This was the first Dick Francis I ever read, back in the time still in German and abridged. Nevertheless, the story hooked me and I got a fan. I read nearly all his books but I always came back to this. The storyline keeps close to the characters and uses racing as a colourful background. It starts with a bang and keeps your nerves taut till the gripping finish.
Tony Britton does a wonderful job reading it, giving each character its own voice.
If you are wondering, what the hype about Dick Francis is all about - try this one for starters.
I have read this trilogy many times over, so the story was familiar and well-loved. I really enjoyed listening to it for the first time.
Even after the time had passed and I wasn't a teenager/young adult anymore, this is still a very enjoyable story. So don't hesitate to give it a try, it's not a childrens book.
Sally Darling did a very good job depicting the different characters and her voice fit the young Menolly well.
(This review is for the complete series)
I came across the Lioness books in a public library in the childrens section when I was in my mid-tweens and loved the story from the beginning. This books belong to the few I reread regularly over the years and they entertain me still.
I greatly enjoyed the reading by Trini Alvarado who gave a fresh performance fitting the young main character, growing up into a self-secured woman over the four books of the series.
Under all the adventures it is a story about taking responsibility for your actions, friendship and loyalty. Even if the story is aimed at young girls, it is neither simple nor soppy romantic, so adults (like me) can enjoy it too.
Got the first three books in a bargain here at Audible and boy I'm glad I took them! The heroin Cat is a clever, witty girl, stubborn and snarky. I love female characters with a strong voice. She develops from mindlessly hating and hunting all vampires to seeing the shades of grey after being introduced into the world of vampires, ghouls and ghosts.
The story is well woven and kept my attention to a point where I couldn't go to sleep - I just had to finish it in one go. The scenes between Cat and Bones are sexy as hell but never embarrassing (at least for an European girl...)
A lot of the reviews mentioned that Bones reminds of Spike, yet Bones has his own facinating character traits and habits and is far from being a "copycat". A lot of the typical vampiric themes are present too, but mixed and adjusted to an unique new blend.
Tavia Gilbert is a fantastic narrator. She creates distinctive voices for all characters and especially Bones with his British accent is expertly done. I hope she will keep the voices over the following volumes since I will go on reading - like, you know, just now...
I've now read the five books in short succession and maybe that is the problem.
Roy Dotrice as the narrator is doing a bad job in the two new books. Maybe he'd gotten too old in the meantime, but his female voices plainly sound awful and there is generally not much distinction between the voices. (I won't want to talk about continuity anymore...)
That all would've been endurable if the story had captured my attention like the first three books. I just can't detect any development in either the characters and the plot - and the only character I still found interesting and cared about (Jon Snow) is probably dead.
The only emotion left is puzzlement. We read a lot about people wandering across the world and what they are eating and wearing. But what drives them? What is their aim? What do they want? That is no more visable.
The only highlight: the dragons are free! Let them consume all the new irritating characters and get over with the story.
I am listening to the books without the break of years in between and it is irritating as hell that the voices for a lot of the characters have changed. Especially the female voices are completely different (and worse than before). Why use the same narrator and not check the previous recordings? I blame the narrator and the producers equally.
This book is puzzle pieces jumbled together. The first chapter alone left me 'huh?' until the very end and the story introduces such a lot of new characters (and viewpoints) that it left my head realing. It's not bad, just incomplete without the next part. What I missed most? Tyrion! (well, no more spoilers) What I liked most? Sam got a larger part and the storyline around Sensa.
First, the rating is not based on either story or performance. I just can't write a review without rating first.
I bought this as a bargain - two for one credit. But that was why I didn't check the series before wasting my credit. Again, book 2 and book 11 are the only performances available for me, all others I can't order here. So why bother and start listening at all?
Either I like the story and can't listen the rest or I don't...
So my advice: if you are not an US citizen, check first for the availability of the books in a series.
The story is not so well woven as some of the others in this series, but it is a good addition since it introduces the water masters. I loved the Selkies and the description of live at the Welsh seashore.
In my opinion, the background stories of the English/Welsh conflict, the coal mining and the constable did more to hinder than bring action to the lovely story about out-witting a generation old bargain .
What I loved especially: that this story again linked into older ones (Wizard of London). It is always fun to meet characters again: Yay Puck!
I got aware of this captivating series by the TV show which is brilliant. To read the book afterwards does not diminish the thrill, since the characters get so much more details and the history gets more depth because, well, they just couldn't put everything into one season. I recommend listening to the book to everyone who loved the show.
It took me some time to get used to Roy Dotrice and his reading and it still annoys me a bit when he pauses dramatically before - nothing special at all. Overall, he's doing a good job of bringing the characters to live, even the female ones.
Annoying is the production of this audiobook because the repitition of the last sentence on the next CD just doesn't make sense in a continuous audio stream. So if you wonder, why there are so many "misreadings", it's because they just put together the CDs without further editing...
It was a very entertaining listen for several reasons, well worth the money.
The setup of the Vampire Empire origin and motivation is intriguing and a good mixture of common elements and new ones (the explanation for them flying being one - no spoilers!)
The characters are well described - also the minor ones - and develop understandably. Adele is no wilting flower and finds a strenght within her while she struggles to survive. I always love strong female characters.
The Greyfriar's secret is reveiled very soon but it was quite obvious from the beginning, so I was relieved that they didn't drag this out. The conflict lies more in his origin than in keeping it a secret anyway. And I found more understanding for the vampires, especially Flay, than Adele's riding-to-the-rescue fiance.
The steampunk is a nice touch and plausible but not really necessary for or prominent in the story. If you consider buying this audiobook just because of that then leave it be.
The narration of Mr. Marsters is excellent and brings color to every character, even the smallest one. He gives them such life and emotion that the story runs like a film while listening to him. With Adele I always forgot that a man is narrating, he captures her voice so well.
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