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Karen

BigZ's Mom

United States | Member Since 2011

45
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 26 reviews
  • 175 ratings
  • 415 titles in library
  • 30 purchased in 2014
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  • Every Dead Thing

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By John Connolly
    • Narrated By Jeff Harding
    Overall
    (25)
    Performance
    (21)
    Story
    (23)

    Former NYPD detective Charlie "Bird" Parker is on the verge of madness. Tortured by the unsolved slayings of his wife and young daughter, he is a man consumed by guilt, regret, and the desire for revenge. When his former partner asks him to track down a missing girl, Parker finds himself drawn into a world beyond his imagining - one where 30 year old killings remain shrouded in fear and lies, a world where the ghosts of the dead torment the living....

    Cleaning Commando says: "Story vs Narrator"
    "Excellent story, mediocre narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from John Connolly and/or Jeff Harding?

    I adore John Connolly and all his Charlie Parker books. Jeff Harding, not so much.


    What other book might you compare Every Dead Thing to and why?

    Hum. Interesting question. Maybe Dennis Lehane's Kenzie &Gennaro series. I can't think of any other writer who marries mystery with supernatural undertones and makes the characters so flawed and yet still likable.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Jeff Harding?

    RAY PORTER. The other readers who have done this series either make Charlie sound too old or totally get Angel and Louis wrong.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Yes.


    Any additional comments?

    Please, Audio Gods, let me win the lottery so I can hire Ray Porter to read this entire series to me!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Code Zero: Joe Ledger, Book 6

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Jonathan Maberry
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (305)
    Performance
    (291)
    Story
    (289)

    For years the Department of Military Sciences has fought to stop terrorists from using radical bioweapons - designer plagues, weaponized pathogens, genetically modified viruses, and even the zombie plague that first brought Ledger into the DMS. These terrible weapons have been locked away in the world’s most secure facility. Until now. Joe Ledger and Echo Team are scrambled when a highly elite team of killers breaks the unbreakable security and steals the world’s most dangerous weapons.

    Melinda says: "Back Off! Or I'll Bite"
    "The Best Yet!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Code Zero to be better than the print version?

    Absolutely. Ray Porter brings the story to life.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Wow!! Tight plot, unrelenting pace, great characters, and of course, Ray Porter.


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

    Well, he is an Audio God. I am a total fan girl of his. Every character has their own distinct voice. And they're all different and easily identifiable. How does he do that??


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

    Two that really got me. I'm not going to tell you because I don't want to spoil it for you.


    Any additional comments?

    This is the best entry yet in an incredible series!!

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Seven for a Secret

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Lyndsay Faye
    • Narrated By Steven Boyer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (74)
    Performance
    (69)
    Story
    (70)

    From Edgar-nominated author Lyndsay Faye comes the next book in what Gillian Flynn calls, "a brilliant new mystery series." Six months after the formation of the NYPD, its most reluctant and talented officer, Timothy Wilde, thinks himself well versed in his city's dark practices - until he learns of the gruesome underworld of lies and corruption ruled by the "blackbirders," who snatch free Northerners of color from their homes, masquerade them as slaves, and sell them South to toil as plantation property. The abolitionist Timothy is horrified by these traders in human flesh.

    Amy says: "A Solid Sequel to Gods of Gotham"
    "It's just getting better!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Seven for a Secret rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Very highs up in the mystery field. In the top 10 certainly.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I love the Wilde brothers. Tim and Val are both multifaceted and complex characters. I'm a fan of the BBC America series Copper, and it is of a similar flavor. New York City before the Civil War is a fascinating place and this book opens a window onto Northern views of slavery and the South.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Any time Tim and Val are together.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    I've no idea.


    Any additional comments?

    The is the second book featuring these characters. I'd highly recommend you listen to Gods of Gotham first. I really hope the author is hard at work on the next installment.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Winter People: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Jennifer McMahon
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell, Kathe Mazur
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (161)
    Performance
    (147)
    Story
    (149)

    West Hall, Vermont, has always been a town of strange disappearances and old legends. The most mysterious is that of Sara Harrison Shea, who, in 1908, was found dead in the field behind her house just months after the tragic death of her daughter, Gertie. Now, in present day, 19-year-old Ruthie lives in Sara's farmhouse with her mother, Alice, and her younger sister, Fawn. Alice has always insisted that they live off the grid, a decision that suddenly proves perilous when Ruthie wakes up one morning to find that Alice has vanished without a trace. Searching for clues, she is startled to find a copy of Sara Harrison Shea's diary....

    Susie says: "Atmospheric, Haunting, and Addictive"
    "A haunting story without a ghost"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Winter People again? Why?

    Probably. It's a good, solid story with excellent narration.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The narrators. Both did an excellent job with multiple characters and kept the pacing perfect. There is such pain and suffering in the story and it comes through in the narration.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Sara's love for Gertie broke my heart.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes.


    Any additional comments?

    The only book I can compare this too is Drowning Ruth. Both were very compelling and moving.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Séance

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By John Harwood
    • Narrated By Fiona Hardingham, Simon Vance, Katherine Kellgren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (14)

    Constance Langton grows up in a household marked by death, her father distant, her mother in perpetual mourning for Constance's sister, the child she lost. Desperate to coax her mother back to health, Constance takes her to a séance; perhaps she will find comfort from beyond the grave. But the meeting has tragic consequences. Constance is left alone, her only legacy a mysterious bequest that will blight her life. So begins this brilliant and gripping novel, a dark mystery set in late-Victorian England.

    Karen says: "Great narration lifts up an average story"
    "Great narration lifts up an average story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Séance the most enjoyable?

    All three narrators were very good. They easily moved between characters and had excellent pacing.


    Would you be willing to try another book from John Harwood? Why or why not?

    I'm not sure. The plot was complicated, but not difficult to predict.


    What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

    All three are consummate professionals.


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

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    Very predictable gothic romance.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Gods of Gotham

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Lyndsay Faye
    • Narrated By Steven Boyer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (474)
    Performance
    (406)
    Story
    (411)

    It is 1845. New York City forms its first police force. The great potato famine hits Ireland. These two seemingly disparate events will change New York City. Forever.... Timothy Wilde tends bar near the Exchange, fantasizing about the day he has enough money to win the girl of his dreams. But when his dreams literally incinerate in a fire devastating downtown Manhattan, he finds himself disfigured, unemployed, and homeless. His older brother obtains Timothy a job in the newly minted NYPD, but he is highly skeptical of this new "police force".

    Joanne says: "A wonderful book"
    "Top Notch!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Gods of Gotham in three words, what would they be?

    Compelling. Immersive. Literary.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Yes. There were quite a few balls in the air, expertly managed by the author. It's very immersive, I really felt the sense of Victorian New York City.


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

    What a marvelous reader! Expertly voiced men, women and children (rare to find a narrator who can do all three) in a variety of accents. He has a wonderful, intimate voice. Very easy to connect with.


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

    Neither, but there is some lovely prose in this book. It's so much more than a mystery. Timothy Wilde is a character I have come to care about and I can't wait for more!


    Any additional comments?

    I've been on a Victorian kick lately and this is far and away the best book I've listened to in this genre. I can't recommend it highly enough.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Starter House: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Sonja Condit
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (45)
    Performance
    (43)
    Story
    (43)

    Her dream home is about to become a house of nightmares... From the moment Lacey glimpses the dusty-rose colonial cottage with its angled dormer windows and quaint wooden shutters, she knows she's found her dream house. Walking through its cozy rooms, the expectant mother can see her future children sitting on the round bottom step of the house's beautifully carved staircase, and she imagines them playing beneath the giant maple tree in the warm South Carolina sun.

    Virginia says: "Very Very Very Boring"
    "Finally.....a great ghost story!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Starter House the most enjoyable?

    The narrator was excellent. The story was well paced, suspenseful and the characters were not stupid. Too often in ghost stories the characters drive me nuts because they can't accept or understand what's going on. These people were smart.


    What could Sonja Condit have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Ooh. I really enjoyed it as it was. I'd love to see another book from her in the same genre.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I don't think I have a favorite scene. Probably the interrupted game of Chutes & Ladders.


    If you could take any character from Starter House out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Lacy. She was smart and compassionate.


    Any additional comments?

    More please, Ms. Condit!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Iron Lake: Cork O'Connor, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By William Kent Krueger
    • Narrated By David Chandler
    Overall
    (589)
    Performance
    (478)
    Story
    (481)

    Anthony Award-winning author William Kent Krueger crafts this riveting tale about a small Minnesota town’s ex-sheriff who is having trouble retiring his badge. Cork O’Connor loses his job after being blamed for a tragedy on the local Anishinaabe Indian reservation. But he must set aside his personal demons when a young boy goes missing on the same day a judge commits suicide—and no one but O’Connor suspects foul play.

    Mel says: "Who came first - Wm Krueger or CJ Box ???"
    "Wake Me When it's Over"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about Iron Lake?

    I read a review that compared it to the Longmire novels by Craig Johnson. Wow, was that off base. It was bland. The characters were very one dimensional. The narration very flat. I've been spoiled lately by listening to some really wonderful narrators.


    Would you ever listen to anything by William Kent Krueger again?

    Oh, who knows?


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Very flat delivery.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Iron Lake?

    None. I would have added more character development.


    Any additional comments?

    Just listen to the Longmire stuff. You'll be glad you did.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Under the Eagle

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Simon Scarrow
    • Narrated By David Thorpe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (43)
    Performance
    (41)
    Story
    (42)

    The first novel in Simon Scarrow's bestselling Roman series. It is 42 AD, and Quintus Licinius Cato has just arrived in Germany as a new recruit to the Second Legion, the toughest in the Roman army. If adjusting to the rigours of military life isn't difficult enough for the bookish young man, he also has to contend with the disgust of his colleagues when, because of his imperial connections, he is appointed a rank above them.

    Karen says: "Roman Army? Where?"
    "Roman Army? Where?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about Under the Eagle?

    It was very generic. There are long stretches where you'd be hard pressed to remember its about the Roman Army.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry. He never disappoints.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of David Thorpe?

    I have a well documented audio crush on Ray Porter, so I'd go with him.


    What character would you cut from Under the Eagle?

    None of them. It was an adequate story. Poorly narrated--- his Roman soldiers were overdone caracitures of English thugs. So bad they became almost comical.


    Any additional comments?

    I was looking for something more authentic and more about the army, and the esprit de corps. This was a tedious "mystery" with such poorly fleshed out characters there wasn't anyone to like.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Eyes to See: The Jeremiah Hunt Chronicle, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Joseph Nassise
    • Narrated By Anthony Bowden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (215)
    Performance
    (196)
    Story
    (200)

    In an urban fantasy that charts daring new territory in the field, Jeremiah Hunt has been broken by a malevolent force that has taken his young daughter and everything else of value in his life: his marriage, his career, his reputation. Desperate to reclaim what he has lost, Hunt finally turns to the supernatural for justice.

    Lisa says: "superb"
    "Middle of the Road"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Probably not. It's not the worst of the supernatural fiction out there, but it's not near the top either.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Predictable.


    What three words best describe Anthony Bowden’s performance?

    Sufficient. Average. Acceptable.


    Could you see Eyes to See being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    Yes, I could see it being a tv series. No idea who'd play Jeremiah. There really isn't enough detail in the book to get a feel for what he'd look like.


    Any additional comments?

    This book tries very hard to mine the vein of writing that gave up Harry Dresden, Felix Castor, and Joh Taylor. But it misses. The characters are very one dimensional, the plot pretty thin and the conclusion very predictable. The narrator does the best he can, trying to breathe some life and humor into the story, but it still falls flat.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • True Grit

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Charles Portis
    • Narrated By Donna Tartt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1720)
    Performance
    (904)
    Story
    (912)

    Mattie Ross, a 14-year-old girl from Dardanelle, Arkansas, sets out to avenge her Daddy who was shot to death by a no-good outlaw. Mattie convinces one-eyed "Rooster" Cogburn, the meanest U.S. marshal in the land, to ride along with her. In True Grit, we have a true American classic, as young Mattie, as vital as she is innocent, outdickers and outmaneuvers the hard-bitten men of the trail in a legend that will last through the ages.

    Tommygaus says: "So worth it!"
    "Outstanding!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up True Grit in three words, what would they be?

    Hilarious, captivating, charming.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The language! It's so quirky and entertaining. It puts me in mind of the dialogue of "O Brother, Where Art Thou".


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

    I had no idea she was an audio book performer. She is such talented and literary writer, to hear her do a pitch perfect Arkansas accent is a huge revelation. She was perfect. Other reviews have mentioned being bothered by the sounds of her occasionally swallowing. To me, it was perfect. I kinda imagined I was sitting in Mattie's parlor, listening to her tell me the story. Seems natural that she'd stop and swallow, maybe some nice hot tea. It's a charming image.


    If you could rename True Grit, what would you call it?

    How could anyone beat that title?


    Any additional comments?

    Absolutely first rate!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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