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Melissa

Austin, TX, United States

ratings
111
REVIEWS
18
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
4
HELPFUL VOTES
41

  • The Scottish Prisoner

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Diana Gabaldon
    • Narrated By Jeff Woodman, Rick Holmes
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (964)
    Performance
    (837)
    Story
    (845)

    Winner of the Quill Award and the Corine International Book Prize, Diana Gabaldon is the #1 New York Times best-selling author of the Outlander series. This fourth novel featuring popular character Lord John Grey is told both from Lord Grey’s perspective and from that of Jamie Fraser, the star of the Outlander series.

    Teahouse Fox says: "Lord John 'Quixote' rides again"
    "Wow"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have read all of Diana Gabaldon's books and have longed for another. This book is a prequel to Voyager. I didn't even wait until the download of the second part was completed before I started listening. I hurt myself listening to this until 2AM two nights in a row and have no regrets. If you love or even like John Gray you will love this book. Though Claire is not in this story, her absence is a character itself. Throughout there is this thread of longing. It makes me want to read Voyager again.

    14 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • The Dog Stars

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Peter Heller
    • Narrated By Mark Deakins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (851)
    Performance
    (754)
    Story
    (755)

    Hig survived the flu that killed everyone he knows. His wife is gone, his friends are dead, he lives in the hangar of a small abandoned airport with his dog, his only neighbor a gun-toting misanthrope. In his 1956 Cessna, Hig flies the perimeter of the airfield or sneaks off to the mountains to fish and to pretend that things are the way they used to be. But when a random transmission somehow beams through his radio, the voice ignites a hope deep inside him that a better life exists beyond the airport.

    Melinda says: "Absolutely Stellar!"
    "Sticks with you"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It's easy to believe a man would be equally desperate and devastated by survival in a post apocalyptic world. Heller wrote the characters as I believe they would be in the same scenario. At times the story is touching and others you're faced with the potential reality of a world gone mad.
    I can only hope in the event of the nightmare scenario where the Earth is wiped clean to begin again I would act as Hig did. His internal conflict with the world he was living felt true and given the decisions he was forced to make I hope I would have the strength to act as he did.
    The most poignant thing about the story is that I was left feeling like the main character was a friend. He speaks of instinct and heartache and philosophy and there's truth to what he says. I would discuss the same topics with my friends and wonder where I'd heard them as if they were in my heart instead of in my mind.
    I have recommended this to friends and who don't care for the genre. You either like the genre or you don't, I suppose. This is more than that though. This is more literary. It isn't McCarthy's, The Road, but that's a good thing. It's kinder and gentler and gives you hope for the best what's left of the world has to offer.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • First Grave on the Right: Charley Davidson, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Darynda Jones
    • Narrated By Lorelei King
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2948)
    Performance
    (2340)
    Story
    (2329)

    A smashing, award-winning debut novel that introduces Charley Davidson: part-time private investigator and full-time Grim Reaper Charley sees dead people. That’s right, she sees dead people. And it’s her job to convince them to “go into the light.” But when these very dead people have died under less than ideal circumstances (i.e. murder), sometimes they want Charley to bring the bad guys to justice.

    Lulu says: "Very, Very Funny Book, Suffered from My Bad Timing"
    "Similar to Stephanie Plum?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    While I see the resemblance Stephanie Plum is a fraction of Charley Davidson and no where near as funny. This book made me laugh out loud and the characters were all well developed and well written. It's a great story and Lorelei King is a great narrator. I mean g.r.e.a.t. narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Sara Gran
    • Narrated By Carol Monda
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (218)
    Performance
    (176)
    Story
    (173)

    Claire DeWitt is not your average private investigator. She has brilliant skills of deduction and is an ace at discovering evidence. But Claire also uses her dreams, omens, and mind-expanding herbs to help her solve mysteries, and relies on Détection—the only book published by the great and mysterious French detective Jacques Silette before his death.

    Aryn says: "Amazing"
    "good start"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Claire DeWitt is like a closer-to-real-life Stephanie Plum (Janet Evanovich). Considering the popularity of the Stephanie Plum series the lack of superficial characteristics may keep her from becoming famous.
    The grit of the characters is what I liked best. There was some real honesty in the story. I've spent time in New Orleans before and after Katrina and she hit it. There were areas that were completely rebuilt in 6 months and others that are probably still abandoned in a pile of black mold infested rubble.
    Sara Gran is a great writer. I really look forward to the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Winds of War

    • UNABRIDGED (45 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Herman Wouk
    • Narrated By Kevin Pariseau
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2403)
    Performance
    (2025)
    Story
    (2028)

    Herman Wouk's sweeping epic of World War II stands as the crowning achievement of one of America's most celebrated storytellers. Like no other books about the war, Wouk's spellbinding narrative captures the tide of global events - and all the drama, romance, heroism, and tragedy of World War II - as it immerses us in the lives of a single American family drawn into the very center of the war's maelstrom.

    Arken says: "Great storytelling"
    "Wow, this is one intense read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am so amazed by Wouk's ability to write a GOOD story. It was so very complete and well structured. The story flowed so very easily. I am really, very impressed. This book takes a lot of time, but if a book keeps me up late, hurting myself to find a stopping place so I can sleep, it gets 5 stars. Well done.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Dangerous Fortune

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By Michael Page
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2166)
    Performance
    (895)
    Story
    (917)

    In 1866 tragedy strikes at the exclusive Windfield School when a mysterious accident takes the life of a student. Among the student's circle of friends are Hugh Pilaster; Hugh's older cousin Edward, dissolute heir to the Pilaster banking fortune; and Micky Miranda, the handsome son of a brutal South American oligarchy. The death and its aftermath begin the spiraling circle of treachery that will span three decades and entwine many lives.

    Rebecca says: "Predictable Fun"
    "I see a pattern"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have read a lot of Ken Follett's books and some are really good. Fall of Giants is probably on my top 10, but he has developed characters that he uses in every story. He has strong willed women and misunderstood geniuses. There are things larger than the two main characters and their unrequited love at play. There is manipulation but through it all, the good guys develop more and more character while the bad guys degenerate.
    If you like Ken Follett this is what you should expect. If you've never read anything of his, start with his larger books. They were worth every minute I stayed up late, hurting myself trying to finish them.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Ex-Heroes

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Peter Clines
    • Narrated By Jay Snyder, Khristine Hvam
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2479)
    Performance
    (2211)
    Story
    (2221)

    Stealth. Gorgon. Regenerator. Cerberus. Zzzap. The Mighty Dragon. They were heroes. Vigilantes. Crusaders for justice, using their superhuman abilites to make Los Angeles a better place. Then the plague of living death spread around the globe. Despite the best efforts of the superheroes, the police, and the military, the hungry corpses rose up and overwhelmed the country. The population was decimated, heroes fell, and the city of angels was left a desolate zombie wasteland like so many others.

    Don says: "A great read if you like heroes or zombies!"
    "Ohhh puhlease"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I finished the book which is the only reason the story got one story. By the end it just seemed like every other zombie story with a few dropped names and pop-references. It times itself by labeling the cameo zombies. The performance is the only thing that kept this thing going. Honestly, it was done really well an it was produced really well. This has all the markers of a series. I really hope this is it. But then again, it doesn't matter because I won't read anything else by this author.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • One Second After

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By William R. Forstchen
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4677)
    Performance
    (2719)
    Story
    (2741)

    Already cited on the floor of Congress and discussed in the corridors of the Pentagon as a book all Americans should read, One Second After is the story of a war scenario that could become all too terrifyingly real. Based upon a real weapon - the Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP) - which may already be in the hands of our enemies, it is a truly realistic look at the awesome power of a weapon that can destroy the entire United States.

    Andy Spooner says: "A page-turner, no doubt, but..."
    "Typical post apocolyptic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have a special place in my heart for post apocalyptic literature. The first third of this book was littered with typical building blocks for plot development. His editor should have known better, but if his editor was Glenn Beck it's understandable he would permit that sophomoric writing style. Sure, drop plot hints, but be subtle about it.
    In the end? I did enjoy it. I felt like it was survivalist propaganda at points but it also made me think about stocking up my pantry and making sure I have enough medication on hand to survive a bit longer.
    In that it succeeded. I enjoyed the story. There wasn't a lot pretty about it. There are points that are terrifying and obviously picked up a piece or two from Cormac McCarthy without his literary style.
    Was it worth the cost of admission? I bought it on sale, so sure.

    9 of 16 people found this review helpful
  • 1Q84

    • UNABRIDGED (46 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Haruki Murakami, Jay Rubin (translator), Philip Gabriel (translator)
    • Narrated By Allison Hiroto, Marc Vietor, Mark Boyett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3692)
    Performance
    (3215)
    Story
    (3187)

    The year is 1984 and the city is Tokyo.

    A young woman named Aomame follows a taxi driver's enigmatic suggestion and begins to notice puzzling discrepancies in the world around her. She has entered, she realizes, a parallel existence, which she calls 1Q84 - "Q" is for "question mark". A world that bears a question....

    Amanda says: "WOW, WOW, WOW."
    "And now for something completely different"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is a 46 hour investment. It is a juggernaut of a book. As an aspiring writer Murikami is an incredible writer. He has an ethereal quality with his words. I really enjoyed listening to the nuance and subtlety of the story. Honestly though there were some things I just didn't understand. There were connections that if you're not paying attention you'll miss but honestly I'm not sure how relevant they are. A deeper more introspective person than me can tie it all together but I'm not looking for deep literary insight. Some books I've reviewed have lost points for seeming like a high school English lit choice. I'm looking for a good story that will keep me attached until the end. This book did do that. It's worth the 46 hours it takes to finish it. I found myself isolating myself so I could finish it and thought it was good enough to buy my friend a copy for Christmas.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Windup Girl

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Paolo Bacigalupi
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3183)
    Performance
    (1604)
    Story
    (1612)

    Anderson Lake is a company man, AgriGen's Calorie Man in Thailand. Under cover as a factory manager, Anderson combs Bangkok's street markets in search of foodstuffs thought to be extinct, hoping to reap the bounty of history's lost calories. There, he encounters Emiko...Emiko is the Windup Girl, a strange and beautiful creature. One of the New People, Emiko is not human; instead, she is an engineered being, creche-grown and programmed to satisfy the decadent whims of a Kyoto businessman.

    Marius says: "Al Gore nightmare meets Blade Runner."
    "Takes a while to digest"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    When I was finished with the book, I was a little lost and simply ready to move on to the next book. After thinking on it for a few days while the next book disappointed me, I was really surprised by Bacigalupi's ability to create Earth after Pandora's gene box was opened. In an effort to recover from all we destroyed we were making it all worse. These characters had to push through the wilting effect of their climate, the impotence of surviving choices made by people stronger them, totally removed from the banality of their existence and survival of persistent and distant trauma alike. In my mind a book that makes you feel and think about the characters days after you've read it is truly brilliant. It's even better if you don't feel like you've been subjected to a high school literature class all over again.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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