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Victoria, BC, Canada | Member Since 2002

  • 8 reviews
  • 272 ratings
  • 662 titles in library
  • 25 purchased in 2014

  • Inkheart

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Cornelia Funke
    • Narrated By Lynn Redgrave

    Imagine it were possible to bring the characters from a book to life. Not like when you listen to an audiobook with such enchantment that the characters seem to jump off the pages and into your bedroom...but for real. Imagine they could actually climb out of the pages and into our world. Then imagine if those characters brought their world into ours.

    Cynthia Lee Reneau says: "EXCELLENT!!"
    "Word Magic"

    Anyone who enjoys the Jasper Fford books will catch the "Word Magic" in this book. I always enjoyed the concept of literary characters jumping in and out of books... particularly when I am listening to one being read to me by someone like Lyn Redgrave. The irony is perfect. With respect to the story itself, it was such a great page turner, I took a vacation day to finish it! Redgrave's narration is elocution at its best and is as seamless as story.
    Enjoy this one Folks - I certainly did!

    11 of 12 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

    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"
    "Completely Engaging"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, for people who relish extremely, well-researched historical fiction.

    What was one of the most memorable moments of Sarum?

    I am already quite familiar with the history of this area so I thoroughly enjoyed the author's description of particular events, battles, social changes etc. and how the effect on a diverse group of people. However, what made this book memorable for me was author's depiction of the ice age, migration south and early settlement of the area: this was simply delicious!

    What about Wanda McCaddon’s performance did you like?

    I think her consistency was particularly notable. Given this was such a long book, I was impressed that her narration brought the same tone from beginning to end. I had no idea which of the six parts I was listening to at any given sitting - other than the timeline itself. Like many of the good narrators, she did not emote and allowed the events and the characters to tell the story.

    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    There were many...

    Any additional comments?

    I have read extensively about this area and how the political and social powers in the UK and Europe changed over time and I anticipated more of this. I was certainly not prepared for how skillfully the author wove a tapestry of family relationships over such a long period of time and such dramatic changes to society. At the end, I was thrilled the author introduced a descendant from one of the group who left for the New World just after the American Revolution. To connect with name recognition to a distant relative was a tad contrived, but I was pleased that loose end was tied up. I also appreciated the contrasting view points of both these characters (and likely the author himself)... i.e. Salisbury being like a museum (stagnant) and the perception of fighting for the past vs. acknowledging and celebrating the fluidity of change. The irony of these view points was not lost on me and it certainly cuts both ways.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Pandemonium

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Lauren Oliver
    • Narrated By Sarah Drew
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    I’m pushing aside the memory of my nightmare, pushing aside thoughts of Alex, pushing aside thoughts of Hana and my old school, push, push, push, like Raven taught me to do. The old life is dead. But the old Lena is dead too. I buried her.I left her beyond a fence, behind a wall of smoke and flame. Lauren Oliver delivers an electrifying follow-up to her acclaimed New York Times bests eller, Delirium. This riveting, brilliant novel crackles with the fire of fierce defiance, forbidden romance, and the sparks of a revolution about to ignite.

    Emily - Audible says: "Remarkably Mature for YA"
    "Narrator Improves - Story Interesting"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Again, the narrator takes away from good writing

    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    Most: the story line becomes more complicated and the ending is great. Least: can't think of a least... This book progressed nicely from the first book and left you wanting to know the conclusion.

    Would you listen to another book narrated by Sarah Drew?

    Still not entirely pleased.

    Was Pandemonium worth the listening time?

    Absolutely - this author has a good feel for building a story - I look forward to her writing of the climax and conclusion.

    Any additional comments?

    It seems the narrator lost some of her earlier emoting as she did in Delerium. However, she has a long ways to go before she has the ability to effectively describe suspense or emotions without seeming to be emotional herself... In my humble view, a good writer ad especially a good narrator unobtrusively leads the reader to discover emotions within themselves.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Delirium

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Lauren Oliver
    • Narrated By Sarah Drew
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    "Ninety-five days, and then I'll be safe. I wonder whether the procedure will hurt. I want to get it over with. It's hard to be patient. It's hard not to be afraid while I'm still uncured, though so far the deliria hasn't touched me yet. Still, I worry. They say that in the old days, love drove people to madness. The deadliest of all deadly things: It kills you both when you have it and when you don't."

    Joyce E McBride says: "Wonderful"
    "Narration more than disappointing"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    No. I had to force myself to listen to it because the narration was so grating. There were times I just had to turn it off or fast-forward past the suspense sequences.

    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    Most: The disinformation about the dissenters, the crypt, isolation of the

    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Completely... it seemed she was acting the book rather than narrating it

    Did Delirium inspire you to do anything?

    Unfortunately, it has inspired me to abandon listening to the series - I may try to read the second book in hard-copy.

    Any additional comments?

    The narration ruined this book for me. I was very excited to be able to listen to a new dystopian series that had such good book reviews. It was a short-sighted decision to use a narrator that was so cliched and over-emotive. The narration was particularly grating when the story line became suspenseful. With such a good story-line, the suspense is created with the words themselves - not with the narrator speaking extremely quickly, voiced raised and breathless... It was just too much! I believe this series could have been as well received as the Hunger Games or Maximum Ride series. Sadly, I believe the narration of Delirium will prevent this from happening. I did purchase Pandemonium but I will not force myself to listen to it but will go to the library and read the hard copy. Too bad

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Here Burns My Candle

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Liz Curtis Higgs
    • Narrated By Liz Curtis Higgs

    A mother who cannot face her future.... A daughter who cannot escape her past. Lady Elisabeth Kerr is a keeper of secrets. A Highlander by birth and a Lowlander by marriage, she honors the auld ways, even as doubts and fears stir deep within her.

    Her husband, Lord Donald, has secrets of his own, well hidden from the household, yet whispered among the town gossips.

    Lynn Diener says: "Liz does it again!"
    "Great Book - Dreadful Narration"

    This is a classic example of why authors should not attempt to read their own books in an audio genre when there are so many fabulous narrators who would make this book a great audiobook. There are precious few authors who can manage their own narration well and this is one that falls so short of the mark that it virtually destroys an otherwise good book. Her attempts to pronounce old Gaelic words in the midst of an American accent are an insult to both the Gaelic she uses and her own book.

    This book of historical fiction is extremely well written with solid research into the time of the Jacobite rebellion and how this plays out in the City of Edinburgh and within a family of diverse characters. The historical side is solid, the character development is brilliant. Why oh why did this author ruin such a story with the wrong narrator? I can only recommend a paper copy of this book to my friends and family.

    5 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Out of the Silent Planet

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By C.S. Lewis
    • Narrated By Geoffrey Howard
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Out of the Silent Planet is the first novel of the Cosmic Trilogy, considered to be C.S. Lewis' chief contribution to the science fiction genre.

    David says: "Original, complex, not middle of the road"
    "Profoundly Disappointing"

    I used my credits to get the first two books in the series as I am a huge C.S. Lewis fan and wanted the books for my grand-children - I am very happy that I opted to vet the series before passing it along because I will definitely NOT be giving it to them nor recommending it to anyone. Sorry C.S...

    C.S. Lewis uses an extra-terrestrial setting to drone on about Christianity... (and this seriously monotone narrator can drone like no other!) The story-line has it all... God, the devil,and everything in between in alien characters - Oh yeah... the Christ character is from earth... the silent planet - Sheesh...

    The writing lacks all the great plot and character development of any decent sci-fi or fantasy. It is a total waste of time - C.S. Lewis should stay in Narnia where he truly shines!

    Save your purchases folks!

    19 of 108 people found this review helpful
  • Mystic Warrior: Book I of the Bronze Canticles Trilogy

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Tracy Hickman, Laura Hickman
    • Narrated By LLoyd James
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    New York Times best-selling master of fantasy, Tracy Hickman, and his wife, author Laura Hickman, offer the first book in a major, new, dragon-laden epic fantasy.

    Michelle says: "Great story and characters"
    "Story Great - Narration Awful"

    The story line is complex and character development fabulous. However, the naration is truly awful! I almost trashed listening to the book at all because the beginning narration was so emotive and overdone... However, I did attempt to overlook the narration because the tale was so good. Like the other reviewers, I am looking forward to the continuation of the saga but I sincerely hope the next book is read by a different narrator. I would have rated this book a 4.5 if it wasn't for the narration

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Golden Compass: His Dark Materials, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Philip Pullman
    • Narrated By Philip Pullman, full cast
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    When Lyra and her daemon Pantalaimon decide to spy on a presentation her uncle, the commanding Lord Asriel, is making to the elders of Jordan College they have no idea that they will become witnesses to an attempted murder, and even less that they are taking the first steps in a journey that will lead them into danger and adventure unlike anything Lyra's unfettered imagination has conjured up.

    Arnold says: "A Terrific Book"
    "Better than Potter"

    This series was originally written for young adults (of all ages) but as an aging young person, I loved the characters, the mystery, the journey, and the suspense. Travel with these characters and you are assured of a fantastic trip with well-developed characters from both worlds. Since Harry Potter got young people reading again - this series is a gift to those who cry for something a bit "more"... in every way. Enjoy the trip...

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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