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Paula Stein

ratings
31
REVIEWS
17
FOLLOWING
5
FOLLOWERS
1
HELPFUL VOTES
48

  • Royal Assassin: The Farseer Trilogy, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (29 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Robin Hobb
    • Narrated By Paul Boehmer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1597)
    Performance
    (1135)
    Story
    (1150)

    Young Fitz, the illegitimate son of the noble Prince Chivalry, is ignored by all royalty except the devious King Shrewd, who has had him tutored him in the dark arts of the assassin. He has barely survived his first, soul-shattering mission, and when he returns to the court, he is thrown headfirst into the tumult of royal life.

    Jake says: "Solid Middle Book"
    "I Have Reached Frustration Saturation"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Maybe it's me....I cannot get past the frustration of a plot wherein the characters know who the villan is, know how the villan functions, and choose not to do anything about it; but when bad things happen they are taken by surprise.
    Arrghhhh!!
    I listened to Assassin's Apprentice and it was fine, despite the menace threatening not only to end the life of the main character but also destroy the existance of the 6 duchies. The narrative is compelling and description is used very effectively. I was okay to bide my time while the characters presumably gathered the evidence needed to ensure the right villan was identified. But enough is enough!
    Maybe it's me....but when someone is out to do murder and the characters have the capabilities to stop it and choose not to, I feel pretty frustrated - frustrated enough to turn it all off, put the book away, and say "The heck with this!"
    The unfortunate thing is that the narrator does a wonderful job. The performance is almost enough to carry me to the end but the slow and frustrating plot line keeps interferring. Far from creating dynamic tension, the misunderstandings between characters, the protestations of nobility (which ring stupid as opposed to noble), and the seeming inability to put clues together to come up with treason and murder, create tension alright - the tension that speaks of having spent my credits on a less than engaging couple of books.

    1 of 2 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
    (5382)
    Performance
    (5138)
    Story
    (5146)

    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.

    D says: "Book !!; no let down- "Words of Radieance" shines"
    "Brilliant!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Words of Radiance to be better than the print version?

    I have not read the book but the audio version is superb.


    What does Michael Kramer and Kate Reading bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The variety in characterization brought to life! The humourous interactions between characters brought to life! The narrators do a wonderful job of giving depth and nuance to the narrative.


    Any additional comments?

    The Way of Kings and Words of Radiance are both complex novels in which the moral choices characters must make are fraught with difficulty and significent personal cost. The storytelling is gripping and the plot is never dull.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Dogs of Christmas

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By W. Bruce Cameron
    • Narrated By Kirby Heyborne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (70)
    Performance
    (63)
    Story
    (64)

    While nursing a broken heart, Josh Michaels is outraged when a neighbor abandons his very pregnant dog, Lucy, at Josh's Colorado home. But Josh can't resist Lucy's soulful brown eyes, and though he's never had a dog before, he's determined to do the best he can for Lucy - and her soon-to-arrive, bound-to-be-adorable puppies. Soon in over his head, Josh calls the local animal shelter for help, and meets Kerri, a beautiful woman with a quick wit and a fierce love for animals.

    Sandra J. Claar says: "It's a relationship you never lose."
    "Good Story for Teens or Young Adults"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    No, I would not recommend this book.I found the characterization quite superficial. Josh is 28 years old, going on 15. His first sight of Kerri, the shelter worker, is google-eyed facination...not even a hint of depth in character building here. The dogs of the title are really just an excuse, a vehicle, to what is essentially a story about boy loses girl, boy finds new girl, boy overcomes obstacles to new relationship. My emphasis is on boy, not man.And this boy, the main character, is a bit of a jerk.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    A more mature 28 year old, making decisions more consistent with adulthood would have made a more interesting character. And his friends....do all young people of that age refer to each other as "dude"? Josh and his friends become caricatures, not characters.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Kirby Heyborne?

    Perhaps, but not likely.


    Could you see The Dogs of Christmas being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    Certainly I could. It is superficial enough for TV.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • False Mermaid

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Erin Hart
    • Narrated By Rosalyn Landor
    Overall
    (366)
    Performance
    (247)
    Story
    (256)

    American pathologist Nora Gavin fled to Ireland three years ago, hoping that distance from home would bring her peace. Though she threw herself into the study of bog bodies and the mysteries of their circumstances, she was ultimately led back to the one mystery she was unable to solve: the murder of her sister, Trona. Nora cant move forward until she goes backback to her home, to the scene of the crime, to the source of her nightmares and her deepest regrets.

    Lia says: "A good listen"
    "A Very Enjoyable Mystery"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Erin Hart's three mystery novels set mostly in Ireland have been compelling and enjoyable experiences. She has woven together murder mystery, a little romance, and a wonderful exposure to many of the nuances of Irish culture and history and mythology into the fabric of a very satisfying novel.
    The narrator does an excellent job of providing clear distinctions between the characters and reads with good pacing, great expression, and what sounds to me like an authentic Irish accent for the Irish characters.
    I would certainly highly recommend this novel and Hart's other two novels: Lake of Sorrows and Haunted Ground.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Hallowed Hunt

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Lois McMaster Bujold
    • Narrated By Marguerite Gavin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (596)
    Performance
    (232)
    Story
    (235)

    The half-mad Prince Boleso has been slain by a noblewoman he had intended to defile. It falls to Lord Ingrey kin Wilfcliff to transport the prince to his burial place and to bring the accused killer, Lady Ijada, to judgment. The road he travels with his burden and his prisoner is fraught with danger. But in the midst of political chaos, magic has the fiercer hold on Ingrey's destiny, and Ijada herself may turn out to be the only one he dares trust.

    Kim says: "excellent story marred by tedious pausing"
    "Disappointing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I thoroughly enjoyed all of Lois McMaster Bujold's novels....until now. Apart from the terrible narration, the story was forced and stilted. Descriptive language was repetitive to the point of becoming an irritant. The plot line was so convoluted, it became an unrewarding challenge to try to follow.
    This book is a waste of a credit or a waste of money....
    I hope McMaster Bujold is able to regain her former excellence as her previous works were engaging and entertaining.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mistakes Were Made (But Not By Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions and Hurtful Acts

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Carol Tavris, Elliot Aronson
    • Narrated By Marsha Mercant, Joe Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (508)
    Performance
    (341)
    Story
    (342)

    Why do people dodge responsibility when things fall apart? Why the parade of public figures unable to own up when they screw up? Why the endless marital quarrels over who is right? Why can we see hypocrisy in others but not in ourselves? Are we all liars? Or do we really believe the stories we tell? Backed by years of research and delivered in lively, energetic prose, Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me) offers a fascinating explanation of self-deception.

    Andrew says: "Insightful study of human behavior"
    "Trying to Understand Why People Do What They Do?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm sure none of us think that we indulge in self-justification to the point that we lie to ourselves unconsciously. But it seems we do. It's important, if we are striving to be more considerate of others and striving to be more compassionate with ourselves, to live consciously. This book helps us to be more aware of the stories we tell ourselves to justify bad behaviour as well as honest mistakes.
    The authors extend their ideas and research to politics and how generally honest people find themselves in huge conflicts of interest; and science, where those conflicts of interest can cost people their lives and health; and nations, where quarrels are endless and bloody and whole masses of people can be manipulated into supporting wrong-headed, destructive and even illegal policies; and personally, where self-justification can destroy relationships.
    The knowledge presented in this book is very helpful for those who wish to try and be more aware of the tricks our consciousness plays in the effort to maintain self-esteem at all costs.
    I intend to listen to this book over and over again.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Hounded: The Iron Druid Chronicles, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Kevin Hearne
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9501)
    Performance
    (8466)
    Story
    (8443)

    Atticus O’Sullivan, last of the Druids, lives peacefully in Arizona, running an occult bookshop and shape-shifting in his spare time to hunt with his Irish wolfhound. His neighbors and customers think that this handsome, tattooed Irish dude is about twenty-one years old - when in actuality, he’s twenty-one centuries old. Not to mention: He draws his power from the earth, possesses a sharp wit, and wields an even sharper magical sword known as Fragarach, the Answerer. Unfortunately, a very angry Celtic god wants that sword, and he’s hounded Atticus for centuries....

    Chris says: "Finally, a modern day fantasy that really hits the"
    "Light, Fun and Kinda Cute"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This was a fun book to listen to. I enjoy the fantasy genre and while this is not a book of the calibre of George R R Martin or Abercrombie, it was still delightful to listen to.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Under Heaven

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Guy Gavriel Kay
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (458)
    Performance
    (236)
    Story
    (237)

    In his latest innovative novel, the award-winning author evokes the dazzling Tang Dynasty of 8th-century China in a story of honor and power. Inspired by the glory and power of Tang dynasty China, Guy Gavriel Kay has created a masterpiece.It begins simply. Shen Tai, son of an illustrious general serving the Emperor of Kitai, has spent two years honoring the memory of his late father by burying the bones of the dead from both armies at the site of one of his father's last great battles.

    Mike says: "Impressive!"
    "A Riveting, Stunning Novel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Under Heaven is a riveting and stunning novel evocative of life during the period of the Chinese Tang dynasty.
    Kay weaves a magical tale of political intrigue, personal honour, and cultural structures peopled by characters the reader can really care about.
    The novel deftly underlines the ages-long problems and inequities created by a patriarchal system that dishonours women.
    An interweaving of the supernatural adds a touch of delight to a story that could almost be standard historical fiction.
    Guy Gavriel Kay is an artist with words, painting an epic and gorgeous canvas of an ancient Asian-influenced landscape. His reference to the grasslands of the Steppes and the inclusion of the painted cave evokes mankind’s pre-history and will resonate with readers who have experienced Jean Auel’s Earth’s Children series.
    I will have to listen to this novel again and again, not only to enjoy the story but to enjoy the beautiful poetry of Kay’s language.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Tigana

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Guy Gavriel Kay
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    Overall
    (861)
    Performance
    (533)
    Story
    (539)

    Tigana is the magical story of a beleaguered land struggling to be free. It is the tale of a people so cursed by the black sorcery of a cruel, despotic king that even the name of their once-beautiful homeland cannot be spoken or remembered.

    But after years of devastation, a handful of courageous men and women embark upon a dangerous crusade to overthrow their conquerors and bring back to the dark world the brilliance of a long-lost name: Tigana.

    Robert says: "Says a lot about who we are."
    "Plot, Description, Characters - Fabulous"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Tigana rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This book rates very very high on my list of outstanding audiobooks. Not only is the story engaging, but the descriptive writing is luxurious, and the characters grab the heart and don't let go. In addition, the narrator - Simon Vance - is amazing!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    It is impossible to pick just one. It is the interplay between the characters that create an ebb and flow to the relationships, and polish or cloud the many facets of each of the characters. One thing I can say for sure...I didn't want to see any of them perish, except Alberico. It was very easy to like the various characters and to become emotionally attached to most of them - something that created great sadness as the conflicts unfolded and moved towards the story's climax.


    What about Simon Vance’s performance did you like?

    Vance's clarity is a delight, and his ability to individualize each character is much appreciated. Beyond this, however, his ability to model the language so there is a play of light and shadow to his reading - he does not just read words and sentences, but he imbues the flow of language with nuances and meaning going well beyond the words - this is pure vocal and intellectual artistry.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Road

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Cormac McCarthy
    • Narrated By Tom Stechschulte
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5574)
    Performance
    (2205)
    Story
    (2233)

    America is a barren landscape of smoldering ashes, devoid of life except for those people still struggling to scratch out some type of existence. Amidst this destruction, a father and his young son walk, always toward the coast, but with no real understanding that circumstances will improve once they arrive. Still, they persevere, and their relationship comes to represent goodness in a world of utter devastation.

    Darwin8u says: "My wife says he's that Cold Desert Writer I love."
    "Intense and Profoundly Personal"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Road again? Why?

    Absolutely! I would listen to this book again and again. As a superlative piece of writing, The Road is multi-layered, and on each subsequent exposure it reveals nuances not seen in a previous reading (or listening).


    What did you like best about this story?

    The mutual love and caring protection between father and son, played out against the background of a devastated and dying world, is hauntingly sad. The terrible flaw in human kind that brings about complete devastation (probably of the entire planet) and a horrible descent into an inhuman and cannabalistic existance is poignantly juxtaposed against the beautiful spirit of humanity at it finest.


    Any additional comments?

    Cormack McCarthy skillfully evokes the nightmare of social collapse while shining a spotlight on what extraordinary heights we could achieve through love. McCarthy is a great writer.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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