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Joan

Joined in 2006. In my 40's, grew up reading the Classics, from Asimov, Clarke, Vonnegut. Moved on to Urban Punk/ Fantasy as well as Alt. History. Fantasy; Camber Series, Mistborn, George R.R. Martin. Question-Where are the other Wild Card Books dang it?

Member Since 2006

ratings
284
REVIEWS
14
FOLLOWING
2
FOLLOWERS
7
HELPFUL VOTES
155

  • Obsession: An Alex Delaware Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Jonathan Kellerman
    • Narrated By John Rubinstein
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (417)
    Performance
    (72)
    Story
    (74)

    Tanya Bigelow was a solemn little girl when Dr. Alex Delaware successfully treated her obsessive-compulsive symptoms. Now, at 19, Patty Bigelow, Tanya's aunt and adoptive mother, has made a deathbed confession of murder and urged the young woman to seek Delaware's help.

    Joan says: "It's a Sad Day When..."
    "It's a Sad Day When..."
    Overall

    Well, it's a sad day when Jonathan Kellerman disappoints, but that day has arrived. When I saw that there was a new Alex Delaware novel out, I felt that warm feeling of pleasure you get when you just know you're soon going to be settling down with a really good book. After "The Murder Book" and "Gone", both two of Kellerman's best, I could hardly wait.


    To say that the book "takes off slowly" would be similar to saying, "in January, molasses is slow". I listened to the entire first half before even a hint of a plot began to emerge. I have never had a problem finding Kellerman's characters fascinating, but in this book the female protagonist (which ever one you pick for that role) was a forgettable person. I barely remembered her name. Even the ending, which (kind of) pulls things together and does pick up, was certainly not enough. Sadly, I cannot recommend this book.

    24 of 24 people found this review helpful
  • Fifty Shades of Grey: Book One of the Fifty Shades Trilogy

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By E. L. James
    • Narrated By Becca Battoe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (15328)
    Performance
    (12652)
    Story
    (13293)

    When literature student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating. The unworldly, innocent Ana is startled to realize she wants this man and, despite his enigmatic reserve, finds she is desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her, too—but on his own terms.

    Amazon Customer says: "Holy Crap minus the Holy"
    "What a hideous, childish, ridiculous book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    A fifteen year-old, and they shouldn't be allowed. If you want a fairly decent book in this vein, try Anne Rice (Writing as Ann Rampling,) in the Sleeping Beauty series. Audible has it.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Nothing erotic so it hardly matters


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The end


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

    Anger at the complete and total unbelielability of any of the characters.


    Any additional comments?

    I had no problem with the narrator. Thought she did her best with this novels characatures- oops- I mean characters.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Restorer: The Graveyard Queen, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Amanda Stevens
    • Narrated By Khristine Hvam
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (290)
    Performance
    (263)
    Story
    (265)

    My name is Amelia Gray. I'm a cemetery restorer who sees ghosts. In order to protect myself from the parasitic nature of the dead, I've always held fast to these rules passed down from my father…until now. Detective John Devlin needs my help to find a killer, but he is haunted by ghosts who shadow his every move. To warn him would be to invite them into my life. I've vowed to keep my distance, but the pull of his magnetism grows ever stronger even as the headstone symbols lead me closer to truth and to the gossamer veil that separates this world from the next.

    Ducky says: "WOW!!! What a series~"
    "A Harliquin Production masquerades as Real Novel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    I cannot believe I missed the Busom Buster clues in the description of this novel. Don't make my mistake- it must have been a hormonal imbalance! Even when I was under 18 and would have been more prone to enjoy such a novel, it needed a good editor. Even the genuinely creepy moments are interrupted By long long pages of drivel and not even a single good boink.


    Has The Restorer turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Oh, yes. But I already grew out of this type of novel by age 15.


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

    I thought at first her Southern accent would drive me mad, but either I got used to it or she relaxed after an hour or so.


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

    1/3 of Amelia's "pooh Daddy's rules warn me of evil if I don't follow the rules, but gee, he's sohunky I want him!"Also, pick up the action. Good ideas lost forever in this novel.


    Any additional comments?

    Blech. Don't waste a credit: plus it just ENDS. I put up with twaddle for 10hrs and I get nothing. Very irritating.

    2 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Alchemaster's Apprentice: A Culinary Tale from Zamonia by Optimus Yarnspinner

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Walter Moers, John Brownjohn (translator)
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (33)
    Performance
    (23)
    Story
    (22)

    Malaisea, the unhealthiest town in the whole of Zamonia, is home to Echo the Crat, a multitalented creature resembling a cat in appearance but capable of speaking any language under the sun, human or animal. When his mistress dies, Echo finds himself out on the street. Dying of starvation, he is compelled to sign a contract with Ghoolion the Alchemaster, Malaisea’s evil alchemist-in-chief.

    Joan says: "What a ride!"
    "What a ride!"
    Overall

    It's been a long time since I have given a book five stars, but this wonderful, original tale is well worth that rating! What at first seems a simple story of a bad bargain soon becomes an amusing romp with some of the most devilish edibles one can, or cannot imagine. I for one would love invisible caviar! All too soon good and evil and a rather horrifying crush come to light, and we are back in our mundane cars, armchairs, or beds..wishing we could hear it all over for the very first time again. No, this is not Camus, it's pure fun, and the narrator is quite simply exquisite.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Cryoburn: A Miles Vorkosigan Adventure

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Lois McMaster Bujold
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    Overall
    (1248)
    Performance
    (659)
    Story
    (658)

    Kibou-daini is a planet obsessed with cheating death. Barrayaran Imperial Auditor Miles Vorkosigan can hardly disapprove—he’s been cheating death his whole life, on the theory that turnabout is fair play. But when a Kibou-daini cryocorp—an immortal company whose job it is to shepherd its all-too-mortal frozen patrons into an unknown future—attempts to expand its franchise into the Barrayaran Empire, Emperor Gregor dispatches his top troubleshooter, Miles, to check it out

    Kevin says: "Its nice to come Home!"
    "Great Book but...."
    Overall

    As usual, Bujold delivers an intriguing mystery for our favorite Lord Auditor, and after a slightly odd start you just need to keep listening to, the book becomes a view through not only the eyes of Miles, much of our narration is supplied through the eyes of a certain trusty, tall and reliable Armsman Roack(sp?)
    However..
    (non-spoiler) We find out far, far too much in passing. It has been ten years since Miles was revived from his cryostorage- no, this has nothing to do with the title- and during chats between Miles and Armsman Roack we learn of gigantic changes to Miles and other beloved characters, events at which we as fans simply deserved to be "present", much like Winterfair Gifts. Simply put, too much time has passed between Diplomatic Immunity and this book. Thus, although this is a good book, it is missing so much critical information that at the very dramatic ending, you simply feel ripped off. And that is too bad, because if those "missing time" books were there, then the ending certainly would have had more of an impact. This book deserves to be on your "Miles" shelf, but either Bujold feels about Miles as Agatha Christie once did about Poiroit, and she has tried to tie everything up in a glop, or we deserve more books to fill in some huge gaps!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Passage: The Passage Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Justin Cronin
    • Narrated By Scott Brick, Adenrele Ojo, Abby Craden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7019)
    Performance
    (3383)
    Story
    (3388)

    First, the unthinkable: a security breach at a secret U.S. government facility unleashes the monstrous product of a chilling military experiment. Then, the unspeakable: a night of chaos and carnage gives way to sunrise on a nation, and ultimately a world, forever altered. All that remains for the stunned survivors is the long fight ahead and a future ruled by fear—of darkness, of death, of a fate far worse.

    Nicole says: "You love it or you hate it..."
    "Not A Junky Thriller, Not an Intellectual Exercise"
    Overall

    For those who hate to read a book without the entire series being available, take heart, I listened to this entire novel without realizing there would be, or seeing the need for, a sequel. Yet, I still liked it. It is not one of the all too common "Gee, aren't Vampires cool"! novels that seem to have saturated the bestseller lists, it isn't a thriller that describes slice & dice horror in such detail that you may as well attend an evisceration. The author (Cronin), could have spent more time on character development, especially on little Amy, who lives a long life and yet never seems to change or to overcome any of her childhood experiences. Cronin explores an interesting idea, although, as one reviewer points out, I Am Legend does the job in part already. However, this novel has a much broader scope. Where the idea that ALL of humanity would be easily (as in I Am Legend) destroyed really belongs in the 1950, 60's and early 70's horror genre, along with giant ants, brain-eating Zombies and mask-wearing Slashers. Cronin does do a good idea of exploring certain ideas. E.G., the medical abuse of prisoners, and its possible results (in horror). Or questioning the ethical responsibilities of Doctors and Scientists in Government pay. The effects of an apocalyptic event on survivors, especially if the the majority of the survivors are children. What is and isn't important to a society that must live as prey, and only in light. What will become of technology when those who understand the technology die? What will death mean to people who cannot be sure if their loved ones are dead? (Cronin here may have garnered ideas from the treatment of Aids victims in various African countries). All in all, it's both a great beach listen as well as a book you'll be able to discuss with your friends. One only hopes Cronin will aviod the deus ex machina of a suitcase nukes in future novels.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Prophecy Be Damned

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Patricia Lucas White
    • Narrated By Bernadette Dunne
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    The burden of fulfilling a prophecy rests on the shoulders of a reluctant boy. As a scribe for the Guardians, the group of men and women dedicated to restoring the gods, Sam has been mistreated, ordered about, and mind-scrambled. Now he has to fulfill a prophecy? The boy would much rather damn it than do it. But the choice may not be his to make.

    Robert says: "Don't waste your time!"
    "Prophecy Unfinished"
    Overall

    This book was interesting. The concepts were intriguing, including unusual tiers of society and "outsiders" that were either not human or possibly just an uneducated slave race. The idea that Scribes hold a cherished position, and yet the young scribes are abused was ripe with possibilities. Then, just as things began to come to some sort of climax, and obviously a sequel was needed to begin to explain a huge number of loose ends..not just loose ends by gads, more like completely unfinished business, it abruptly ends, literally mid-tale. This book was written in 2007. So far no sign of that much needed sequel, until then, give this a pass.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Scarpetta

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Patricia Cornwell
    • Narrated By Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (874)
    Performance
    (238)
    Story
    (238)

    Leaving behind her private forensic pathology practice in Charleston, South Carolina, Kay Scarpetta accepts an assignment in New York City, where the NYPD has asked her to examine an injured man on Bellevue Hospital's psychiatric prison ward. The handcuffed and chained patient, Oscar Bane, has specifically asked for her, and when she literally has her gloved hands on him, he begins to talk - and the story he has to tell turns out to be one of the most bizarre she has ever heard.

    Becky says: "Don't waste your money"
    "Lucy's Voice??"
    Overall

    Along with the other listeners, I cannot believe the hash that was made of the voices on this recording. Most shocking to me was Lucy, who sounded as if she was a 350lb chronic smoker with a beard..what was that about??? If that's how the director thought (or the reader thought) lesbians should be portrayed, well, then Ms. P I pray you have fired them with prejudice..since they are. The plot was thin, at best and I find Kay's constant struggle with Lucy's gayness and with Benson's job to be really a bit old at this point. Time to go back and get to work. The only positive thing I can say is that Marino finally developed beyond his hate/hate relationship with himself and the people who care about him, so I can hope we do not have to delve into that can of worms again. I have been a fan since day one and would really like to see a return to the days when we were not involved in a soap opera, and the "bad guys" weren't cut out characters from "Mystery-Writer's Book of Bad Guys for Idiots" Come on Ms. P. I am buying one more, and then I will bid you a sad sad adieu.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • March Upcountry: Prince Roger Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By David Weber, John Ringo
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki
    Overall
    (1431)
    Performance
    (760)
    Story
    (761)

    Roger Ramius Sergei Chiang MacClintock was young, handsome, athletic, an excellent dresser, and third in line for the Throne of Man. So it wasn't surprising that he became spoiled, self-centered, and petulant. After all, what else did he have to do with his life?

    Euryleia says: "Lots of fun!"
    "If you loved the Vorcosivers...."
    Overall

    Oh how happy you will be! Just as I ran out of Known authors to love and cherish, I ran across this book, the first in a (I checked) completed series (i hope i am right). WOW! What a wonder, for herein you will find characters, not just mindless soldiers and an arrogant Prince who, in the style of "Captain Courageous" finding that he has to "pitch in" is suddenly a great man, nope, Robert, our Prince Tertiary to the Throne of Man, becomes who he is, and that is far from perfect, and yet a naturally developing character. If you enjoyed the Miles Vorcosigan novels, you will love these, also there is enough for hardcore Sci-fi fans of Leiber, S.M. Stirling & Richard P Morgan and the like as well, as the ship-wreaked Bodyguard attempts to turn itself into a fighting force. Now if Robert just could figure out what to wear.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • The Cat Who Had 60 Whiskers

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Lilian Jackson Braun
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (121)
    Performance
    (49)
    Story
    (50)

    Times are changing in Pickax, and it all makes for some newsworthy notes for the "Qwill Pen". A new senior center is in the works, and a frisky production of Cats is set to delight Moose County residents, human and feline alike. Polly Duncan is off to Paris, momentarily leaving Qwill without a companion for his apple-barn concerts, and The Librarians Who Lunch are getting read to put on a show of their spectacular Art Hats to help unite Pickax with its Lockmaster County neighbors.

    Joan says: "What A Shock"
    "What A Shock"
    Overall

    I was horrified by this book by one of my favorite light mystery authors. I've always enjoyed these silly, fun books, and read many of them several times. They've always brought a smile. This book, however, is just plain terrible. First, the whodunit is Never Solved! It ends as if the author was just too tired to finish a sentence, or figure her way out of the mess she had wrought. The few plot points that do exist are simply not believable. Polly flies to another country on holiday, is offered a dream job, (in another country? A simple librarian over a certain age?), and abandons not only Quill but her cats? No. It is not only unbelievable, it is antithetical to the characters. For Qwill in response does...nothing. Folds up a short, vague "Dear John" letter without a twitch of the upper lip. What on earth? If this had been a book in hand rather than a Mp3 file I would literally have thrown it across the room when it ended- which it did-with yet another totally unbelievable plot point! Either Qwill is having a very bad dream, in which case I shall be very very angry that I spent my non-dream time and hard-earned money on this book, or something is foul in Moose County, or something is terribly amiss in real life. I wish the publishers had had the common courtesy to inform us, instead of letting this book reach the shelves.

    14 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • The Zookeeper's Wife: A War Story

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Diane Ackerman
    • Narrated By Suzanne Toren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (517)
    Performance
    (155)
    Story
    (163)

    When Germany invaded Poland, bombers devastated Warsaw - and the city's zoo along with it. With most of their animals dead, zookeepers Jan and Antonina Zabinski began smuggling Jews into the empty cages. Another dozen "guests" hid inside the Zabinskis' villa, emerging after dark for dinner, socializing, and, during rare moments of calm, piano concerts.

    Sara says: "Wonderful!"
    "Very Disappointing, Terrible Narration"
    Overall

    When I read the discription for the book, I was intrigued..animals, WWII, Hiding Jews from the Nazi's in the Zoo, well it sounded both fascinating and moving. I was wrong. First, the narrator was horrendous. Each time there was a quotation from the Zookeeper's Wife (this is a factual account drawn from diaries, it seems, possibly interviews with family), the narrator switched to the worst Eastern European accent I have ever heard. She'd perhaps been watching too many B vampire movies, trying to form her Polish accent. When she would switch back to her natural voice, the "Euopean" would drag for a few syllables, very distracting.
    The story wasn't all that interesting either. It read more like a Ph.d thesis on the stresses of war-time than a novel. The revolutionary actions of her husband are hardly discussed at all. She mostly is the "heart of the home", which in Poland apparently means she irons, cooks and cleans. A lot. Yes, we are privy to all of her feelings, but she is of course deeply depressed. I stuck through this, but only because I kept waiting for action. There was very little. Oh, do not expect lots of adorable animal stories either, as they are all either confiscated or killed before you get 10 minutes into the book. Rather graphically. The killing of an elephant was for me very disturbing. What kind of "pick" this was I cannot say..but I can say, sadly, is do not Pick.

    28 of 33 people found this review helpful

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