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Alison

Brinston, ONTARIO, Canada | Member Since 2013

33
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 38 reviews
  • 38 ratings
  • 115 titles in library
  • 19 purchased in 2014
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  • The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack: Burton & Swinburne, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Mark Hodder
    • Narrated By Gerard Doyle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (907)
    Performance
    (812)
    Story
    (810)

    Sir Richard Francis Burton and Algernon Charles Swinburne are sucked into the perilous depths of a moral and ethical vacuum when Lord Palmerston commissions Burton to investigate assaults on young women committed by a weird apparition known as Spring Heeled Jack - and to find out why werewolves are terrorizing London's East End.

    Robert says: "Fun Steampunk but on the outlandish side"
    "highly enjoyable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm fairly new to the steam-punk alt-history genre but I quite liked this book. That's not to say that if you think about it too hard the book was perfect, but as an enjoyable listen, it was great. The narration was excellent. I really liked the level of technology in the book, seemed mostly believable enough. I have to say that the big confrontation scene at the end of the book was rather anti-climactic, but that's just me. I'm not sure that I will get the next books, certainly if I did, I'd try to find them on sale.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Something More Than Night

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Ian Tregillis
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (72)
    Performance
    (65)
    Story
    (66)

    Ian Tregillis's Something More Than Night is a Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler inspired murder mystery set in Thomas Aquinas’s vision of Heaven. It’s a noir detective story starring fallen angels, the heavenly choir, nightclub stigmatics, a priest with a dirty secret, a femme fatale, and the Voice of God.

    Matt says: "Pretty good story!"
    "part noir mystery, part philosophy class"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really really enjoyed this book. It's a strange combination of genres, and I thought it was great. To say too much would be to give away the plot, but the synopsis isn't bad. The book is told from Bayliss in the first person and Molly in the third person, which was a little odd, but I didn't let it bother me much. The narrator was excellent for both. I also thought that the author did a superb job of making the two very different characters, completely distinct in how they told their parts of the story, a rare talent in an author!

    I imagine that reviews of this book will be very divided. If you want to sit back and listen to the poetry of a twisting, convoluted plot (which I'd advise requires if not a small knowledge of philosophy, then a dictionary (or google) on hand), then you'll love it. If you don't like super elaborate descriptions and metaphors then you'll probably find this book bloated in self-indulgent excess. So be forewarned. If you don't like the first twenty minutes or so, don't go on. If you loved it (like I did), sit back and enjoy!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Windup Girl

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Paolo Bacigalupi
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3194)
    Performance
    (1615)
    Story
    (1623)

    Anderson Lake is a company man, AgriGen's Calorie Man in Thailand. Under cover as a factory manager, Anderson combs Bangkok's street markets in search of foodstuffs thought to be extinct, hoping to reap the bounty of history's lost calories. There, he encounters Emiko...Emiko is the Windup Girl, a strange and beautiful creature. One of the New People, Emiko is not human; instead, she is an engineered being, creche-grown and programmed to satisfy the decadent whims of a Kyoto businessman.

    Marius says: "Al Gore nightmare meets Blade Runner."
    "twisting, mysterious, amazing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is excellent, and needless to say, Davis does his normally stellar job of narration, made even more incredible by his flawless handling of all the Thai and Chinese names. There isn't really a great way to describe this book. It's a meandering journey and I really had no idea most of the way where it was going, only that I loved the ride. It follows several different characters through turbulent events in a futuristic dystopian Bankok. I won't spoil anything else for you. Listen and love it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Monster Hunter International

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Larry Correia
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5943)
    Performance
    (5198)
    Story
    (5199)

    Five days after Owen Zastava Pitt pushed his insufferable boss out of a 14th story window, he woke up in the hospital with a scarred face, an unbelievable memory, and a job offer. It turns out that monsters are real. All the things from myth, legend, and B-movies are out there, waiting in the shadows. Some of them are evil, and some are just hungry. Monster Hunter International is the premier eradication company in the business. And now Owen is their newest recruit.

    Konstantin says: "Suprizingly entertaining"
    "gory monster fun, give it a try!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Like many, I had seen this book series a few times and finally caved when it went on special one day. Pleasantly surprised, it was a great book! Be warned though, Correia has a very violent, gory style of writing and the characters take a real beating through the whole book. It's also pretty clear through the book that Correia is a real gun enthusiast. The book could have been half the length without all the intricate gun descriptions. If you liked this book you should definitely try the Grimnoir series and vice versa. Correia has a great way of twisting the stereotype plots and what you might expect to happen, although in this case, it took Owen quite a bit longer than I thought it would to figure it out.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Farthing: Small Change, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Jo Walton
    • Narrated By John Keating, Bianca Amato
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (166)
    Performance
    (138)
    Story
    (145)

    One summer weekend in 1949 - but not our 1949 - the well-connected "Farthing set", a group of upper-crust English families, enjoy a country retreat. Lucy is a minor daughter in one of those families; her parents were both leading figures in the group that overthrew Churchill and negotiated peace with Herr Hitler eight years before....

    Maggieck says: "Thought provoking and entertaining"
    "great premise but unfullfilling"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book had a great premise, the alternate history was well thought out and the politics were believable without being too complicated to follow. The mystery aspect was interesting although not as mysterious as the author might like it to have been. I had two problems with the book. The first was how it was told part in first person and part in third person, it just didn't really work for me. More importantly, the book ended rather abruptly and left me really unfulfilled. I know that in real life everything doesn't wrap up all nice and tidy, but these are books. I took a peak at the review for the next book, and it doesn't seem to pick up on the same story. The ending was disappointing. Other than that it was great.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • True Grit

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Charles Portis
    • Narrated By Donna Tartt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1720)
    Performance
    (904)
    Story
    (912)

    Mattie Ross, a 14-year-old girl from Dardanelle, Arkansas, sets out to avenge her Daddy who was shot to death by a no-good outlaw. Mattie convinces one-eyed "Rooster" Cogburn, the meanest U.S. marshal in the land, to ride along with her. In True Grit, we have a true American classic, as young Mattie, as vital as she is innocent, outdickers and outmaneuvers the hard-bitten men of the trail in a legend that will last through the ages.

    Tommygaus says: "So worth it!"
    "adorable listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Great, funny story about a girl determined to get revenge. Would be a great listen for any age, although the simplistic writing style probably lends itself best to a younger audience.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Hexed: The Iron Druid Chronicles, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Kevin Hearne
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6783)
    Performance
    (6067)
    Story
    (6078)

    Atticus O’Sullivan, last of the Druids, doesn’t care much for witches. Still, he’s about to make nice with the local coven by signing a mutually beneficial nonaggression treaty when suddenly the witch population in modern-day Tempe, Arizona, quadruples overnight. And the new girls are not just bad, they’re badasses with a dark history on the German side of World War II. With a fallen angel feasting on local high school students, a horde of Bacchants blowing in from Vegas, and a dangerously sexy Celtic goddess of fire vying for his attention, Atticus is having trouble scheduling the witch hunt.

    Adam says: "Authenticity, Humor and Brilliant Writing"
    "unfinished"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    So I bought this book because it was on sale and (having bought the first one on sale and enjoying it well enough) I figured it was worth a try. It wasn't that the book was bad, more than it started out several plot lines (and carried a few on from the first book) but didn't really finish them. The first book set the scene and now this one is trying to get you to buy in to the extended series. Most of the major plot issues are not resolved at the end of this book, so if you don't like loose ends either don't get this book or be prepared to keep buying them. Honestly, all the parts that I liked about this book were done better in the first one, so overall I'd say I'm unimpressed. If the third book goes on sale, I'd say I'm unlikely to buy it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Fuzzy Nation

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton, John Scalzi
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3446)
    Performance
    (3013)
    Story
    (3010)

    In John Scalzi's re-imagining of H. Beam Piper's 1962 sci-fi classic Little Fuzzy, written with the full cooperation of the Piper Estate, Jack Holloway works alone for reasons he doesnt care to talk about. Hundreds of miles from ZaraCorps headquarters on planet, 178 light-years from the corporations headquarters on Earth, Jack is content as an independent contractor, prospecting and surveying at his own pace. As for his past, thats not up for discussion.

    Samuel Montgomery-Blinn says: "Short, sweet, and satisfying storytelling."
    "didn't do anything unexpected"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a good book to listen to in the car, because I was never lost and I could usually guess accurately what was going to happen next so it didn't bother me to turn it off at the end of my commute and return to it the next day. That being said, it was a cute book, well written with interesting if rather cliched characters. I just wish that it had done something even remotely unexpected. Everything plays out exactly how you expect it is going to. Wheaton's narration was enthusiastic, he did a good job. Overall good but not exceptional.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Catching Fire: Hunger Games, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Suzanne Collins
    • Narrated By Carolyn McCormick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (27221)
    Performance
    (20619)
    Story
    (20731)

    Katniss Everdeen continues to struggle to protect herself and her family from the Capitol in this second novel from the best-selling Hunger Games trilogy.

    FanB14 says: "Dissent Rules"
    "solid continuation of the story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Again, I'm not sure what I can say that a zillion other people haven't said, or you haven't guessed/learned from all the hype. I was pleasantly surprised by the continuation of the story line. Like the last book, it was well divided between events before and during the games. I particularly like that the author has stayed true to Katniss's somewhat flawed character and hasn't tried to make her anything more than she was in the first book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Thérèse Raquin

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs)
    • By Emile Zola
    • Narrated By Kate Winslet
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (761)
    Performance
    (693)
    Story
    (685)

    Once upon a time, a teenaged Kate Winslet (The Reader, Titanic, Revolutionary Road) received a gift that would leave a lasting impression: a copy of Emile Zola’s classic Thérèse Raquin. Six Academy Award nominations and one Best Actress award later, she steps behind the microphone to perform this haunting classic of passion and disaster.

    Jean says: "worth a listen"
    "unlikable characters make the story drag"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Generally I'd like this kind of novel, where deeply conceived characters develop slowly towards a horrible finale. But I didn't like this book. As many other reviewers have mentioned, there isn't one redeeming feature in any of the characters. You really can't care about what happens to them. So, while the story seems to be building, it's really just dragging on and on (and on). Even the big finale seemed disappointing by the time I got to the end of the book. Kate Winslet does a great job narrating, and she seems to really love the atmosphere and the book. Unfortunately, her passion wasn't enough to save the book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Her Royal Spyness: A Royal Spyness Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Rhys Bowen
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    Overall
    (3793)
    Performance
    (3210)
    Story
    (3198)

    Georgie, aka Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie, cousin of King George V of England, is penniless and trying to survive on her own as an ordinary person in London in 1932. So far she has managed to light a fire and boil an egg... She's gate-crashed a wedding... She's making money by secretly cleaning houses... And she's been asked to spy for Her Majesty the Queen.

    Coffee Lover says: "Joy, Joy, Joy!"
    "royal snooze"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    To say that this book wasn't what I thought it was going to be would be quite the understatement. It was neither a mystery nor a romance and there certainly wasn't any spying. I'm not sure what kind of genre to classify this book as. The mystery is really pretty bland. The only person in the book more incompetent than the main character is the person trying to kill her. It's extraordinarily predictable. That would be alright if it had been a romance novel with a murder mystery side plot, but there really isn't any romance to speak of either. If anything, I could maybe equate it to a poor pilot episode for a historical drama which is trying to set the scene for some more interesting plots. Personally, I won't be buying any more of them.

    The main thing that drove me nuts about this book was the heroine. She starts out lying to her brother about why she wants to go to London. That goes badly. Then, on the shocking lack of success of her first lie, she goes on to lie to everyone at every possible moment, sometimes about things that barely make any sense. As you can imagine, the lies don't help any more in the middle of the book than they did at the start. I just wanted to reach into my car's stereo and shake her.

    Bottom line: boring and mildly aggravating.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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