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Russell

I love books and animals.I enjoy all sorts of genres, anything from history to supernatural.

Member Since 2008

229
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 96 reviews
  • 197 ratings
  • 648 titles in library
  • 58 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
30

  • The Darkest Evening of the Year

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Dean Koontz
    • Narrated By Kirsten Kairos
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1047)
    Performance
    (193)
    Story
    (197)

    Amy Redwing has dedicated her life to the Southern California organization she founded to rescue abandoned and endangered golden retrievers. Among dog lovers, she's a legend for the risks she'll take to save an animal from abuse. Among her friends, Amy's heedless devotion is often cause for concern. To widower Brian McCarthy, whose commitment she can't allow herself to return, Amy's behavior is far more puzzling and hides a shattering secret.

    Fred says: "Dean's got his groove back"
    "Wonderful story"
    Overall

    This book is one of my new favorite Dean Koontz novels.

    The narrator did a fantastic job, one of the best narration jobs I've heard.

    Dean does an excellent job of weaving a fantastic tale with characters keeps you entertained and makes you want to countinue to listen in intrest.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Dinner: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Herman Koch, Sam Garrett (translator)
    • Narrated By Clive Mantle
    Overall
    (986)
    Performance
    (867)
    Story
    (874)

    It's a summer's evening in Amsterdam, and two couples meet at a fashionable restaurant for dinner. Between mouthfuls of food and over the polite scrapings of cutlery, the conversation remains a gentle hum of polite discourse - the banality of work, the triviality of the holidays. But behind the empty words, terrible things need to be said, and with every forced smile and every new course, the knives are being sharpened. Each couple has a 15-year-old son. The two boys are united by their accountability for a single horrific act; an act that has triggered a police investigation and shattered the comfortable, insulated worlds of their families.

    Jane says: "Dining at its most distubing"
    "Interesting concept, yet a miss for me"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was an interesting book, however a few things held it back in my opinion.

    The best aspect:
    -I enjoyed the unreliable narrator, this gave the first person point-of-view credibility. This also gave the main character Paul, credibility.
    -The author does a good job of giving the reader details of the world and it's characters. The character fixates on details that create interesting scenes in our imaginations.
    -The narrator did a great job reading this book. I enjoyed his voices, accent, and inflections.

    The worst aspect:
    -We slowly see this family unravel, too slowly. The entire book literally takes place during one dinner. There are flashback to feed us information, but the constraint of one evening is tedious.
    -A little confusing. Even though the entire book is essentially this one evening, I found myself lost in the timeline with all the flashbacks.

    Overall, if you want to try something different, read this. It is an interesting book, there are great descriptions and dialogue. However, if you are like me, you might find yourself annoyed with the tedious aspect of spending nearly nine hours with this family during this meal. Although, I think the author did this intentionally to create restlessness in the reader so we understand the main characters feelings.

    I have seen many reviews comparing this to Gillian Flynn's work of Gone Girl, I do not see it. The pacing and development of Gone Girl was much faster and interesting than this book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • L.A. Requiem

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Robert Crais
    • Narrated By Ron McLarty
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (523)
    Performance
    (439)
    Story
    (439)

    Edgar Award nominee Robert Crais’ L.A. Requiem is a gritty, harrowing look into the minds of a serial killer and the men determined to stop him. Elvis Cole and former cop Joe Pike have been partners in a detective agency for 12 years. After an ex-girlfriend of Pike’s disappears, the girl’s father asks them to help the police with the search. When the missing persons case turns into a hunt for a killer who has been stalking victims in Los Angeles, Cole and Pike find themselves battling both a hostile police department and a madman.

    David says: "Equal to Bosch and Davenport"
    "Better than I anticipated"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I listened to this book with no expectations. It was a random buy where I wanted to try something new from an author I haven't listened to before.

    Wow, did I luck out! This was one of the best audiobooks I have ever listened too! I was unaware until mid through the book that this is the 8th book in a series. Most of the time you cannot start a book series part way through without it being confusing. However, the author does a great job of including all needed details and not leaving you confused.

    The story itself is a PI murder mystery and felt very much like watching a Noir style PI film. The pace of the story isn't fast, but like a Noir film feels interesting and almost artistic in the way it bends.

    The characters were intriguing and left me wanting more (in a good way). The way you feel a sentimental attachment to good characters.

    The narrator does a great job I have no complaints, he was the perfect narrator for this book and all its characters.

    Overall, if you aren't familiar with this book series or author and want to try this book. Go for it, the story was great, the narrator fabulous, and even though the storyline didnt feel fast paced the book as a whole felt like a fast read.
    This book can be read as a stand-alone novel as well.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Historian

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Kostova
    • Narrated By Joanne Whalley, Dennis Boutsikaris, Rosalyn Landor, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2820)
    Performance
    (1170)
    Story
    (1183)

    Late one night, exploring her father's library, a young woman finds an ancient book and a cache of yellowing letters. The letters are all addressed to "My dear and unfortunate successor", and they plunge her into a world she never dreamed of: a labyrinth where the secrets of her father's past and her mother's mysterious fate connect to an inconceivable evil hidden in the depths of history.

    Branden says: "Phenomenallly detailed..."
    "Very Long"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a very long and detailed novel.

    The plot deals with the search for Dracula. I love vampire stories but this felt stale and old. It follows a few story lines that are broken up by the different narrators. This novel is VERY detailed. I lost myself a few times in the descriptions.

    The narrations were good. If it wasn't for the changes in narrators I don't think I would have finished the book.

    Overall, this book was not for me. It was too long and felt as though it dragged. The narration was good, not spectacular.

    If I were to do this over again, I would have bought the abridged version instead.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Good House

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Tananarive Due
    • Narrated By Robin Miles
    Overall
    (1196)
    Performance
    (610)
    Story
    (604)

    Tananarive Due, author of The Living Blood won the American Book Award and is praised as Stephen King's equal by Publishers Weekly. In The Good House, Due sets a story of ancient powers and modern retribution in a small Pacific Northwest town. When a young woman returns to her grandmother's empty mansion, she is pitted against demonic forces that have poisoned her family for generations.

    Rebecca says: "FABULOUS!"
    "Different and great"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a great book. Its part mystery and part supernatural.
    It deals with elements of voodoo, which I am unfamiliar with and made it very interesting.
    Even though this story talks about voodoo its not scary book, only a little spooky.

    The story did drag a little in a few places, however since its 20 plus hours its too be expected. Even though its a long book it has a good pace and the author does a good job of introducing new elements that keep the story moving.
    My only complaint about this book is the ending- I still don't understand what the ending means.

    The narrator did a good job. She was very convincing and was fun to listen to.

    Overall, this is a good book. The story is long and has a solid plot with a great narration. Even though it is 20 plus hours, it goes by fast. The only negeative aspects of this book are the ending and a few slow spots in the story.

    Try it out for something interesting and different.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Fistful of Collars: A Chet and Bernie Mystery, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Spencer Quinn
    • Narrated By Jim Frangione
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (399)
    Performance
    (346)
    Story
    (346)

    Hoping to bring some Tinseltown money to the Valley, the mayor lures a movie studio to town to shoot their next production, a big-budget Western in the classic tradition. The star is none other than ruggedly handsome—and notoriously badly behaved—Thad Perry. When the mayor decides that someone needs to keep an eye on Thad so that he doesn’t get into too much trouble, Bernie and Chet are handpicked for the job. The money is good but something smells fishy....

    Doreen says: "I love Chet!"
    "Chet and Bernie do it again!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I LOVE the Chet and Bernie books.

    It is such a breath of fresh air to read these novels from the point of view of a dog.

    The story line in this novel was good- not great. It felt as though it lacked a little something to really pop, but it was good enough for me to give the story 4 out of 5.
    The pace of the novel was a little slower than the previous novels, but it was still good enough for me to give 4 out of 5 for story.

    The narrator is amazing! He truly captures the spirit of Chet when he narrates. He really makes the dog point of view believable.

    Overall, if you enjoyed the previous Chet and Bernie books, you should also enjoy this. Keep in mind that the story isn't quite as good as the others, but it is totally worth the listen to. The narrator - 5 out of 5 he is absolutely excellent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Broken Harbor: Dublin Murder Squad, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Tana French
    • Narrated By Stephen Hogan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2463)
    Performance
    (2106)
    Story
    (2094)

    In Broken Harbor, all but one member of the Spain family lies dead, and it’s up to Mick “Scorcher” Kennedy to find out why. Mick must piece together why their house is full of cameras pointed at holes in the walls and how a nighttime intruder bypassed all the locks. Meanwhile, the town of Broken Harbor holds something else for Mick: disturbing memories of a childhood summer gone terribly wrong.

    Amazon Customer says: "Best in the Series"
    "Another great one!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you enjoyed the other novels by Tana French, you will enjoy this one.

    If you haven't read the other novels by Tana French, I highly recommend them. However, in order to read this book you don't have to.

    Tana is very descriptive and knows how to keep the reader interested in the story.
    The case the main character is working on in this book is very intriguing and realistic. The characters become very personal and familiar, very quickly.
    Tana has a writing style that seamless makes the story meanders from the police case- to the life of the detective, it just keeps you hooked.

    The narrator does a great job. These novels are placed in Ireland; therefore the narrator has an Irish accent. He is very easy to understand and makes each character come to life.

    Overall, if you enjoyed the previous Tana French novels, this is a must.
    If you are new to her works, you might want to go back and try the others first.
    The story line is interesting and the pace of the book is slow so you can keep up, but not too slow.
    The narrator is easy to understand and does a great job of narrating.
    I definitely recommend this book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Rook: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Daniel O'Malley
    • Narrated By Susan Duerden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1993)
    Performance
    (1809)
    Story
    (1809)

    Myfanwy Thomas awakes in a London park surrounded by dead bodies. With her memory gone, her only hope of survival is to trust the instructions left in her pocket by her former self. She quickly learns that she is a Rook, a high-level operative in a secret agency that protects the world from supernatural threats. But there is a mole inside the organization - and this person wants her dead.

    Ethan M. says: "Harry Dresden meets English bureaucracy"
    "Doctor Who meets the X-Men"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I found this novel interesting. It reminded me of a cross between Doctor Who, X-men, and the Dresden Files. Therefore if you do not like any of these three things you will most likely not like the book. However, if you enjoy any of those three things you will most likely love the book.

    The novel takes place in England and the narrator has a British accent. She is very easy to understand though, and does a great job. A story line is essentially a woman who wakes up not knowing who, or what she is and her adaptation to her old life that she does not remember.

    The story loops around a bit but it is easy to follow once you understand who and what the characters are. The story is a little slow at first but it keeps you wondering what she will find out next and involved the entire time.

    What I enjoyed most about this book is that it had a different direction than other supernatural books I've read before.

    Overall, if you enjoy Doctor Who, X-men, or the Dresden Files you will most likely enjoy this book. The narrator does a good job and is easy to understand with her accent. This book is well worth a listen, if your up for something a little bit differrent.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • One for the Money: A Stephanie Plum Novel, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Janet Evanovich
    • Narrated By C. J. Critt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2143)
    Performance
    (1867)
    Story
    (1867)

    You’ve lost your job as a department store lingerie buyer, your car’s been repossessed, and most of your furniture and small appliances have been sold off to pay last month’s rent. Now the rent is due again. And you live in New Jersey. What do you do? If you’re Stephanie Plum, you become a bounty hunter. But not just a nickel-and-dime bounty hunter; you go after the big money. That means a cop gone bad. And not just any cop. She goes after Joe Morelli, a disgraced former vice cop who is also the man that took her virginity....

    Burns says: "Liked the story but not the narrator"
    "I see the appeal"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I decided to read this book because I know a number of people that love the Stephanie Plum series. After listening to this book I understand why people enjoy the series but it did not do it for me.
    The main character seems to cutesy while trying to be a bad ass, but that might take some getting use to. I didn't find the characters or situations credible enough to peak my interest but again, it is only a book. The plot line felt a little stagnent throughout most of the book but the ending was predictable with an unpredictable foe.
    The narrator did an excellent job with the New Jersey accent, I would listen to more of her narrations.
    Overall, if you have been meaning to try the Stephanie Plum series go for it, it wasn't my favorite but it was not the worst by any means. It did not appeal to my taste but I have not ruled out trying the next book since I see the potential. If anything it is a quick read for entertainment. There is a reason there are about 18 books in the series.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Woman in White

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Wilkie Collins
    • Narrated By Roger Rees, Rosalyn Landor, John Lee, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (319)
    Performance
    (245)
    Story
    (249)

    Secrets, mistaken identities, surprise revelations, amnesia, locked rooms and locked asylums, and an unorthodox villain made this mystery thriller an instant success when it first appeared in 1860, and it has continued to enthrall ever since. From the hero's foreboding before his arrival at Limmeridge House to the nefarious plot concerning the beautiful Laura, the breathtaking tension of Collins's narrative created a new literary genre of suspense fiction, which profoundly shaped the course of English popular writing.

    JGrace says: "Another multi-cast winner"
    "Great old novel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a great novel if someone enjoys classic novels like Charles Dickens or Oscar Wilde. The author did a fantastic job of creating an entire world with interesting characters that keep you intrugued. It is a subtle mystery, not too shocking but interesting enough.
    The structure of the novel itself is also interesting. It is segmented into character testimonies as it progresses, its different and keeps it from going stale since it is such a long read.
    The narration is fantastic. There are several narrators that narrate for each individual testimony.
    Overall, if you are a fan of classic novels like Charles Dickens or Oscar Wilde then you will most likely enjoy this novel. It is a very long so make sure you really like classic novels before commiting to this novel because it can seem a bit slow at times.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: The Millennium Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Stieg Larsson
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (23434)
    Performance
    (10043)
    Story
    (10116)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: How do you one-up a book that’s already a global literary phenomenon? Hire Simon Vance to (flawlessly) interpret the loves, lives, and murders of Sweden’s cold and secret-filled world. A spellbinding amalgam of murder mystery, family saga, love story, and financial intrigue. It's about the disappearance 40 years ago of Harriet Vanger, a young scion of one of the wealthiest families in Sweden.

    Pamela Murphy says: "COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN"
    "Not the best- yet not the worst by any means..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I expected more out of this book because I know a lot of people that have read it and loved it.
    That was a mistake, my expectations were set too high which the book could not deliver.

    It is an engaging mystery/thriller with shocking plot twists and intruging/unique characters. This is a Swedish book so foreign policies/politics are discussed but it is easy to follow and does not drone on.

    I would recommend this book if a person does the following:
    If you are going to read this-
    1. Do not see the movie first. This will make the important parts of the book redundant and dull when you do read the book.
    2. Do not set any expectations. This is a good book but even good books can only be so good.
    I did both and it was a huge let down.

    Just read the book with no expectations or knowledge of the plot and you will probably enjoy it if you like mystery/thriller type of books.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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