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Julie

Julie

Seattle, WA, United States | Member Since 2011

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HELPFUL VOTES
  • 6 reviews
  • 9 ratings
  • 174 titles in library
  • 14 purchased in 2014
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  • Ganymede: Clockwork Century, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Cherie Priest
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    Overall
    (109)
    Performance
    (99)
    Story
    (99)

    The air pirate Andan Cly is going straight. Well, straighter. Although he’s happy to run alcohol guns wherever the money’s good, he doesn’t think the world needs more sap, or its increasingly ugly side-effects. But becoming legit is easier said than done, and Cly’s first legal gig - a supply run for the Seattle Underground - will be paid for by sap money. New Orleans is not Cly’s first pick for a shopping run. He loved the Big Easy once, back when he also loved a beautiful mixed-race prostitute named Josephine Early - but that was a decade ago, and he hasn’t looked back since.

    Joshua says: "Too many inconsistencies and missed Kate Reading."
    "Less zombie gore and a little romance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Ganymede?

    Yes, I said romance, in a Cherie Priest steampunk novel! I haven't really missed it in the other three books since I've been so enthralled with the resourceful, dogged, don't-mess-with-me main characters in the other books in the series. In fact, I've found it refreshing to see strong women and men going after their objects of desire--a son, a father, a war object that could doom a country, a stolen treasure--with such focussed passion, resourcefulness, and intolerance for anyone that got in their way. I've been relieved that they didn't get side-tracked by any silly romance. There were a few hints of interest, particularly in Clementine, but in Ganymede romance smolders for both familiar characters and new ones. It's great to see Briar apparently feeling fulfilled in her roles as sherriff, mother, friend, and...lover. After all she's lost in cursed Seattle, I'm glad it's working out for her. It's poignant to see the exchanges between her love interest, the pirate Andan Cly, and his old lover from ten years ago, a prostitute named Josephine. Although they know each other so well, and are both a bit wistful for what might of been, they know it's over and there is a job to be done, so they do it and move on, going their separate ways to people who suit them better now.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Ganymede?

    The


    Any additional comments?

    The Zombie scourge still plays a part in this story, and there are still a couple of murder scenes involving zombies eating people and being shot to pieces, but the gore has been scaled back quite a bit from what it has been like in some of the other Clockwork Century books, particularly in Boneshaker and Dreadnaught. It's becoming a more of a widespread public health issue now, so it will be interesting to see how that is managed in future books in this series. Will it become more of an issue than the Civil War? Will other people, like Andon Cly, realize the part they have played in this scourge and be compelled to rectify their actions?

    I look forward to catching up with the characters in future books and finding out.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Sarum: The Novel of England

    • UNABRIDGED (45 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Edward Rutherfurd
    • Narrated By Wanda McCaddon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (446)
    Performance
    (382)
    Story
    (378)

    In Sarum, Edward Rutherfurd weaves a compelling saga of five English families whose fates become intertwined over the course of centuries. While each family has its own distinct characteristics, the successive generations reflect the changing character of Britain. We become drawn not only into the fortunes of the individual family members, but also the larger destinies of each family line.

    Gordon says: "Most enjoyable"
    "Staggering Historical Fiction"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Sarum the most enjoyable?

    Over the span of 10,000 years, the author tells the story of the development of civilization in what is now Salisbury, Engand from the time of the British Isle's continental drift from mainland Europe until 1985. Each time period focusses on the day to day life of a few main characters and their descendents as they appear in the centuries that follow. We see first through the eyes of hunters and gatherers, primitive farmers, ancient Celtic chiefs, craftsmen and druids. Then come occupying Roman soldiers, Saxons, Normans, Medieval stone masons, knights and priests. Next we get to know some Elizabethan lords and ladies, Redcoats for the British Empire, and Gentlefolk and farmers during the Industrial Revolution. Finally, the story leads us to military men and women serving during World Wars I and II, and at last to modern day descendents is 1985. All along the way, different characters, hunt, explore, farm, build better homes and devices to make their lives easier, seek meaning from gods and goddesses, express themselves through small works and giant monuments, fall in love, have sex, fight, kill, and make peace. I care more about the historical events as they unfold because I care about the people I have come to know who are a part of them. That is what makes historical fiction so enjoyable. Besides getting to know these characters, it is very intriguing to follow the author's imaginative accounts of the building of the two most enduring structures of the region, Stonehenge and the Salisbury Cathedral. Getting to know the people who built them, and seeing these structures used, abused, modified and revered over the centuries makes them seem like so much more than just a strange group of scattered giant stones or another old English church.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    About two thirds into this story I was starting to get very annoyed with the author for portraying most of the women in the book as minor, oppressed characters. The women did start to become stronger as time went on, but I still grew inpatient. One of my favorite women characters was Margaret Shockley, an English lady who lived during the English Civil War of the 1640's. She was left in charge of the family farm estate after the death of her father, as well as in charge of her youngest brother. She also mediated between two of her other brothers who held positions on opposite sides of the war and another brother who was a Puritan. The two brothers who fought in the war die, and the Puritan brother wants to take over guardianship of the youngest brother from Margaret, but Margaret outsmarts him and finds a way to prevent this. The Puritan brother seeks revenge by framing Margaret as a witch, and almost succeeds in having her sent to trial. If she had burned, I would have quit reading the book. Fortunately, she doesn't, thanks to the wits and strength of character of her youngest brother, and the women characters even get stronger from this time period on. It's worth finishing the book.


    What about Wanda McCaddon’s performance did you like?

    I enjoyed the narrator's proper British accent, matter-of-fact tone, and mild characterizations. Nothing was too over the top, which could have gotten really annoying, considering the length of this story.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ready Player One

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Ernest Cline
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (11627)
    Performance
    (10842)
    Story
    (10850)

    At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, Ready Player One is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut—part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.

    Julie W. Capell says: "I’m sorry I waited so long to read this book."
    "Hope for mothers of hard-core gamers"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Ready Player One in three words, what would they be?

    Quite a trip


    What did you like best about this story?

    I frequently enjoy first-person narrative quest stories like this one. The first-person narrative makes it so much easier to connect with and care about the character. This story takes place not too far in the future (2045), and the setting is fairly plausible, given the track our society is on now with regards to energy consumption, waning resources, and increased reliance on internet technology and on-line social interactions. Wade is a sympathetic character who is poor, orphaned and ill-used, but smart and resourceful. It's fun to watch him progress on his quest for the prize, and inspiring to see how the relationships he develops along the way help move him towards success.

    Since I was a teenager in the 80's, I watched the movies, played some of the games and listened to a lot of the music that were the obsession of Halliday, the billionare who left his riches and on-line empire to whomever won the complicated quest game that Wade plays in this story. I never thought I would hear of Zork again, but here it is, in a starring role, almost 30 years later! The 80's stuff starts to get a little over-the-top, but if Halliday had Asperger's, I guess it could happen. At anyrate, it was fun to wallow in the nostalgia of it all.

    I was relieved to see Wade start to finally find someone/something worthwhile in his real time at the end. It gave me hope that he would find some real happiness of his own, after his disadvantaged begining in life.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    My favorite scene is when Wade and Artemis meet face to face. The restrained emotions and realistic approach to budding romance were lovely to behold.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Playing for Real


    Any additional comments?

    As the mother of a teenage son who spends hours playing video games and accomplishing little else, the Ready Player One story allowed me to succumb to the fantasy that his time may be well spent, and is helping to prepare him for greatness.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Sea of Monsters: Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Rick Riordan
    • Narrated By Jesse Bernstein
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2810)
    Performance
    (1545)
    Story
    (1579)

    After a summer spent trying to prevent a catastrophic war among the Greek gods, Percy Jackson finds his seventh-grade school year unnervingly quiet. His biggest problem is dealing with his new friend, Tyson, a six-foot-three, mentally challenged homeless kid who follows Percy everywhere, making it hard for Percy to have any "normal" friends.

    BRWesty says: "great family fare"
    "Hip take on candy coated Greek myths"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Sea of Monsters again? Why?

    Amazingly, both of my sons, aged 8 and 15, and I all enjoyed listening to this story in the car. It's easy to relate to smart-alec Percy, a teenage son of the Greek god Poseidon and a lovely mortal woman from modern-day Manhattan. It's also fun to see such Greek myth characters as a young cyclops, a satyr, the hilarious Gray Sisters, and Hermes still kicking in the modern world.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Seth Grahame-Smith
    • Narrated By Scott Holst
    Overall
    (6907)
    Performance
    (5273)
    Story
    (5355)

    While Abraham Lincoln is widely lauded for saving a Union and freeing millions of slaves, his valiant fight against the forces of the undead has remained in the shadows for hundreds of years. That is, until Seth Grahame-Smith stumbled upon The Secret Journal of Abraham Lincoln, and became the first living person to lay eyes on it in more than 140 years.

    Haden says: "My friends thought I was crazy."
    "Dry biography with moments of wacky violence"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter? What did you like least?

    I was expecting a hip new take on Abraham Lincoln with this story, since it divulges how his passion for destroying vampires shaped his career. However, I found the biography parts dull and dark, and the vampire parts to be simply jarring moments of goriness. It didn't work for me, and I'm disappointed to say I stopped listening to it after a couple of hours.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Murder on the Orient Express: A Hercule Poirot Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Agatha Christie
    • Narrated By David Suchet
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (992)
    Performance
    (589)
    Story
    (583)

    Savor one of the most clever of Christie's suspenseful classics. An American businessman is stabbed to death aboard a luxury train, the Orient Express, snowbound in the middle of Europe. Nothing escapes the eagle eye and quick intelligence of the great Hercule Poirot, and clues abound. Sorting through a dozen perfectly respectable passengers, all suspects, Poirot is tenacious in his pursuit of the truth.

    Glenda Fuller says: "Great Story and Well Read"
    "Classic who-done-it magnificently performed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Murder on the Orient Express is a masterful murder mystery that has all the elements of a satisfying read: an elegant 1930's setting on a legendary train; a variety of characters with entertaining quirks; a horrifying murder; and an impeccably mannered genius to sort everything out. The narrator is a very gifted, good-humored actor, who so masterfully performs each character's voice and accent throughout the book that I wonder if he didn't develop some sort of personality disorder in the process. The story itself is quite preposterous, but the characters are so entertaining that I really don't care. Agatha Christie would have been honored to hear such a magnificent performance of her work.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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