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Kai

Bexley, OH, United States | Member Since 2008

ratings
16
REVIEWS
6
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
5

  • The Last Queen: A Novel of Juana La Loca

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By C. W. Gortner
    • Narrated By Marguerite Gavin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (87)
    Performance
    (42)
    Story
    (43)

    One of history's most enigmatic women tells the haunting, passionate story of her tumultuous life. Juana of Castile is just thirteen when she witnesses the fall of Moorish Granada and the uniting of the fractured kingdoms of Spain under her warrior parents, Isabel and Fernando. Intelligent, beautiful, and proud of her heritage, Juana rebels when she is chosen as a bride for the Hapsburg heir.

    Bonnie says: "This is a historical "Novel""
    "Interesting times profoundly unintersting heroine"
    Overall

    The novel "The Last Queen" is set in an important and action packed Era unfortunately the author has chosen to portray them through the eyes of a hapless historical character, Juana, who based on the historical facts presented, made no significant contribution. The fact that she was a women is presented as an excuse but it rings false given that at about the same time a number of strong women made their mark (ex. the lives of her own mother and sister). The author strives mightily to make the banal goings on important but fails. Take warning - this is a bodice ripper and not a great one at that.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Destiny Disrupted: A History of the World through Islamic Eyes

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Tamim Ansary
    • Narrated By Tamim Ansary
    Overall
    (368)
    Performance
    (229)
    Story
    (224)

    Until about 1800, the West and the Islamic realm were like two adjacent, parallel universes, each assuming itself to be the center of the world while ignoring the other. As Europeans colonized the globe, the two world histories intersected and the Western narrative drove the other one under. The West hardly noticed, but the Islamic world found the encounter profoundly disrupting.

    Blake says: "Explains the clash between Islam and the West"
    "View from the Other Side"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The author worked for a publisher of high school history textbooks and it shows. He has laid out the Islamic world's historical perspective in a neat, lively and easily digestible format. Great listen for someone, like me, with little background knowledge of the Islamic world.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Mike Brown
    • Narrated By Ryan Gesell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (375)
    Performance
    (220)
    Story
    (223)

    The solar system most of us grew up with included nine planets, with Mercury closest to the sun and Pluto at the outer edge. Then, in 2005, astronomer Mike Brown made the discovery of a lifetime: a 10th planet, Eris, slightly bigger than Pluto. But instead of its resulting in one more planet being added to our solar system, Brown's find ignited a firestorm of controversy that riled the usually sedate world of astronomy and launched him into the public eye.

    Rickapolis says: "Informative and fun"
    "Misleading Title"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Better editing of content. I went for this item based on interest in the astronomy, not the authors personal life.


    What was most disappointing about Mike Brown’s story?

    Too much focus on his personal life, none of which has any bearing on the main topic.


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

    The narration is well paced and the narrator has a pleasant voice. Too bad his subject matter was not of the same standard has his narration.


    What character would you cut from How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming?

    The wife and baby.


    Any additional comments?

    Don't buy this title. Borrow it from the library as it is much easier to flip past the useless stuff. I feel that I wasted a credit on this.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Mary Roach
    • Narrated By Sandra Burr
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1648)
    Performance
    (902)
    Story
    (894)

    Space is a world devoid of the things we need to live and thrive: air, gravity, hot showers, fresh produce, privacy, beer. Space exploration is in some ways an exploration of what it means to be human. How much can a person give up? How much weirdness can they take? What happens to you when you can’t walk for a year? Have sex? Smell flowers? What happens if you vomit in your helmet during a space walk? Is it possible for the human body to survive a bailout at 17,000 miles per hour?

    Roy says: "Everything You Always Wanted to Know - and More"
    "Sophomoric"
    Overall

    Rather than a thoughtful and well organized presentation of the challenges and potential for a manned Mars mission the book is a stream of consciousness discourse that features long digressions into if the space chimps were masturbators and whether or not any pornography has been filmed in zero-g. This book feels like a missed opportunity as it is clear that the author did considerable research.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Turkish Gambit

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Boris Akunin
    • Narrated By Paul Michael
    Overall
    (85)
    Performance
    (22)
    Story
    (22)

    It is 1877, and war has broken out between Russia and the Ottoman Empire. The Bulgarian front resounds with the thunder of cavalry charges, the roar of artillery, and the clash of steel on steel during the world's last great horse-and-cannon conflict. Amid the treacherous atmosphere of a 19th-century Russian field army, former diplomat and detective extraordinaire Erast Fandorin finds his most confounding case.

    Svetlana says: "Third Book of Erast Fandorin Series"
    "A pleasure to find this author"
    Overall

    This is my first Boris Akunin novel and I consider it a wonderful find. Refreshing as it presents a non-anglo view of world events. Based on this I will be reading more of this authors work.
    Enjoy!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Consider the Elephant

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Aram Schefrin
    • Narrated By Aram Schefrin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    The common wisdom is that John Wilkes Booth, the assassin of Abraham Lincoln, was a failed actor and a madman. But the truth is that he was the matinee idol of his time, and the attack on Lincoln was not the act of a maniac, but part of a plan developed at the highest levels of the Confederacy. In Consider the Elephant, the story of John Wilkes Booth's life and death is told by his brother, Edwin Booth, the greatest Shakespearean actor of his age.

    Gregory says: "unfortunate choice of narrator: the author"
    "Interesting take on interesting times"
    Overall

    The novel "Consider the Elephant" is a well crafted re-telling of the story of John Booth's assassination of Lincoln as told through the eyes of his brother. The author brings the times to life by providing rich detail about the lives of the celebrated (at the time, infamous now) Booth family as well as the era itself. I recommend this book but it took me some listening to overcome the lisping delivery of the main character. The production is marred by a gunshot that punctuates the start of each chapter recorded at a level well above that of the narration and is the audio equivalent of being punched in the head about every 20 mintues. The use of background noise to set the scene generally works but I could swear that the people murmuring in the background of crowd scenes are speaking Spanish!
    Enjoy!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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