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Linda

Raleigh, NC, United States | Member Since 2009

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HELPFUL VOTES
  • 4 reviews
  • 6 ratings
  • 159 titles in library
  • 21 purchased in 2014
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  • The White Princess: Cousins' War, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Philippa Gregory
    • Narrated By Bianca Amato
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (477)
    Performance
    (440)
    Story
    (434)

    The newest novel from #1 New York Times best-selling author and "queen of royal fiction" (USA Today) Philippa Gregory tells the passionate story of Elizabeth of York, daughter of the White Queen, who gets caught in the middle of a battle for the crown of England. A princess from birth, Elizabeth fell in love with Richard III, though her mother made an arranged betrothal for her with the pretender to the throne: Henry Tudor. When Henry defeats Richard against all odds, Elizabeth has to marry the man who murdered her lover in battle.

    FanB14 says: "Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow"
    ""The boy." "The boy?" "The boy!""
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about The White Princess? What did you like least?

    Interesting characterization and creative (if not convincingly based on historical fact) detailing of events. This might be the worst Philippa Gregory book I've read (definitely the worst of The Cousins' War series), but that still makes it darn good historical fiction.


    What could Philippa Gregory have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Less repetition, please. Elizabeth and Henry have way too many exchanges of "The boy." "The boy?" "The boy!" I get that Gregory wanted to emphasize his obsession with defending his tentative throne and Elizabeth's careful diplomacy, but it really did get boring after a while. It may have been that it's just a sad series of events and Gregory didn't have much to work with


    What about Bianca Amato’s performance did you like?

    Always flawless.


    Any additional comments?

    Don't go into this expecting a happy ending, but it's still an interesting perspective on the Cousins' War and worth your time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Serpent and the Pearl: Borgias, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Kate Quinn
    • Narrated By Leila Birch, Maria Elena Infantino, Ronan Vibert
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (92)
    Performance
    (83)
    Story
    (83)

    Rome, 1492: The Holy City is drenched with blood and teeming with secrets. A pope lies dying and the throne of God is left vacant, a prize awarded only to the most virtuous - or the most ruthless. The Borgia family begins its legendary rise, chronicled by an innocent girl who finds herself drawn into their dangerous web.... Vivacious Giulia Farnese has floor-length golden hair and the world at her feet: beauty, wealth, and a handsome young husband. But she is stunned to discover that her glittering marriage is a sham.

    Linda Lou says: "VERY INTERESTING TAKE ON THE BORGIAS"
    "Entertaining story, poor performance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Serpent and the Pearl the most enjoyable?

    Kate Quinn delivers interesting characters and an entertaining (if insubstantial) story.


    How could the performance have been better?

    All three of the narrators had beautiful voices, but the performance left much to be desired. I'm not sure if the problem was that the narrators were inexperienced, or if they were just reading the book for the first time... but all three performances suffered from awkward pauses and inconsistent pronunciation of names & places.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Boleyn Inheritance

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Philippa Gregory
    • Narrated By Davina Porter, Bianca Amato, Charlotte Parry
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (331)
    Performance
    (295)
    Story
    (293)

    Anne of Cleves must literally save her neck in a court ruled by a deadly game of politics and the terror of an unpredictable and vengeful king. Her Boleyn Inheritance: accusations and false witnesses. Katherine Howard catches the king's eye within moments of arriving at court, setting in motion a dreadful machine of politics, intrigue, and treason that she does not understand. Her Boleyn Inheritance: the threat of the axe. Jane Rochford's name is a byword for malice, jealousy and twisted lust throughout Europe. Her Boleyn Inheritance: a fortune and a title in exchange for her soul.

    Teddy says: "Great Book"
    "Excellent historical fiction, great performance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Boleyn Inheritance?

    Philippa Gregory consistently delivers colorful, interesting, sympathetic portraits of well-known historical figures. This depiction of two of Henry VIII's wives, Anne of Cleves and Catherine Howard, is no exception.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Gregory fleshes out the flat characterization provided by historical sources into believable human beings. Subtle feminist criticism of the commodification of women in sixteenth century Europe rings through Gregory's entertaining plot.


    Any additional comments?

    Gregory skillfully creates distinct voices for each of her three narrators. Each of the voice actors for this audiobook performs her role faithfully and convincingly.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Empress Orchid

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Anchee Min
    • Narrated By Alexandra O'Karma
    Overall
    (318)
    Performance
    (97)
    Story
    (97)

    Seventeen-year-old Orchid belongs to an aristocratic family that has fallen on hard times. Unexpectedly, she is chosen as one of the emperor's lesser concubines. Within the Forbidden City are thousands of women hoping to bear the emperor a son and become his empress. Orchid, determined and resourceful, schemes her way into the royal bed and seduces the emperor. But as the opium trade erodes the might of the Ch'ing dynasty, Orchid find herself at the center of a crumbling nation.

    Stacey says: "Empress Orchid"
    "Disappointing."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    The narrator kept swallowing her spit....ew. She occasionally stumbled over the names of characters or places, and at some points it was really obvious she was just reading. Very monotone.


    What character would you cut from Empress Orchid?

    Maybe it's a cultural disconnect, but I found the main character's passivity extremely frustrating. Frequently throughout the novel I found myself wanting to yell "YEAH OK SO STOP COMPLAINING AND DO SOMETHING".


    Any additional comments?

    I really enjoy historical fiction, but this felt like a waste of my time...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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