You no longer follow Barbara M. Sullivan

You will no longer see updates from this user when they write new reviews, or suggestions based on their library or recommendations.

You can re-follow a user if you change your mind.

OK

You now follow Barbara M. Sullivan

You will receive updates from this user when they write new reviews, or suggestions based on their library or recommendations.

You can unfollow a user if you change your mind.

OK

Barbara M. Sullivan

Huntsville, Alabama | Member Since 2005

139
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 19 reviews
  • 645 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 165 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
7
FOLLOWERS
7

  • Captain Vorpatril's Alliance

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Lois McMaster Bujold
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (884)
    Performance
    (797)
    Story
    (809)

    Captain Ivan Vorpatril is happy with his relatively uneventful bachelor's life as a staff officer to a Barrayaran admiral. Cousin to imperial troubleshooter Miles Vorkosigan, Ivan is not far down the hereditary list for the emperorship. Thankfully, new heirs have directed that headache elsewhere, leaving Ivan to enjoy his life on Komarr, far from the Byzantine court politics of his home system. But when an old friend in Barrayaran intelligence asks Ivan to protect an attractive young woman who may be on the hit list of a criminal syndicate, his chivalrous nature takes over. It seems danger and adventure have once more found Captain Vorpatril.

    Barbara M. Sullivan says: "We are finally allowed to see Ivan without Miles."
    "We are finally allowed to see Ivan without Miles."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Captain Vorpatril's Alliance?

    Ivan Vorpatril is a survivor. Born in the middle of a military coup, hours after his father was killed in front of his very pregnant aristocratic mother, he was swaddled in borrowed blankets and smuggled out of the war zone as part of a refugee family. Although he has grown into a gorgeous "hunk", he has continued to survive through protective coloring. I thought in the first books his character was only included in the Vorkosigan stories as a foil for his cousin Miles, the physically challenged genius, who accidentally founded a whole Army at seventeen years old. Ivan's name in these stories is often followed by "you idiot".It hasn't stopped his relatives for asking for his reluctant help though.. So I LOVE IT, that Ivan is now the hero in this book, without any tricks such as having him turn from a Clark Kent to Superman. Ivan is still the very ordinary young man who has avoided becoming a focus for a coup in his own times, not by becoming a super warrior on a planet of warriors, but by being an average, guy, just not understanding all of the plots and underplots swirling around him. His over achieving relatives sometimes wonder if he is doing it on purpose, and shake their heads and think not, unless he began fading into the background at five. Hard to do when your are taller, and stronger than everyone else around, even at five. These warrior types should have spent more time around five year olds. The little people are very much personalities even at five. Sorry, I feel as if I've watched, a favorite child grow up and become successful. Lois MacMaster Bujold is a great writer to make her characters that real.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I enjoyed watching Ivan come into his own.


    What about Grover Gardner’s performance did you like?

    Grover Gardner is one of those magnificent performer's who sounds as though he is someone you've met. No matter what part of the country your from.


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

    I enjoyed the whole book, but the last few pages were made me laugh aloud.


    Any additional comments?

    I hope there will be more stories about the Vor world. This author doesn't leave the reader with cliff hangers, like old fashioned B movies or soap operas. She doesn't have to. Her books are so interesting, that although each book is ended with a logical and satisfying conclusion, her world is full of such interesting people that I hope to meet them as often as possible.

    39 of 39 people found this review helpful
  • Medium Dead

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Chris Dolley
    • Narrated By Noelle Romano
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (55)
    Performance
    (50)
    Story
    (52)

    Medium Dead is a fun urban fantasy chronicling the crime fighting adventures of Brenda - a reluctant medium - and Brian - a vigilante demon with an impish sense of humour. Think Stephanie Plum with magic and a dash of Carl Hiaasen. Brenda Steele is smart, funny and out of her depth. A Vigilante Demon called Brian wants her to find murdered spirits and help him track down their killers. But Brian doesn't just catch criminals, he likes to play with them first, and make the punishment fit the crime.

    Donna says: "Good for a tween"
    "Trying for screwball comedy, doesn't work"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As another reviewer said, this is a matter of taste, but I find the subject matter at odds with the cheerful banter. Really good fiction draws the reader into the story, so that there is no thought as to how the work could be better. There are stories where the "bad guys" do terrible things and the "good guys" refuse to quit and remain confident, and still manage to be enraged by the terrible things that they are fighting against. Here the cheerful banter overwhelms the idea that children are being kidnapped, and old ladies kicked. We get a nod to isn't this awful, and onto the next joke. The best comedy never winks at the audience, and the characters in this book are constantly winking and noting how cute they are. To repeat, this is a matter of taste. For example I like the way Jim Butcher's Dresden never takes himself seriously, but takes keeping the world safe very seriously. I almost didn't finish this, because I felt insulted by the lame jokes, I just thought it would get past the silly phase and get better. All of which isn't to say that others might find this book funny, but Medium Dead does not fit my sense of humor.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Creation of Anne Boleyn: A New Look at England’s Most Notorious Queen

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Susan Bordo
    • Narrated By Barbara Rosenblat
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (51)
    Performance
    (48)
    Story
    (47)

    Part biography, part cultural history, The Creation of Anne Boleyn is a fascinating reconstruction of Anne’s life and an illuminating look at her afterlife in the popular imagination. Why is Anne so compelling? Why has she inspired such extreme reactions? What did she really look like? Was she the flaxen-haired martyr of Romantic paintings or the raven-haired seductress of twenty-first-century portrayals? (Answer: Neither.) And perhaps the most provocative questions concern Anne’s death more than her life.

    Roswatheist says: "Most Enjoyable Biography--Win!"
    "Anne Boleyn as seen through the years"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Susan Bardo compares the view of Anne Boleyn by courtiers who lived when she lived to older biographies including those in the eighteen hundreds, and more modern views of her, including historical fiction by Margaret George, P. Gregory, and Alison Weir. Bardo even includes the mini-series the Tudors. I don't think as it could be concluded that she was being particularly critical of these authors. They are fiction, regardless of the academic credentials of the author.

    She is harder on writers of popular history, (like this one) who repeat rumors that cannot be substantiated by anything concrete. Even the famous letters King Henry sent her, were not found in England but in the vatican.

    The book is interesting. Barbara Rosenblat is great as always.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Black Rainbow

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Barbara Michaels
    • Narrated By Barbara Rosenblat
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (32)
    Performance
    (21)
    Story
    (21)

    A troubled Byronic hero, a young governess blinded by her romantic obsession, a beautiful but forbidding manor, and a secret as ominous as the black rainbow that frames the huddled towers of the manor in the moonlight are the romantic elements of this Gothic mystery.

    Marcheta says: "Well-written and held my interest"
    "Not usual Barbara Michaels, still worth a credit"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    When Barbara Metz/ Barbara Michaels/Elizabeth Peters died I felt I had lost a someone I actually knew. Even her very early work is smart, and funny, if light and still managed to deal with the dark parts of life without being depressing. For example her book the Crying Child has been adapted to film, even though there were no kick-ass heroines. (I love those too). This book is so cynical that reading it is a surprise and difficult to enjoy. Its like biting into a chocolate truffle and getting a mouth full of hot peppers. There is only one character worth admiration in this story, the other female lead is a bit silly and vapid, the hero is narrow minded and vain, and these two are not balanced by sane competent characters. Even the admirable character solves her problems in a way that only desperation would make it ethical.

    I began reading Barbara Michaels novels in my early twenties and 50 years later I still reread them from time to time. Under this pen name Barbara Michaels/Barbara Mertz wrote what an old librarian called cozy historical, gothic novels. I love them. Even all those years ago these books were smart, historically accurate and although light, never insulted the reader's intelligence. When she began to write more contemporary and historical mysteries as Elizabeth Peters I loved those too. Barbara Metz earned a doctorate in egyptology at a time when a female doctoral candidate had to be very very good, just to be allowed to apply. So while her books were fun, all of them were historically accurate and made sense. Her Amelia Peabody books are just wonderful.

    All of which leads me to this book, and why it is so different from the ones I love to read when I need something cheerful. This is not a story about a hero who admires the spunky, smart heroine, and appreciates the fact that her care of his estates increased his fortune while he was away. Nope. He assumes she is just lucky and begins to spend the money. This book is more realistic and dark than any of her other books. Although I might appreciate the way our heroine handles the problem, the whole thing brought out a cynical sad feeling. I am so disappointed audible chose this book, out of at least twenty of her early books to record. There are early cassette recordings of her early work, so perhaps Audible will be able to give us some of her more usual books. For example the Wings of the Falcon deals with some of the dark sides of history, but also had characters who were not perfect, none of her characters were ever perfect, but they were for the most decent people, who grew into really delightful people

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Awakening: Darkest Powers, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Kelley Armstrong
    • Narrated By Cassandra Morris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (429)
    Performance
    (212)
    Story
    (212)

    "I was genetically altered by a sinister organization called the Edison Group. What does that mean? For starters, I'm a teenage necromancer whose powers are out of control; I raise the dead without even trying. Trust me, that is not a power you want to have. Ever. Now I'm running for my life with three of my supernatural friends: a charming sorcerer, a cynical werewolf, and a disgruntled witch, and we have to find someone who can help us before the Edison Group finds us first. Or die trying."

    S. Walker says: "Super cute YA series!"
    "Being young and overcoming darkness"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is the second book in an excellent series of coming of age novels. The three major characters in this book are learning to deal with things more difficult than first love and how to ace an algebra exam. These teenagers have been genetically altered to enhance certain paranormal gifts, and they were lied to. Teenagers want to be like everyone else. These kids are having to deal with more than growth spurts and spots. So if you can see ghosts, and ghosts can see you, do you admit it? Seeing things that are not there and admitting it can lead to institutions. So all of these children who have been enhanced, have different gifts and varying levels of the same "gift" finally come to a special school run by the people who enhanced them.

    Putting them in a special school seemed to be an excellent way of monitoring all of the teens as they come into their talents. However, the kids are smart. They talk to each other, and some of them run. This book takes up the story of where they ran to, and the way they deal with their relationships to each other, to the adults they feel they can or cannot trust is fascinating. I agree with a previous reviewer that the narrator sounds closer to five than fifteen, but it is not very distracting, and it is helpful to be reminded that the characters are very young.

    I enjoyed the first book in the Darkest Powers series very much, and this one is very good too. It is rare that an author can maintain tension without making the main characters "too stupid to live", or adding thunder bolts from on high to save them from tight corners. So the story is both fascinating and satisfying and comes to a firm resolution, although there is more to the story. I am so aggravated by B movie cliff hangers that I usually will not follow a series that uses them. The books in this group are very good as a series and individually.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • This Heart of Mine

    • ABRIDGED (5 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Susan Elizabeth Phillips
    • Narrated By Jennifer Van Dyck
    Overall
    (123)
    Performance
    (34)
    Story
    (34)

    Molly Somerville knows she has a reputation for trouble. She did give away her fifteen million dollar inheritance, but, hey, nobody's perfect. Yes, Molly's happy about almost everything...except her long term crush on the daredevil quarterback for the Chicago Stars. That awful, gorgeous Kevin Tucker, a man who can't even remember her name!

    Martha Eckert says: "Disappointing"
    "The story survives abridged cuts"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I bought this abridged version because I remembered and enjoyed the original version narrated by Anna Fields. Sometimes a truly skilled abridged version of a story can even tighten the original, and I enjoy Jennifer Van Dyke so I thought I would like to listen to an old favorite.

    The cuts in this abridgment were not surgical. It was accomplished by cutting out a subplot, and therefore removing one of the main characters of the amputated secondary story. This leaves Molly and Kevin, the main characters, reacting to the ghosts of the missing parts. It still works. Susan Elizabeth Philips writes great stories, and even the surface parts of this story are engrossing, Still, it takes more than a suspension of disbelief to help the reader understand why Molly is so loved by her family, without letting the reader see her complete interactions with Kevin's mom and her nieces and nephews. Getting to know the remarkable woman Kevin's mom is that makes it worth the effort Kevin puts forth to get over reasonable childhood resentments. I listened to this with friends on a drive that took four hours and kept trying to explain that these people were not really a train wreck. We didn't turn it back on for the trip back. Still even watered down Susan Elizabeth Phillips is worth some time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Earthly Delights: Corinna Chapman Mysteries, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Kerry Greenwood
    • Narrated By Louise Siversen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (207)
    Performance
    (188)
    Story
    (185)

    Baking is an alchemical process for Corinna Chapman. At four am she starts work at Earthly Delights, her bakery in Calico Alley. But one morning Corinna receives a threatening note saying "The wages of sin is death" and finds a syringe in her cat's paw. A blue-faced junkie has collapsed in the dark alley and a mysterious man with beautiful eyes appears with a plan for Corinna and her bread. Then it is Goths, dead drug addicts, witchcraft, a homeless boy and a missing girl and it seems she will never get those muffins cooked in time.

    S. Sarabasha says: "Don't know why I waited so long."
    "A Story of friendships, good food, and St. Kilda"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Earthly Delights the most enjoyable?

    First it is important to know that the characters is this book are not at all like Kerry Greenwood's books featuring Phryne Fisher which I also enjoy, and for very different reasons than I like Earthly Delights. I loved the narrator for Earthly Delights, Louise Siversen's voice is low and soothing. I also enjoyed the characters. These are beautiful people whose beauty has more to do with intelligence, tolerance, and a determination to be cheerful in the face of petty annoyances, and rotten problems, without being insipid. They live in an old fashioned apartment building, called Insula after similar buildings in ancient Rome (the ancient originals more like tenements than this elegant building.Corinna has given up a very profitable career as an accountant, as well as a "profitable" husband and big house to move into Insula, and take the bakery on the first floor. Waking at four in the morning to bake fresh bread to fill orders for stores and restaurants and bake muffins for people on their way to work, is for her heaven. She tells us that she will never wear a kitten heel again. Being a very large person we can be happy for her. While she has her share of insecurities she is not confused about her ability to run a small business, and trust her own judgment. Her friends are fortunate in her friendship, and heaven help those she sees as enemies. Corinna needs all the good sense she owns when her before dawn work day isn interrupted by a young woman expiring of an overdose on a heating grate outside her shop door. Corinna calls medics, keeps the victim alive, and is roundly cursed for "stealing the young lady's high". However, from this rather nasty beginning Corinna meets strong Daniel, acquires a ragged assistant, and deals with a slander campaign that effects all of the occupants of the building.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Although the story is character driven, the world Kerry Greenwood describes is consistent from beginning to end. The listener/reader is not jerked out of the story by a character or plot point inconsistent with earlier descriptions. I liked the description of St. Kilda. Living in the eastern United States, I doubt my dream of visiting the city where these characters live will ever be in my budget, but after reading Kerry Greenwood's books I certainly wish it were.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    There are several. I love the garden upon the roof of the apartment building with its fish pool, benches and arbors, and its contrasts with the soup run, to make sure the homeless get one hot meal a day. Both of these scenes involve Daniel, whom the reader only knows as a dark mysterious stranger for a good bit of the book.


    Who was the most memorable character of Earthly Delights and why?

    Obviously Corinna is the most memorable because this is her story. I expect though the favorite character will depend upon the reader. My daughter's favorite of course is Daniel a man so beautiful that Corinna can't believe he wants to be with her. My favorite is the retired professor who listens with silence and empathy to those who tell him their problems. Of course loving realistic magic, I also like the the owner of Sybil's Cave. When Corinna needs practical help, she is always willing to help. Not all of her help involves spells.


    Any additional comments?

    This story is a cozy mystery, it deserves the name more than most. The Corinna Chapman stories act upon me like a soothing cup of tea, OK, more like a glass of white wine. I am going to buy as many of these audiobooks as they produce and save them for days when traffic is bad, people are cranky, and I have to do boring mindless tasks.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Chris Matthews
    • Narrated By Holter Graham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (204)
    Performance
    (174)
    Story
    (175)

    In Chris Matthews’ extraordinary biography, we see this most beloved president in the company of friends. We see and feel him close-up, having fun and giving off that restlessness of his. We watch him navigate his life from privileged, rebellious youth to gutsy American president. We witness his bravery in war and selfless rescue of his PT boat crew. We watch JFK as a young politician learning to play hardball and watch him grow into the leader who averts a nuclear war.

    Dolf says: "Superb Research & Writing / Mediocre Narration"
    "Better than Expected"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero to be better than the print version?

    Yes. Like most people I enjoy reading, and am often startled that the narrators do not sound like the "voices in my head" that my imagination conjures when I read. When I began listening to this I was expecting SCHOLARLY bass. But Holter Graham fits the era of the Kennedy administration, who were very young in comparison to the politicians of the time, and presented themselves as youthful and idealistic. Once I adjusted to the narration I loved it.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero?

    There were several moments: that the stories of Joe Kennedy's heavy hand was not a myth, that Jack Kennedy was always in pain and struggling with health issues while presenting his comparative youth as an asset thus presenting himself as athletic and energetic, the moment when I realized that it is impossible to tell if John Fitzgerald Kennedy was idealistic or just practical.


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

    Holter Graham does an excellent job of the different voices in Hunting Ground and Cry Wolf. He moves from Native American male, middle eastern male, middle America female beautifully without pulling the listener from the book and thinking "wow he's really good at that". And more importantly the listener doesn't think "meh, no one sounds like that". This book is obviously very different from those novels, and he handles straightforward narration well.


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

    This is a biography of someone who has been written about more than any politician in recent years, so there was nothing so new that would rise to laughter or tears. It would be a rare person that didn't know exactly how tragically this ends.


    Any additional comments?

    The important thing to know about this book is that it covers the early years of Kennedy's life, which allows the reader to see that there is a consistency in Kennedy's presentation of himself both as an "Irish mucker" in prep school, and an astute observer of national and international issues while still an undergraduate at Harvard. Unlike some books that boost sales by concentrating only on the days before, during and following the asasination, or even just the presidency, this one shows the reader how the core people loyal to Kennedy and he to them, became a team. Still I agree with earlier reviewers that at the end of the book we don't really know what Kennedy was like, which is John Kennedy's own criteria for a good biography. But the book is worth reading because it places all aspects of his life in context.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Belinda Goes to Bath: The Traveling Matchmaker, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By M. C. Beaton
    • Narrated By Helen Lisanti
    Overall
    (59)
    Performance
    (50)
    Story
    (49)

    No sooner does Miss Pym board her next stagecoach than she finds herself embroiled in the plight of Miss Belinda Earle, a spirited heiress banished to Bath after swearing off the marriage market. When the coach founders near Baddell Castle, and the dashing Marquis of Frenton comes to the rescue, Miss Pym decides to give Fate a hand. Although the austere bachelor disdains romance, his furtive glances towards Belinda prove to Miss Pym that her expert matchmaking will soon turn this star-crossed couple into a heavenly match!

    Barbara M. Sullivan says: "Light and Old Fashioned, and yet very funny"
    "Light and Old Fashioned, and yet very funny"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Belinda Goes to Bath?

    On the very surface this is a light historical romance with a predictable plot and stereotypical characters. And yet, like everything M. C. Beaton writes each character has a twist that takes the reader by surprise and sometimes a laugh. This is part of a series of books based on an ex-housekeeper, gifted with an inheritance, which she uses to travel around England. In her wonderings she deftly, finds jobs for the jobless, homes for the homeless, and love for the loveless. There is no snappy banter, sex beyond a brush of lips, or even a dawn meeting with pistols, or at least not the standard duel. There is an
    underlying thread of reality that makes the whole thing just a little unusual.


    What other book might you compare Belinda Goes to Bath to and why?

    Standard historical romances come close.


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

    Helen Lisanti is an excellent narrator. She manages to change characters without overpowering the story with so much acting that she pulls the listener out of the story. I enjoyed listening to her.


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

    I laughed at a point that was one coincidence to many.


    Any additional comments?

    Just that I am glad M.C. Beaton chose to give up a career in journalism to write novels with some very very dry wit, hidden among the standard plots.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

CANCEL

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.