive Books 1 and 2 and covers both of them. These are long books, a form I like and don't shy away from. If the characters and story arc are engaging, then the longer the better in my opinion.

    The narration was excellently done ... thank heavens or I would have not finished the books. Reading and Kramer give life and texture to the characters that they portray. Kudos to them both!!

    The primary characters are well written, have interesting stories and (mostly) very enjoyable dialogues. The secondary (as well as the huge number of lesser) characters are not nearly as well drawn. Many of them are confusing and tend to pop up at inexplicable times. The story shifts from settings without giving new contexts. Some of the characters appear and then are not heard of again -- although this might be because they are going to be integral to the 3rd installment of this series.

    The plot lines are compelling when the major characters are involved and there is tension and action occurring. The rest of the plot lines range from philosophical tedium to hard to follow military actions. Given the length of these books, I found most of the action to be either confusing or tedious.

    So why did I actually finish both of these books? 1) I respect this author, and kept hoping that things would all come together. 2) The primary characters and their story lines are compelling. It's just that there was too much of the secondary stuff to reward this dedication.

    Will I listen to the 3rd installment when it is released? Probably not.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Reliquary: Pendergast, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2448)
    Performance
    (1536)
    Story
    (1529)

    Hidden deep beneath Manhattan lies a warren of tunnels, sewers, and galleries, mostly forgotten by those who walk the streets above. There lies the ultimate secret of the Museum Beast. When two grotesquely deformed skeletons are found deep in the mud off the Manhattan shoreline, museum curator Margo Green is called in to aid the investigation.

    Anastasia says: "Should have made this one into a movie..."
    "Weak Addition to Great Series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love this series, so when I bought this book I wondered why I had originally skipped over it. Now I remember! Something in Dick Hill's narration is analogous to fingernails on a blackboard for me. (Younger readers: go ask your parents what a blackboard is/was.) I loved Stephen White's series re Dr Alan Gregory in print and was ecstatic when I found it on Audible, until, however, I had to try to get through Hill's narration. I know that many praise Hill, so this has to be a personal taste thing ... I recommend listening to the available sample before you decide to buy.

    The Reliquary storyline was interesting but not fully engaging. The main character, Special Agent Pendergast, didn't enter until at least 1/4 of the way through the book. After that he was in and out of the scenes. His idiosyncratic personality, brilliant mind and dry wit are what make this series fun. There just wasn't enough Pendergast this time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Tales of the City: Tales of the City, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Armistead Maupin
    • Narrated By Frances McDormand
    Overall
    (344)
    Performance
    (307)
    Story
    (314)

    For more than three decades Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City has blazed its own trail through popular culture...from a groundbreaking newspaper serial, to a classic novel, to a television event that entranced millions around the world. The first of six novels about the denizens of the mythic apartment house at 28 Barbary Lane, Tales of the City is both a sparkling comedy of manners and an indelible portrait of an era that changed forever the way we live.

    Scott says: "Finally... Maupin's Tales Narrated Professionally"
    "Wonderful Characters; Plot MIA"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The narration made this book come alive. McDormand is a true talent all around.

    The characters were charismatic and (mostly) charming. If you're reading for true SF ambiance you'll love this book. If you're reading for plot, action and wondering what happens next, this book isn't for you.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Break In

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Dick Francis
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (236)
    Performance
    (199)
    Story
    (200)

    Dick Francis was a jockey and horse trainer for many years. His experience gives his questrian mysteries an authenticity that has attracted fans around the globe. To honor him, the Mystery Writers of America named Dick Francis a Grand Master for his impeccably crafted contributions to the genre. Jockey Kit Fielding has been riding the de Brescous horses in a succession of triumphs on the race course. But this winning streak is about to end. Kit’s twin sister, Holly, has come to him in desperation. Threatened by financial scandal, she and her husband may lose their training stables.

    Aaron P. Lazar says: "One of the Best Audio Books Ever!"
    "Francis Delights"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you haven't read any Dick Francis before, this is an easy start to his writing. The main character, as is true in all of Francis' books, is a jockey with an aptitude for sleuthing. The book contains all of the right ingredients: a crime and puzzle that need solving, a love story, strong secondary characters, horse stories and suspense mixed with danger -- all delivered with charm. This is the Francis formula and he does it very well.

    The storyline includes a number of possible villains (some of whom turn out to be guiltless). The listener needs to pay particular attention to these characters or the ending will be confusing. I think this is an important part of any mystery and Francis delivers on it.

    My only quibble is with the main character's seemingly unending capacity to forgive slights, some deep and mean and some others merely minor but irritating things. There is a multi-generation family feud, a la Hatfields and McCoys, that our hero seems to be unrealistically able to overcome and overlook.

    If you are looking for a deep book imbued with life learnings, this is not what you want. If you are, instead, looking for an interesting plot with enjoyable characters told by a masterful storyteller, you've found it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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