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Lene

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Member Since 2004

ratings
100
REVIEWS
10
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
18

  • Inferno: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Dan Brown
    • Narrated By Paul Michael
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9809)
    Performance
    (8895)
    Story
    (8968)

    In the heart of Italy, Harvard professor of symbology, Robert Langdon, is drawn into a harrowing world centered on one of history’s most enduring and mysterious literary masterpieces: Dante’s Inferno. Against this backdrop, Langdon battles a chilling adversary and grapples with an ingenious riddle that pulls him into a landscape of classic art, secret passageways, and futuristic science. Drawing from Dante’s dark epic poem, Langdon races to find answers and decide whom to trust...before the world is irrevocably altered.

    Livia says: "Formulaic and Hard to Finish...."
    "Terrible narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The narrator.


    If you’ve listened to books by Dan Brown before, how does this one compare?

    Dan Brown is a terrific storyteller, but not a great writer. His books are great rides that also make me look up information about art - good combination. If you don't expect more than that, you're in for a good time.


    How could the performance have been better?

    The narrator was so terrible I returned the book after only reading a quarter of it. Definitely better read with your eyes than your ears.


    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Age of Miracles: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Karen Thompson Walker
    • Narrated By Emily Janice Card
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (455)
    Performance
    (403)
    Story
    (399)

    On a seemingly ordinary Saturday in a California suburb, Julia and her family awake to discover, along with the rest of the world, that the rotation of the earth has suddenly begun to slow. The days and nights grow longer and longer, gravity is affected, the environment is thrown into disarray. Yet as she struggles to navigate an ever-shifting landscape, Julia is also coping with the normal disasters of everyday life.

    Karen says: "Not sure I can measure up..."
    "Unrelenting misery and gloom"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I like a dystopian novel as much as the next person and this book had a good idea. Unfortunately, the author seemed to have gotten so caught up in the theme that there's no break from the misery. Everything awful that can possibly happen to the 11-year-old protagonist does. It reaches a point where you just want to curl up around her to protect her from the next blow. On top of that, whoever edited this should have paid attention to the continuity errors, excessive use of simile and reined in the foreshadowing (note: foreshadowing can be a useful tool when building tension. When it is used in every single scene in the first quarter of the book, it loses impact). The narrator was excellent, though - she effectively heightened the themes and moods as a good narrator should. The only problem was that this made the whole exercise much more depressing and sad than it already was. And that's saying something. If you want dystopia, read the The Hunger Games instead. Or better yet, The Handmaid's Tale.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Selection: The Selection Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Kiera Cass
    • Narrated By Amy Rubinate
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1253)
    Performance
    (1136)
    Story
    (1146)

    For 35 girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime: the opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth... to be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels... to live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon. But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her, and leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want.

    Shannon says: "You might want to wait... if you hate cliffhangers"
    "Terrible narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The story itself is serviceable, but two-dimensional. The editor should've have demanded another rewrite - would have made it a better book. Still, would be an OK romp as a read if not for the narrator. Absolutely terrible - every sentence is pronounced in the same rhythm. It's mechanical and distracting. I lasted about 1.5 hours and then gave up. Too bad - wouldn't have minded seeing where the story went, but couldn't abide the narrator.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Swan Thieves

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Elizabeth Kostova
    • Narrated By Treat Williams, Anne Heche, Erin Cottrell, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (791)
    Performance
    (242)
    Story
    (245)

    Psychiatrist Andrew Marlowe has a perfectly ordered life--solitary, perhaps, but full of devotion to his profession and the painting hobby he loves. This order is destroyed when renowned painter Robert Oliver attacks a canvas in the National Gallery of Art and becomes his patient. In response, Marlowe finds himself going beyond his own legal and ethical boundaries to understand the secret that torments this genius, a journey that will lead him into the lives of the women closest to Robert Oliver.

    Sara says: "Such Potential Wasted"
    "Snore and shouldn't be"
    Overall

    I'm about done the first of three parts and don't know if I can go on. The Swan Thieves seem to have the same feel as The Historian and I think it's probably a better book that it's allowed to be with the chosen narrators. Every now and again, I catch prose that's elegant and has a beauty into which I'd love to disappear, but... WRONG narrators! I like Treat Williams as an actor, but his narration is terrible. Monotone, same intonation in every single sentence, no change for different characters in a conversation. Anne Heche isn't terrific, either. I simply can't finish. I'm really disappointed - I bought this the minute it was available and have saved it for a special listen. What a letdown.

    The one star is for the narrators - I'd give the book itself more, but it's hard to say how many more because the book itself disappears in the drone of Treat Williams' voice.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Feed: The Newsflesh Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Mira Grant
    • Narrated By Paula Christensen, Jesse Bernstein
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (919)
    Performance
    (718)
    Story
    (708)

    The year was 2014. We had cured cancer. We had beat the common cold. But in doing so we created something new, something terrible that no one could stop. The infection spread, virus blocks taking over bodies and minds with one, unstoppable command: FEED.

    susan says: "I laughed, I cried..."
    "Won over"
    Overall

    I wasn't too pleased with this in the beginning - the parents were so ridiculous and there was so much anger I was kind of turned off. But I decided to keep going and I'm glad I did. Sure, the book has its flaws, but I was won over. The narrator grew on me until she became George, the story with its mix of technology, journalism and horror really worked. It's a good listen if you're feeling geeky and I loved a late development I didn't expect. Immediately got the second in the series - the flaws ended up not mattering much and I couldn't wait to learn what happened next.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Silent in the Grave

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Deanna Raybourn
    • Narrated By Ellen Archer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (740)
    Performance
    (303)
    Story
    (302)

    Let the wicked be ashamed, and let them be silent in the grave. These ominous words, slashed from the pages of a book of Psalms, are the last threat that the darling of London society, Sir Edward Grey, receives from his killer. Before he can show them to Nicholas Brisbane, the private inquiry agent he has retained for his protection, Sir Edward collapses and dies at his London home, in the presence of his wife, Julia, and a roomful of dinner guests.

    Parusski says: "Happily surprised"
    "Pretty good book, bad narrator"
    Overall

    This is a pretty good historical suspese/romance with apparently fairly accurate depiction of life in the Victorian age. Unfortunately, the brightness of the story is dimmed by the narrator. Clearly not British, it's hard not to notice the lapses into American and/or the stilted supposed British accent - sometimes, it works, sometimes, it definitely doesn't. Also, the narrator has a tendency to read. In a very. Staccato. Way. which is infuriating and just about murdered my enjoyment of the book.

    Good enough that I'll keep an eye out for the sequeal, but only if it's read by someone else.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Break No Bones

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Kathy Reichs
    • Narrated By Dorothee Berryman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (476)
    Performance
    (129)
    Story
    (134)

    The inspiration for the hit Fox series Bones, Kathy Reichs explores another high-stakes crime from today's headlines, in a case that lands forensic anthropologist Tempe Brennan in the middle of a gruesome international scheme.

    Meridith says: "Unbearable Narrator"
    "I miss Michele Pawk"
    Overall

    I've been a huge Reichs fan since her first book and have thoroughly enjoyed the transition to reading by listening. Michele Pawk (previous narrator) did a phenomenal job bringing the subtlety and humour to life and made Tempe seem complicated, yet interesting and relatable. This new reader is not suited for the book. Her French is exquisite, but her Tempe is horrible. With such a prickly character, you need a reader that udnerstands Tempe and her universe and this one seemed very wrong for it - this Tempe was peevish, irritating and fickle and the narration brought out the flaws in the story (of which there weren't many, granted, but this reader made them seem blatant). The three stars could've been more, had I not been so annoyed by the narration.

    Bring back Michele Pawk!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Ruins

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Scott Smith
    • Narrated By Patrick Wilson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (561)
    Performance
    (94)
    Story
    (96)

    The Ruins follows two American couples enjoying a pleasant, lazy beach holiday together in Mexico. On an impulse, they go off with newfound friends in search of one of their group, the young German who, in pursuit of a girl, has headed for the remote Mayan ruins, site of a fabled archeological dig.

    Art says: "The Plant"
    "Almost Awful"
    Overall

    Boring, not scary, the action is drowned in too many words. It gets going a bit in the last quarter of the book, but that's too long to wait.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Thunderbird Falls: The Walker Papers, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By C.E. Murphy
    • Narrated By Gabra Zackman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (451)
    Performance
    (230)
    Story
    (225)

    For all the bodies she's encountering, you'd think beat cop Joanne Walker works in Homicide. But no, Joanne's a reluctant shaman who last saved mankind three months ago; surely she deserves more of a break! Yet, incredibly, "Armageddon, Take Two" is mere days away.

    Melissa says: "Thunderbird Falls"
    "Where's Christine Carroll"
    Overall

    Like Urban Shaman, this is a fun read with undertones of thoughtfulness. Unlike Urban Shaman, the narrator does nothing for the story (hence only 3 stars instead of 4). Christine Carroll (who read the first in the series) hit just the right mix of wry humour and emotion, whereas Gabra Zachman is entirely too laconic and urban-cynical and the story suffers because of it.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Fiery Cross

    • ABRIDGED (8 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Diana Gabaldon
    • Narrated By Geraldine James
    Overall
    (1047)
    Performance
    (300)
    Story
    (304)

    The Fiery Cross is Diana Gabaldon's fifth novel in her award-winning Outlander series, featuring 18th-century Scotsman Jamie Fraser and his 20th-century time-traveling wife, Claire Randall.

    Debra says: "Waiting for Davina"
    "Disappointed"
    Overall

    I loved the first three books in the Outlander series, but had trouble with this one. About two hours into the books, I was bored out of my skull and although the narrator is incredible with accents, I didn't like her. I get the sense that both author and narrator are technically good, but lack soul. Considering my previously fanatic love of Dianan Gabaldon, this was a huge disappointment.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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