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...and when the kids come out of the car, it doesn't have to be all over.
I was looking specifically for an audio version of "The Wolves in the Walls" but decided to go with this collection first because it was inexpensive and second because it had so much supplementary material. All of the stories are good and both my son and I love Neil Gaiman's reading voice. The surprise favorite part was the interview between Gaiman and his daughter at the very end.
The only complaint I have is there is no space left between the end of a story and the title of the next, which leads to a very jarring segue from story to story since it sounds like the title is simply a continuation of the last sentence of the previous story. A two-second pause wouldn't have gone amiss here.
I depend on reviews when deciding upon which book to buy next. The reviewers I follow have mixed opinions on this title and after listening, I understand why. This book is definitely not for everyone. The subject matter is extremely dreary and this book is not so much a continuation of "Oryx and Crake" than it is a supplement to it. That said, I found this book intensely interesting. Enjoyable? Maybe not, but it held my attention and now that I'm finished with it, I'm glad I took the time to listen.
As I said above, this builds more on "Oryx and Crake" than continues it. "The Year of the Flood" contains stories of two new(ish) characters, Toby and Ren, and through them, an entire cast of characters outside the corporation compounds. In this, you get a better sense of the world in which Jimmy lived, as well as the people that were around him. Luckily, these people are all just as interesting as Jimmy. Some, even more so.
The production values of this book are top-notch. I've enjoyed Bernadette Dunne's work in other novels, and she's even better here. Mark Bramhall is one of my favorites and my only criticism is that he doesn't have a larger role. Katie MacNichol holds her own among these other two narrators that I love. There's also music in this recording. Typically, music in audiobooks makes me cringe and while I can't say that any of the songs are going on my mp3 player, these aren't as cringe-inducing as the narrator simply reading the lyrics or half-heartedly singing them. The songs are well-produced, corny though they may be.
With an author like Margaret Atwood, you know you're going to get a solidly constructed, beautifully written story, but I hesitate to recommend this book to everyone. This book is bleak and there is no comic relief. If you like apocalyptic or post-apocalyptic fiction, you may enjoy this, but don't expect to feel especially joyful when you're finished.
We often take it for granted that we'll never know what might have been. If only we'd chosen a different path. If only that one thing had never happened. If only that one thing had actually happened... This book lets us see it, and it's interesting, and refreshing, and exciting. We know Ursula is experiencing life after life, but it appears that the people around her are as well. And that thought that everyone is blessed (doomed) to live again and again until they get it right is such a big idea that this book hasn't left me in the six weeks since I finished it.
I really enjoyed this book. Granted, it took a while to get into because her lives in the beginning were so short. But after an hour or so, as her lives get longer and her choices and the choices of the people around her become more complicated, things get more interesting. What can she change? What can't she change? And are the people around her also experiencing this (for lack of a better word) déjà vu? (I think they are.)
I found the book surprisingly easy to follow despite the number of times the book jumps around in the timeline, and I was so engrossed in it that paying attention was effortless. Fenella Woolgar narrated it excellently, especially considering all of the languages contained in the book.
I would highly recommend this book, especially to those interested in what it was like to be a civilian in England or Germany during World War II.
There's nothing surprising about this book, especially if you're familiar with past colonial expeditions on earth, specifically the British colonization of the New World. This book is clearly the weakest of the three. It's not bad, but it's not particularly good either. Predictable and in places a little annoying, this book might have been improved with different narrators. I found both performances way too flat.
I absolutely adored "Annihilation" and was really looking forward to "Authority." However, this book did not enthrall me in the same way "Annihilation" did. I'm viewing book 2 as a bridge to book 3, something that gives the necessary information to make book 3 make sense. It's possible that my high expectations caused "Authority" to feel like a let-down, but I genuinely did not find this book nearly as interesting as "Annihilation." However, I still wouldn't hesitate to recommend this series to my friends.
As I mentioned before, there are important revelations in this book and it has some genuinely creepy moments. And despite my feelings of disappointment overall, I was still holding my breath in anticipation at the last moment of the book. This book isn't bad, not at all.
A large portion of what I enjoyed about this book was Bronson Pinchot's narration. The man is a masterful reader. So good, in fact, that I may seek out his other audiobook work. I can't praise him enough.
This was a moderately enjoyable read. I must admit that it made my historian's heart beat a little bit faster to read about historians living and exploring historical events. However, the characters in the story never really came alive for me. Motivations and personalities never really seemed to gel and when I finished the book I still felt like I didn't know anyone in the book, not even the protagonist. I prefer character-driven stories, and this was very much action-oriented. Not bad, but not really my cup of tea, either. I also had difficulty understanding the time span of this book. What I thought had been a few months had actually been five years and I wonder if I wasn't paying attention or if the passage of time was really glossed over. That said, the story held my interest, even with little nitpicky criticisms I had about plot points, and I don't regret the purchase. However, it isn't likely I'll pick up Book 2 in this series.
Zara Ramm did a good job narrating the book. While she did do accents, she didn't give characters distinctive voices. That, in addition to the aforementioned issues I had with characterization, plus the occasional nickname bandied about, made it difficult for me to tell some characters apart from one another.
This is a fun read, but I would only recommend it to people who want to enjoy a little bit of bubble gum reading.
When I was in third grade, my teacher, Mr. Merrick, read Paddington to the class and I remember laughing out loud to his exploits. Now that I have a child of my own, I wanted him to have those same experiences. At first, my son wasn't particularly interested, but after about three chapters, I noticed he was becoming completely immersed in the story. He laughed out loud at the end of each chapter and when the book was finished, he begged for more. I downloaded the second book today and I'm looking forward to hearing him laugh at Paddington once more.
I'm not in the habit of listening to (or reading) books more than once. Something about doing that bugs me. But I can say that this book will stay with me for a long time and I will revisit certain scenes again and again in my mind.
What impressed me so much was how everything in the book had a purpose. Seemingly trivial details are symbolic of either a bigger idea or a parallel item in the other world. The first example of this is the double-meaning of the title. I downloaded it thinking it would be just a simple story. I was so very wrong and that was evident from one of Nao's first lines, "A time being is someone who lives in time, and that means you, and me, and every one of us who is, or was, or ever will be." The scope of this book awes me.
I particularly enjoyed Nao's time with her great grandmother at the temple. I found her experiences at school disturbing and the growth and peace she acquired at the temple was deeply satisfying to me as a reader.
The reading of Nao's great-Uncle's diary made me stop and just sit and listen with awed horror at the recounting of the training and mission of the kamikazes. The detail and emotion put into this section of the book made it absolutely riveting. I stopped doing what I was doing and sat and stared at the corner of the room, my attention completely focused on the story.
What impressed me the most about this book was the variety of emotions this book made me feel. An author that can make characters feel this real and make readers sympathize with them so completely has my utmost respect. It's been a long time since I have felt so satisfied by a book.
This book came extremely highly recommended by a friend whose taste I trust implicitly. I should note, however, that she didn't recommend the audiobook.
I immediately disliked the main character, Sunshine, but as I listened more, I realized it wasn't the character I disliked so much as the narrator's idea of who the main character is. "Sunshine" is written in first person limited point of view, and Laural Merlington chose to add inflections that made the character Sunshine sound much younger than she is supposed to be. Minor complaints were a little too emphatic, and serious revelations read far too flippantly. If I imagined the words with slightly different inflections, the meaning changed and Sunshine immediately became more reasonable, more relatable, and more likable. Additionally, Merlington has a distinctive voice that sounds very much like an older woman. This is completely acceptable for the character of Sunshine, but way off base for anyone else, most of all Constantine.
The story is solid if you like vampire fiction. Before downloading this book, I highly recommend listening to the sample to see if this is a narrator you can bear to listen to for 15 hours. The narrator will make or break this for you.
I'm a sucker for apocalyptic stories, and this one fits the bill. The premise isn't original, but it's handled in a way that I found immensely interesting. I especially enjoyed the background events as people group and splinter as they adjust to the new reality. The book asks a lot of questions about sexuality, parenthood, and consent, but it doesn't really answer any of them. This might be a great selection for a book club.
The book is written in first person and the limited viewpoint can be frustrating, especially since the protagonist is a teenage girl. On the other hand, she is realistically written and while I, as an adult, find her decisions difficult to accept, they are exactly what many teenagers would do.
I don't usually get emotional over books, but I did tear up a little at the end. I only wish that there had been an epilogue to the story, something to let the audience know how the MDS situation shakes out.
Fiona Hardingham does an excellent job with the narration. I wouldn't hesitate to buy another book with her as the narrator.
There are a lot of issues with the book. As mentioned before, the premise is unoriginal, the protagonist is, at times, unlikable, and the end of the book leaves the reader with questions. But the book is extremely compelling and has a story that will stay with you long after you have finished it.
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