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Natalie

Los Angeles, CA, United States | Member Since 2010

20
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 8 reviews
  • 28 ratings
  • 463 titles in library
  • 59 purchased in 2014
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  • Left Behind: Left Behind Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Tim LaHaye, Jerry Jenkins
    • Narrated By Jack Sondericker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (378)
    Performance
    (327)
    Story
    (324)

    In one cataclysmic moment, millions around the globe disappear. Vehicles, suddenly unmanned, careen out of control. People are terror stricken as loved ones vanish before their eyes. Is this the rapture prophesied by scriptures in the Bible from ancient times? If so, what destiny and tribulations are about to befall those who remain on the Earth and are left behind? In the midst of global chaos, airline captain Rayford Steele must search for his family, for answers, for truth.

    Elizabeth says: "Great story, terrible audio"
    "Save a credit! Christian propaganda-not a novel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I should have listened to the bad reviews, Oh, why didn't I listen!?

    Narrator--pretty awful. Female characters especially bad, almost funny. Like when a teenage boy dresses up as a girl and does "that voice".

    Characters--flat. Very generic. From a Lifetime movie.

    Premise--interesting. That is why I bought it. But it is so poorly researched on the scientific end that his goal (to make me see the light) actually backfired because of how unfairly matched the arguments were. I am all for keeping an open mind and having it changed but not by a zealot with nothing more than his own faith. And NOT during what was supposed to be a novel. This was a Christain infomercial.

    Writing--oh, Jesus. It is bad.

    Story--here is where is gets interesting. The book starts off okay with an interesting event--tons of people disappearing--but quickly devolves. In the end, it is a very thinly veiled attempt at Christian propaganda where the author must have thought he was writing to adults with the intellectual capacity of children. Some of the writing is like a wizened prophet speaking to idiot sinners (that is you and me, by the way). It is almost insulting but I know he believes in his message and was probably just not given the gift of the written word so that is fine. I know he meant no intentional offense. That being said, there are so many points where I started laughing because of how obvious it was that he was trying to make us "see the light". Once it is clear what he is up to, the rest of the story is about the characters' journey at coming around to the truth of Jesus and the story and side plot (which was the only kind of interesting thing going on) become secondary.

    If you are already a True Believer, go on and get this book. It will make you feel all fuzzy and warm that you will be saved, too. If you are not, this book was just plain laughably bad.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Heirs and Graces: A Royal Spyness Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Rhys Bowen
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1215)
    Performance
    (1089)
    Story
    (1081)

    As 35th in line for the throne, Lady Georgiana Rannoch may not be the most sophisticated young woman, but she knows her table manners. It's forks on the left, knives on the right - not in His Majesty's back….

    Nancy says: "Enjoyable light murder mystery"
    "Not the best in the series but still solid Spyness"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Great narration as usual. The story was not my favorite in the series but still just as fun and engaging as ever.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Pure

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Julianna Baggott
    • Narrated By Khristine Hvam, Joshua Swanson, Kevin T. Collins, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (483)
    Performance
    (430)
    Story
    (428)

    Pressia barely remembers the Detonations or much about life during the Before. In her sleeping cabinet behind the rubble of an old barbershop where she lives with her grandfather, she thinks about what is lost. There are those who escaped the apocalypse unmarked. Pures. They are tucked safely inside the Dome that protects their healthy, superior bodies. Yet Partridge, whose father is one of the most influential men in the Dome, feels isolated and lonely. Different. He thinks about loss - maybe just because his family is broken. When Pressia meets Partridge, their worlds shatter all over again.

    D says: "Pure Surprise"
    "Good premise but dull characters and depressing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I like the premise a lot but nobody is happy in this book--nobody. And nobody has a true crazy passion. A lot have curiosity or numbed resistance but even when people succeed in this novel, no joy is felt--and it all translates to the reader so I just did not enjoy this much. I know that sounds silly but it makes it very hard to care about the characters and their actions when even they do not seem to care too much and the book falls apart from there.

    The characters could have been developed a lot better and in some cases seem like they were picked out of a stereotype vault.

    The writing is OK and has moments of beauty but needs a lot of work. Pace is too slow at times it needs to be fast and then too fast when it needsto be slow and misses opportunities to develop plot and characters more.

    With the whole post-nuclear thing, the author did do a great job of painting the world and its people but forgot to paint in any potential joy or hope so eventually you just want to get the hell out of there and leave those depressed mutants behind.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Only Time Will Tell: The Clifton Chronicles, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Jeffrey Archer
    • Narrated By Roger Allam, Emilia Fox
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1100)
    Performance
    (914)
    Story
    (902)

    From the internationally best-selling author of Kane and Abel and A Prisoner of Birth comes Only Time Will Tell, the first in an ambitious new series that tells the story of one family across generations, across oceans, from heartbreak to triumph. The epic tale of Harry Clifton’s life begins in 1920, with the words "I was told that my father was killed in the war"....

    C. Johnson says: "Standard Archer "class-clash". Stellar narration!!"
    "A (very enjoyable!) watered-down Ken Follett book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story


    I like books with interwoven characters and stories a lot (think: Ken Follett) so I tried this one and liked it very much. I am currently on book 2. The characters are nicely developed and the story is entertaining and engaging. The narration is lovely and the nature of how the story is told is unique. It is kind of epistolary from many POVs which adds a lot of depth.

    On the whole, this storyline is a bit more shallow than a lot of books of this genre I am used to but that is not a criticism. The stakes are just never quite as “life and death at every moment” high as some other stories so your emotional dips and highs aren't as big but sometimes I am in the mood for a nice palate-cleanser. Would recommend :)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Daughter of Smoke and Bone

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Laini Taylor
    • Narrated By Khristine Hvam
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1786)
    Performance
    (1595)
    Story
    (1613)

    Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky. In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grown dangerously low. And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war. Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages - not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color.

    Coffee says: "Amazing story & INCREDIBLE Narrator!"
    "Different kind of YA book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    This was a book I was not super into throughout but felt compelled to finish because it was somewhat interesting. There were a few questions early on that kept me listening because I wanted to know the answers. If not for them, I may have ditched earlier. Very different than the typical YA book. Odd places, scenarios, characters. Sometimes so odd I had a hard time relating but interesting enough so that I wanted to know more. I will not be getting the sequel though as I do not really care what happens to anyone :(


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Book Thief

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Markus Zusak
    • Narrated By Allan Corduner
    Overall
    (7450)
    Performance
    (5681)
    Story
    (5695)

    It's just a small story really, about, among other things, a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak's groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can't resist: books.

    Shannon says: "Word Thief"
    "Haunting, beautiful, odd, unforgettable."
    Overall

    I was a bit nervous because I knew this had something to do with WWII and nazi's thinking it would be "one of those books" but I was so wrong. It is much more than that and only uses that as a backdrop for a set of relationships and stories that transcend time period and environment.

    The narration is my favorite EVER on Audible and that is coming from a sworn Simon Vance fan.

    The writing is beautiful.

    The characters are so real to me even now. I cried, I chuckled, I used words and phrases from it in my everyday vocabulary for months.

    YES. GET IT.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Her Royal Spyness: A Royal Spyness Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Rhys Bowen
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    Overall
    (4142)
    Performance
    (3522)
    Story
    (3505)

    Georgie, aka Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie, cousin of King George V of England, is penniless and trying to survive on her own as an ordinary person in London in 1932. So far she has managed to light a fire and boil an egg... She's gate-crashed a wedding... She's making money by secretly cleaning houses... And she's been asked to spy for Her Majesty the Queen.

    Coffee Lover says: "Joy, Joy, Joy!"
    "Fun, cute, charming!"
    Overall

    If you are looking for a silly, cute book with engaging characters and an adorable narrator to "cleanse the palate" between more serious reads, this is it! Really enjoyed it.

    13 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • Stone's Fall

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Iain Pears
    • Narrated By Roy Dotrice, John Lee, Simon Vance
    Overall
    (273)
    Performance
    (118)
    Story
    (118)

    Iain Pears tells the story of John Stone, financier and arms dealer, a man so wealthy that in the years before World War One he was able to manipulate markets, industries, and indeed entire countries and continents. A panoramic novel with a riveting mystery at its heart, Stone's Fall is a quest to discover how and why John Stone dies, falling out of a window at his London home.

    Marilyn Scher says: "Iain Pears-Always more than you bargained for."
    "You will want to listen to it again after the end"
    Overall

    It takes a while to get through (which I like) and the whole story is so well built. Characters engaging. Great narrators. If you like historical fiction and British narrators reading to you, yay.

    You will, however, want to listen to it again with a new understanding after the conclusion :)

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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