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Killian

Audiophile since the days I had to check 'em out on rickety cassette tapes at the local library. Currently working the other side of production as an author of romance and scifi/fantasy.

Palo Alto, CA, United States | Member Since 2011

6
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 13 reviews
  • 39 ratings
  • 92 titles in library
  • 12 purchased in 2014
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  • Changeless: An Alexia Tarabotti Novel, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Gail Carriger
    • Narrated By Emily Gray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1513)
    Performance
    (1282)
    Story
    (1289)

    Gail Carriger created a fascinating steampunk vision of Victorian England in her “intoxicatingly witty” (Publishers Weekly, starred review) debut novel Soulless—the first in the best-selling Parasol Protectorate series. Changeless is the second in the series and finds Alexia Tarabotti, now the Lady Woolsey, quite put out after her werewolf husband goes missing. So, armed with her trusty parasol, Alexia boards a dirigible and heads for Scotland to find him.

    Leanna says: "Loved it!"
    "Truly Changeless: I wouldn't change a thing."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    It's a great achievement to create a sequel that outshines the first installment. Ms. Carriger achieved this momentous feat in comical,endearing, and at times, heartbreaking perfection. The narrator and this story melt together like cheese and toast. Loved it, can't say enough good things.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Katherine Howe
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1059)
    Performance
    (413)
    Story
    (418)

    Connie's mother asks her to sell an abandoned house once owned by her grandmother in Salem, Mass. Relunctantly, Connie moves to the small town and inhabits the crumbling, ancient house, trying to restore it to a semblance of order. Curious things start to happen when Connie finds the name "Deliverance Dane" on a yellowed scrap of paper and begins to have visions of a long ago woman condemned for practicing "physick," or herbal healing, on her neighbors in 1690s Salem.

    Darinda says: "Love it!"
    "Slow start, but ultimately enjoyable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It starts out slow, but builds nicely. A good alternative historical work, massaging a bit of fantasy among facts. My only disappointment was that the author developed so few characters, that when the villain is revealed, it's no surprise, nor are his motives at all a mystery to the reader.

    Audiobook notes: the reader was well suited to the text. I enjoyed her performance.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Odyssey

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Homer (translated by Robert Fagles)
    • Narrated By Ian McKellen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (646)
    Performance
    (469)
    Story
    (463)

    McGrath-Muniz says: "Beautiful recording marred by audio problems!"
    "GREAT STORY, Ok Audiobook"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Ladies and Gentlemen, this book has been sold to us all wrong. Show of hands: who among you has heard mention of either The Iliad or The Odyssey and rolled your eyes over yet another "classic" work of fiction forced on unsuspecting high school students meant to bore us into submission? Dudes, this is seriously one of the most exciting books I've ever read. It's practically a ... Um, who's the current go-to action hero actor? Anyways, this is the movie he would star in. It's like if you took Quentin Tarantino to ancient Greece, told him to find inspiration, then let him go gonzo on the script without limits.

    What's weird is that I thought I hadn't read this, somehow escaping it through my academic career. What I realized later was that I had read parts of it in my "Gender in the Classical World" honors lit class my freshman year of college. (I remembered only when I came on the tale of Circe. I remember having a quiz on this and failing horribly, because I didn't understand the context, but let's not go into a discussion of how poorly my high school prepared its students for the world of higher education.) Even then, I didn't enjoy the book, because the focus was on analyzing. No fault on the instructor; that's appropriate for a college course. But seriously, I feel like I missed out on taking in a landscape painting by a master, because someone blotted out all the canvas excepting a single blade of grass.

    I have to admit, there were a few points that made me cringe as a modern reader, but one has to remind themselves that Homer reflected the values and morals of his time, not mine. Still, it was hard to stomach that Penelope is exalted for her commitment to Odysseus, remaining true to him for twenty years. Meantime Odysseus while trying to get home to her has no qualms about being sexed up by whatever goddess or nymph takes a fancy to him, and that's considered okay. Different times, different expectations...

    You know why Homer has been passed down and survived through the centuries? Not because he gives us a picture into an ancient culture, religion, and history. Not because of its consequential anthropological richness. Not even because of its lyric quality for those who can read it in its original tongue. (ee cummings proved that language could be beautiful for beauty's sake without being purposeful.) It's because it's one hell of a story, and takes you on one-- actually numerous thrilling, epic adventures.

    AUDIOBOOK notes: Ian McKellen's rendition was superior. However, I can't give the audiobook performance in whole 5 stars due to production value. This seriously needs to be remastered. It was obviously adopted for digital format from a copy of the tape production. Numerous times between chapters there was a huge change in the audio quality (getting softer, slowing down, sounding warped, etc.) There were even a few parts where there were "hiccups" in the flow, ie where a few words blotted out.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Heartless: The Parasol Protectorate, the Fourth

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Gail Carriger
    • Narrated By Emily Gray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1224)
    Performance
    (1059)
    Story
    (1061)

    Lady Alexia Maccon, soulless, is at it again, only this time the trouble is not her fault. When a mad ghost threatens the queen, Alexia is on the case, following a trail that leads her deep into her husband's past. Top that off with a sister who has joined the suffragette movement (shocking!), Madame Lefoux's latest mechanical invention, and a plague of zombie porcupines and Alexia barely has time to remember she happens to be eight months pregnant. Can Alexia determine who is trying to kill Queen Victoria?

    Yuriko says: "The fun is BACK!"
    "How in Hades does she do it?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    How the Hades does she weave such fantastical prose? Another knock out installment of the intelligent, engaging series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Malala Yousafzai
    • Narrated By Archie Panjabi
    Overall
    (850)
    Performance
    (772)
    Story
    (774)

    When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education. On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, when she was fifteen, she almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive. Instead, Malala's miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York.

    Jan says: "So much more than expected..."
    "To know so much in the heart in so few years."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    What a humbling story. It was a little difficult to get into the book at first, as it was hard to think of it as the voice of a teenager. It's obvious the co-writer played a heavy hand in structuring much of the historical context. However, the narrative of Ms. Yousafzai comes through strong enough that one is left with an undeniable impression of how valiant her cause is.

    Audiobook: I appreciated that the reader selected for this production was a native voice of the region from which Ms. Yousafzai comes. Her ability to effortless present terms and mention places which gave her no qualm made the narrative liquid and flowing. It also was good that the producers chose not to placate the western ear by choosing a reader with an American or British accent. I believe something would have been lost if they had.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Hopeless

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Colleen Hoover
    • Narrated By Angela Goethals
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (524)
    Performance
    (486)
    Story
    (494)

    Would you rather know a truth that makes you feel hopeless, or keep believing the lies? Beloved and bestselling author Colleen Hoover returns with the spellbinding story of two young people with devastating pasts who embark on a passionate, intriguing journey to discover the lessons of life, love, trust--and above all, the healing power that only truth can bring.

    Jordy says: "Another 5 Star Favorite"
    "Brilliance with a caveat"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Hoover has a nearly unparalleled ability to write intimacy and a scope for treating the tragic with tenderness. Very dark, not meant for readers looking for something uplifting. But, if you're looking for something that shows the power of love to heal, this pins the tail on that donkey. I did keep coming back to two issues, though: no matter how much I tried, and no matter what the two MCs went through that forced them to grow up young, I still questioned that they could have that much maturity and wisdom. Especially Skye. Being that's she's had such an isolated life, I found it difficult to accept she carried such wisdom of the world. Also, some dialog, particularly near the end where the last threads were tied up, sounded very unnatural and as though the characters were speaking in essay form.

    Skye's friend, Brecken(Spelling?), seemed to be an afterthought by the end of the book. He was my favorite secondary character, and I really enjoyed the scenes in which he appeared.

    Still, one hell of a book, written by one hell of a woman.

    Audiobook notes: The performance on this was good to very good, but where the book had a flashback scene spoken first person by Sky as a child, she made her voice so stereotypical little girl sappy it sounded like she was using baby talk. These chapters are few and brief. She did, however, put in a powerful performance with Holder. It's difficult for a woman to pull of a sexy male lead sometimes, but definitely not the case here.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • This Same Earth: Elemental Mysteries, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Hunter
    • Narrated By Dina Pearlman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (94)
    Performance
    (88)
    Story
    (85)

    Beatrice De Novo thought she had left the supernatural world behind... for the most part. But when the past becomes the present, will she leave her quiet life in Los Angeles to follow a mystery she thought had abandoned her? Where has Giovanni Vecchio been, and why has he returned? Giovanni has his own questions, and he's looking to her for answers.

    Killian says: "Hunter delivers again."
    "Hunter delivers again."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Mysterious and intriguing, Hunter continues to wow in this book, giving us a strong heroine with her own mind, own faults, and own agenda. Picking up some five years after the events of A Hidden Fire, the scintillating librarian has rebuilt her life in Southern California after Gio's presence becomes by mere proxy. Though she continues friendships with others she's met during her experience in World V, she grows frustrated with Gio's absence. When he finally does walk back into her life, her stewing erupts into a full-on boiling mess. As Gio and B work to come together again as couple, Lorenzo's maleficent deeds tug around the edges of their circle of friends, bringing with it both death, and a determination for justice. Meanwhile, Gio makes it clear to Beatrice that he's interested in her for the long haul, that he wants her to be with him forever. A host of new characters and revisits by others add elegance and intrigue, culminating with Beatrice's emergence as a Damsel that can cause others some serious distress. A fantastic series for anyone who wants their mystery and mythic creatures cut with a slice of passion and romance.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • A Hidden Fire: Elemental Mysteries, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Hunter
    • Narrated By Dina Pearlman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (182)
    Performance
    (168)
    Story
    (162)

    No secret stays hidden forever. A phone call from an old friend sets mysterious book researcher Giovanni Vecchio back on the path of a mystery that has eluded him for centuries. Little does he suspect a young librarian holds the key to an ancient secret, nor could he expect the danger Beatrice De Novo would attract. Now both will follow a twisted maze leading from the archives of a university library, through the fires of Renaissance Florence, and toward a passion that could destroy them both.

    Robin in Vermont says: "What's happened to Dina Pearlman?"
    "Wow, what a ride!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Holy hell. What a brilliant piece of writing, a great balance of mystery and romance. Intellectually and emotionally strong characters, a well developed slow burn (no pun) romance, and side characters with depth and perception and purpose. I may be Elizabeth Hunter's newest and most dedicated fangirl. I downloaded the sequel at 4 AM. I couldn't wait.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gabriel's Inferno

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Sylvain Reynard
    • Narrated By John Morgan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1173)
    Performance
    (1049)
    Story
    (1070)

    Enigmatic and sexy, Professor Gabriel Emerson is a well-respected Dante specialist by day, but by night he devotes himself to an uninhibited life of pleasure. He uses his notorious good looks and sophisticated charm to gratify his every whim, but is secretly tortured by his dark past and consumed by the profound belief that he is beyond all hope of redemption. When the sweet and innocent Julia Mitchell enrolls as his graduate student, his attraction and mysterious connection to her not only jeopardizes his career, but sends him on a journey in which his past and his present collide.

    Lulu says: "Souls Too Tortured for My Taste"
    "Breve! Finally, brave romance and intelligence!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Highly recommended, and in fact already have recommended it. This story didn't shy away from intelligent, three-dimensional characters who act sometimes irrationally and don't get held up in romance formata and shelf fodder.


    Which character – as performed by John Morgan – was your favorite?

    Mr. Morgan's voicing of Gabriel was spot on.


    Any additional comments?

    I had only one complaint on this recording: I feel that occasionally Mr. Morgan read aloud directive notes that were in the script only to inform his performance. Listening to a romance read by a deep-voiced man gave me pause, but the performance was very engaging in whole.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Divergent

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Veronica Roth
    • Narrated By Emma Galvin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (17867)
    Performance
    (16172)
    Story
    (16297)

    In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue - Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is - she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

    Grant says: "It's not for me. Loved it anyway."
    "Seduces the reader slowly"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    It took me a little while to get into this, but it ended solid. I'm looking forward to book 2.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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