It took a little bit of time for me to discover why I didn't particularly enjoy this book. At first I wasn't sure if it was due to the story or to the narration. Eventually I realized that it was the story itself. Actually this one of those books which uses the device of telling two parallel stories. There is a main story and then the backstory which adds clues and color to the main one. In this case, the backstory was far more interesting.
Author Katherine Howe's main character Connie Goodwin is a rather colorless Phd candidate of history at Harvard. She is by turns pretentious, specious, and amazingly childish. We meet Connie as she is being grilled in an oral exam. We also meet her unpleasantly condescending and chauvanistic advisor Professor Chilton.
The backstory is about Deliverance Dane. Deliverance comes to Connie's attention through the discovery of a mysterious key in a family Bible. Connie's life is somehow entwined with Deliverance Dane who is possibly an undocumented Salem witch and thus becomes the basis for Connie's dissertation.
Katherin Kellgren's narration is done well except for the male voices - but this is a common issue I often have with female narrators. I don't know if her rendering of Professor Chilton's New England accent is correct or not, though to my untrained ear it sounds plausible.
It was Deliverance Dane's story which kept me going otherwise I found I didn't much care about Connie.
In a strange way, I found myself relieved when the story was over, sort of like having a tooth pulled - better when its over.
If you can suspend your belief for awhile, a long while, you might enjoy this. If you don't mind an illogical and ridiculous plot line or become impatient with people who rather than learning from their mistakes, continue to make the same bad choices, then have at it. Also if you can stomach sappy, syrupy romances, well, this might be something for you.
Something with a sense of humor.
No I don't believe so. While I applaud her tenacity in self-publishing this book, I felt there was a reason why this book was rejected by other publishers. It really needs some serious editing to tighten up the storyline. Much of the story gets bogged down by a lot of excessive descriptions, dramatic action that goes on and on and on, and dialog that just seems to be beating a point to death.
As for the reader, he has a rather strange and annoying speech affectation of adding an "er" at the end of many words ending in "ly", for example "suddenly(er)", as well as using a most unpleasant wheedling tone of voice for some of the villains, a painfully grating voice for others which does not enhance the listening experience.
No, I read and enjoy a lot of children fantasy and sci-fi and will continue to do so.
A better written book would have to be the first step.
The world building in this book is an interesting idea, but it needs better development. A fantasy book needs to stay grounded in its own reality, but that reality has be logical in its own development. Too much rule breaking in the world you create starts to break it down to the point where it is no longer believable.
This started quite slowly for me, so slowly I actually stopped listening for quite some time. Then one day I started listening again the the story really caught my attention. It may be the pace that the reader, Heather Lind, set was why it took some time for me to become more engaged. Her pacing was very measured and deliberate regardless of how action filled a particular scene might be. Having said that, I enjoyed her reading, enjoyed the different voices she used for each character. She gave a sort of ???country??? lilt to each character, a bit rough, with touches of colloquialisms.
The story itself is based in a post-apocaliptic world, one that is pretty grim with people scrabbling to survive. The main character is Saba, a tough, hard 18 year girl whose world is ripped apart by the murder of her father and the kidnapping of Lou, her twin brother. She sets off with her 11 year old sister Emmie, to rescue their brother. Of course along the way they run into a number of difficult situations and a number of people, good and bad, who either help them or try to hurt them.
Author Moira Young does a wonderful job of describing the world Saba inhabits. Bit by bit, new characters join the story and a mystery starts to unfold. Why was Lou kidnapped? Who are the Ton Tons and why do they have so much power? Who is the mysterious king who rules with terror and absolute sway over the people? And who is Jack?
The story ends complete in and of itself but there are enough lingering questions to let the reader know that there will probably be a second book!
I love Terry Pratchett???s Discworld books and have quite a few of them, as well as listen to them repeatedly. However, the right narrator can make an enormous difference and so it has proved here. Perhaps I???ve become so accustomed to the voice talents of Nigel Planer and Stephen Briggs on the other Discworld books that listening to Celia Imrie was a great disappointment. She has a pleasant voice, but not enough energy, nor does she seem to pick up the humorous intent inherent in much of Pratchett???s work. While I listened to the whole book, it wasn???t enjoyable or memorable. And I don???t wish to listen to it again. Would love to hear either Nigel Planer or Stephen Briggs read this book. I???d gladly buy it again.
This was a terrific story with a really excellent narrator. I had not read any of the Foglio???s works before and wasn???t sure what to expect. I wasn???t disappointed in the least. The world building is well done as is character development. There are a lot of very quirky and downright strange characters and a lot of humor. Something mysterious is happening in this world which is slowly being revealed. Out of curiosity, I went to the Foglio???s website and checked out their ???Girl Genius??? comic upon which this novel is based. While it is well done, my preference is for the novel. I like having more written detail and being able to create the characters and world in my own mind.
Angela Dawe is a wonderful narrator. I loved the way she created the voices and accents of the different characters. Each one distinct and easily identifiable. I was especially impressed with her male ???voices??? as I find that it is harder for a woman to create male voices convincingly, but Ms. Dawe does so impressively.
I very much look forward to the next installment in Agatha H???s story!
You won???t think of zombies the same way after this....
This was an excellent coming of age story, touching without being corny, suspenseful and humorous by turns, a believable tale of post apocalypse survival from the viewpoint of a teenage boy.
Zombie fare has never been of interest to me, but after reading some of the other reviews I decided to give this book a shot....I???m glad I did.
Cliche and thoroughly underwhelming. When characters behave in ways that ignore laws of cause and effect it detracts from the story. It causes the reader to be unable to suspend belief in a fantastical storyline and that is what happens with this book. It all starts promisingly enough with two teenage sisters Gabi and Lisa, exploring a discovery of their archeologist mother. The girls trigger handprints which send them back in time. Then the story becomes ridiculous. The oldest sister, Gabi, lands in the middle of a medieval battle and what does she do? She raves about the looks of a knight she sees, even when she notes that something might be a little wrong with the battle she is witnessing. The battle turns out to be real, with men dying in front of her. Still she fixates on the looks of the handsome knight. Shallow and clueless does not make for a good book. Narrator Pam Turlow is excellent....if she were reading a different book. The book is written in the first person by Gabi, but Turlow???s voice is too mature for a teenager except when she is doing dialog. Her dialog ???voices??? sound like the teenagers they are supposed to be, but the switch back and forth from ???teen??? and ???mature??? becomes tiresome and a distraction. The story ends on a ???cliffhanger??? but I won???t be looking for it, I just don???t care enough to find out what happens next.
Perhaps it was the narrator, who was difficult to listen to, but it was also the extremely melodramatic characters created by author Janny Wurts. There was either too much drama and overwrought emotion, or so little as to be flat and boring. Explanations as to why characters behaved the way they did, did little to make them more likable or sympathetic. I was relieved when the book ended though the ending would leave one to believe that there is a continuation. Think I???ll be passing on any more books in this series.
Witches, vampires, demons, did we forget anything? Oh yes, a few ghosts and let's not forget the humans. Shouldn't there be some werewolves but oddly enough, there aren't any. There is an interesting plot, a mysterious alchemical manuscript, an old unsolved murder and finally the "hero" and "heroine". However, this is the first time that I've listened to a book and found the plot to be more interesting than the main characters. And the plot is what kept me going through the entire 24 hours and 2 minutes.
We first meet Diana Bishop, scholar, historian, emotionally stunted witch in the Bodleian Library and are quickly introduced to Matthew Clairmont, tall, dark, handsome stranger, no wait...vampire. Without much ado, Diana and Matthew become attracted to each other though why isn't at all clear. Neither character displays much by way of personality other than a propensity on Diana's part to be insipid, insecure and irrational. Matthew on the other hand, is autocratic, demanding and superior. And hearing him call Diana "mon coeur" over and over becomes positively nauseating. Both characters seem to have no conversation other than to make silly demands of each other, or issuing ultimatums. Buy the end of the book I was heartily sick of Diana and Matthew. They had become caricatures, one dimensional, boring and unsympathetic. And I really don't much care what happens to them.
Reader Jennifer Ikeda does an adequate job, though some of her voices for the different characters start to grate after awhile. It is perhaps more an indication of the character development (or lack thereof) that affects the reading.
There is promise to author Deborah Harkness' writing, otherwise I wouldn't have been able to finish A Discovery of Witches. Hopefully she'll continue to grow as an author and write a really terrific next book.
What a surreal story, but a fascinating one. Dia Reeves has written this book for teens but adults will find it interesting too. Enter the strange and twisted landscape of Portero and meet the teenage daughters of a serial killer, Kit and Fancy. The world Kit and Fancy live in is revealed piece by piece, and a spooky one it is. The town populace take all the strange happenings in their town as normal, such as rampaging monsters, plants that grow only where a body is buried, strange beasts in the nearby forbidding forest and a tree that grants wishes. Kit and Fancy have to deal with being shunned due to their father having killed so many people. They also have to deal with their own issues of growing up.
The reader, Suzy Jackson, is very good, though I almost had a difficult time with her voice. Oddly, she didn't "sound" quite right for this book. I really like her vocal characterizations, but for me, her voice wasn't the best fit.
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