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  • Grimspace: Sirantha Jax, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Ann Aguirre
    • Narrated By Suzanna Duff
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    As the carrier of a rare gene, Sirantha Jax has the ability to jump ships through grimspace - a talent which makes her a highly prized navigator for the Corp. Then a crash landing kills everyone on board, leaving Jax in a jail cell with no memory of the crash. But her fun's not over. A group of rogue fighters frees her...for a price: her help in overthrowing the established order.

    Suzannah says: "AARGH"
    "This book was horrible!"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    No one- ever.

    Would you ever listen to anything by Ann Aguirre again?

    I doubt it. There was just so much wrong with the writing, that I don't think Aguirre could correct it by more practice. The story itself is so convoluted that I had a hard time remembering what the original plot was (it's actually stated in the book, but don't listen to them, it's a lie). There seems to be three story arcs so distinct that I think it would have been better if they were separated into entire different books so that each could be fleshed out more. But it isn't, and as a result, the whole books feels rushed and there is no time to really get to know the world she tried to create. The world itself played no part in the story and the whole book could have just as well taken place on a spaceship (I actually thought it did, until they were "attacked").And then there's the characters. All of them are shallow and inconsistent. All of the friendships and relationship feel forced and contrived. For example, one character does nothing but insult people but Jax immediately likes her because she "can tell she's a good person and is just joking". (really? because it sounds like she's just a b-word) In fact, this happens a lot. Jaz has to explain everyone's personality because if you just went by how they talked, you'd think they were all the same. The "romance" doesn't feel real, either. I never feels the spark between them and it feels like they fall in love more because that's what they're supposed to do. The characters pop in and out as it is convenient and sometimes I completely forget a character exists until they pop in with a convenient explanation that helps save the day.But my biggest complain is that Jax sounded like a stereotypical TV show teenager who is only capable of being emo, angry, or annoying. The moments that were supposed to show us Jax's vulnerable side, just came off like a bored teenager that has nothing better to do than to complain about how horrible their life is (she does this at the weirdest times, too). When she was trying to play the hero, it came off annoying because she tried to be too modest as if to say "look, even though I have this magic power that lets me do this, I'm totally not a mary sue- I'm proving it, watch!"

    What didn’t you like about Suzanna Duff’s performance?

    Maybe it was partially due to the writing style in the book itself, but the way she portrayed the character was so annoying. All of the characters sounded exactly the same and her "male" voices were pretty laughable. I think she tried to do an accent here and there, but it didn't work.

    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    I really wanted to like this book, because romantic space operas available an audio are surprisingly hard to find, but no matter what I did, I couldn't like it. I think that it's only redeeming quality is that whenever Jax has to "jump", it makes me imagine her as a tiny mass relay (even though she's not the beacon herself, but still).

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Succubus Blues: Georgina Kincaid, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Richelle Mead
    • Narrated By Elisabeth Rodgers
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Succubus (n.) An alluring, shape-shifting demon who seduces and pleasures mortal men. Pathetic (adj.) A succubus with great shoes and no social life. See: Georgina Kincaid. When it comes to jobs in hell, being a succubus seems pretty glamorous. A girl can be anything she wants, the wardrobe is killer, and mortal men will do anything just for a touch. Granted, they often pay with their souls, but why get technical? But Seattle succubus Georgina Kincaid's life is far less exotic.

    Jessica says: "Another great paranormal series!"
    "Nothing Happens"
    What disappointed you about Succubus Blues?

    The whole story felt really aimless. The mystery wasn't very engaging and I kind of guessed who it was about halfway through. The whole book pretty much just felt like filler. It barely felt like paranormal story to me as pretty much everyone except the angel acted and conducted themselves like humans. Even Georgie felt human- as she only used the shapeshifting when it was convenient (and when she did, it never had anything to do with the plot and everything to do with "I didn't feel like talking to her"). I didn't care for all the different love interests, even the main one. It didn't feel like she really cared for any one of them because she jumped from one to another so easily. Her interactions with everyone felt forced and awkward a lot of the time and the book suffered from having too many characters. The whole thing just felt so thrown together like the author had just written whatever came to her head and didn't plot much out or edit. I found myself bored and walking away from it several times and come back thirty minutes later to find out I hadn't missed anything. In my opinion, don't waste your money or a credit.

    Would you ever listen to anything by Richelle Mead again?

    No. It's her whole writing style that I don't care for. Everything felt passive and I couldn't seem to get into the characters.

    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Elisabeth Rodgers?

    No, I think she did well. Though the narrators from the Chicagoland series are always wonderful to listen to and I would advocate putting them in any book.

    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Succubus Blues?

    All of the Seth Mortenson scenes, they were boring, and all of the bookstore scenes. So, basically 85% of the book.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Poison Study

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Maria V. Snyder
    • Narrated By Gabra Zackman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve. She'll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace, and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia. And so Yelena chooses to become a food taster.

    A says: "Fantasy, with a touch of romance."
    What would have made Poison Study better?

    The writing style of the book was so passive, it was really hard to get into the character. It felt really amateur or lazy in the way that the majority of the time, instead of letting us read exactly what was going on, the author just skims through it in shallow description. For instance, when one of the characters is harassing her, the writer just says "[Character] kept bothering me on a few of my runs" instead of putting us in the moment and letting us know how exactly she is being harassed and threatened. Never for a moment am I honestly afraid for her life (and neither is she, it seems). The twist about the poison was completely predictable by about halfway through the book. The timeline, was weird, too. It felt pieced together, like we were just flickering in and out of the character's life instead of hearing the whole story. Plus, the "sex" was ridiculously purple, the only description being how their souls meshed.

    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    The narrator wasn't completely horrible as there was proper inflection and everything, but her accents were terrible. Valek seemed to be the only British one and his accent was about as realistic as if I had tried. The only other accent seemed to be some sort of Eastern European accent (why?). This accent was the most inconsistent with Reyand and the witch sometimes getting and sometimes not. Also, since I assumed it was a Sitian accent, wouldn't all Sitian characters have it? Apparently not. Also, I know the character was only supposed to be 19, but the narrator made her feel really young sometimes.

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

    I was a little disappointed becuase it really had promise, but it just fell short.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Some Girls Bite: Chicagoland Vampires, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Chloe Neill
    • Narrated By Cynthia Holloway
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    They killed me. They healed me. They changed me. Sure, the life of a graduate student wasn't exactly glamorous, but it was mine. I was doing fine until Chicago's vampires announced their existence to the world---and then a rogue vampire attacked me. But he only got a sip before he was scared away by another bloodsucker...and this one decided that the best way to save my life was to make me the walking undead.

    Stephanie says: "GREAT"
    "A Fun Ride"
    What other book might you compare Some Girls Bite to and why?

    Hmm, I think maybe the Rachel Morgan books by Kim Harrison. It just seems to have that same feel, where you know the romance is there but its really about the fantasy world and the mystery du jour.

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

    The voice acting. I love how she distinguishes between each character. Especially Catcher. His voice just cracks me up.

    Any additional comments?

    This was a fun ride. It wasn't predictable as vampire series tend to be nowadays. It was new, cool, and just plain fun to listen to. I love how Ethan and her aren't magically in love with each other and how he acts like how a person in his position would act. His world doesn't instantly just become about her and hers about his. She still has other family and friends and other things going on. The author takes good care to break fantasy stereotypes (eg, how two love interests have to end up in bed by the end of the book).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Pleasure Unbound: Demonica, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Larissa Ione
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    She's a demon-slayer who hungers for sensual pleasure-but fears it will always be denied her. Until Tayla Mancuso lands in a hospital run by demons in disguise, and the head doctor, Eidolon, makes her body burn with unslakable desire. But to prove her ultimate loyalty to her peers, she must betray the surgeon who saved her life.

    Tanya says: "Very Impressed!!!"
    "Not the Deepest Storyline, But Entertaining"
    Which character – as performed by Cassandra Campbell – was your favorite?

    All of them. She did a pretty good job. It was a little hard to differentiate between the brothers, but overall, she is one of the better readers I've had the pleasure to listen to.

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

    Rule 34 Prevails. Bet you thought no one would ever try to make demon porn.

    Any additional comments?

    I enjoyed the book immensely. As I said before, it wasn't a very deep storyline, but it was juicy and the story got a little more fleshed out as it went. I loved that the author had spent so much time creating the world as well as the characters. Some romances focus only on interactions between the two main characters, however, the author did some great world-building. The sex is very graphic, though, and pretty frequent. I definitely wouldn't advise listening to this book somewhere in public. But it makes a great guilty pleasure. It was totally worth the discounted price I paid for it. I will definitely pick up the sequel, discounted or not.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Angels' Blood: Guild Hunter, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Nalini Singh
    • Narrated By Justine Eyre
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux knows she is the best - but she does not know if even she is good enough for this job. Hired by the dangerously beautiful archangel Raphael, a being so lethal that no mortal wants his attention, Elena knows failure is not an option---even if the task is impossible. Because this time, it's not a wayward vamp she has to track. It's an archangel gone bad.

    SIMARA says: "Too dark... Little romance"
    "Good, Not Remarkable"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Ok if you're bored.

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

    I realized that I like my stories like the early Anita Blake novels- that is, driven by action with the romance there, but on the side. And that was my expectation going in. However, I found that this was more post-"Narcissus in Chains" where romance was in the driver's seat and action seemed like an afterthought.

    The whole first half of the story seemed to be just Elena and Raphael's romance, which was well done, but left me thinking "you know, this whole delusional angel thing seems pretty important, so why has Elena done nothing but talk, hide, and almost have sex?" More importantly, though, I had a hard time believing that Elena was "the best there was" because aside from the opening scene and how Elena can smell vamps, she actually does very little until the second half. And she seems like she could use a little more wear-weariness and hardening. However, one thing I did enjoy was that the author creates a great world and there is a lot of depth to it. It seemed to take sooo much exposition, but it was very original.

    OVERALL, while the plot was original and interesting, it at times just felt like an excuse for Rafa and Ellie to be together. It was a fun ride, but you definitely felt the bumps along the way. I have already purchased the second book because I did like the story and I want to see if goes a little more smoothly the next time around.

    How could the performance have been better?

    I'm used to listening to LibriVox recordings, so at first I thought Eyre did a pretty good job, but as I got more used to hearing her voice, I realized that I had a serious problem with it. She seems too prissy and so the scenes where Elena needed to have a lot of attitude came of as corny and grating. It felt like Eyre isn't the type of person that naturally cusses much, so the curse words come out lacking conviction and sounding weird. I feel like the narrator was part of the reason why Elena didn't come off as b.a. as she was supposed to be. However, I loved her range of accents.

    Did Angels' Blood inspire you to do anything?

    Yes, it inspired me to go back to writing because I found myself craving something with a little more action and kick-butt-ery.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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