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Connie

Science fiction, fantasy, historical fiction...take me away!

Hope, BC, Canada | Member Since 2010

13
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 25 reviews
  • 25 ratings
  • 186 titles in library
  • 3 purchased in 2014
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  • Purple Hibiscus

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
    • Narrated By Lisette Lecat
    Overall
    (51)
    Performance
    (44)
    Story
    (42)

    In Purple Hibiscus, she recounts the story of a young Nigerian girl searching for freedom. Although her father is greatly respected within their community, 15-year-old Kambili knows a frighteningly strict and abusive side to this man. In many ways, she and her family lead a privileged life, but Kambili and her brother, Jaja, are often punished for failing to meet their father’s expectations. After visiting her aunt and cousins, Kambili dreams of being part of a loving family.

    Msafiri says: "Great Story"
    "Intrigued by the author"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I saw a TED talk by the author so decided to listen to one of her books. I understand this was one of her earlier books and it is a slightly unsophisticated view of what happens in abusive relationships. The author portrays the cycle of abuse and reconciliation well, but a bit naively. The reader provided realism through her voice and what I imagine was accurate reading of the parts in the character's native tongue. I do not usually read dark books (I work in health care and see enough tragedy in my work life) and I probably wouldn't have listened to it had I paid more attention to the topic.
    The writing is very good and I found myself smiling at the clever and thoughtful word choices. I hope there are other books by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie that will be not quite as challenging in their content.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Marie Brennan
    • Narrated By Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (69)
    Performance
    (65)
    Story
    (66)

    You, dear listener, continue at your own risk. It is not for the faint of heart - no more so than the study of dragons itself. But such study offers rewards beyond compare: to stand in a dragon's presence, even for the briefest of moments - even at the risk of one's life - is a delight that, once experienced, can never be forgotten….All the world, from Scirland to the farthest reaches of Eriga, know Isabella, Lady Trent, to be the world's preeminent dragon naturalist.

    Bonnie says: "Kate Reading makes this audio book devine"
    "Victorian Lady discovers her passion for dragons"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Engrossing story told by Lady Trent, documenting her early life and fascination with dragons, culminating in a dangerous trip to distant lands to study them closely. Amazing narration, lovely story. I hope there are more volumes to come!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Abaddon's Gate

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By James S.A. Corey
    • Narrated By Jefferson Mays
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (398)
    Performance
    (374)
    Story
    (371)

    The alien artifact working through its program under the clouds of Venus has appeared in Uranus's orbit, where it has built a massive gate that leads to a starless dark. Jim Holden and the crew of the Rocinante are part of a vast flotilla of scientific and military ships going out to examine the artifact. But behind the scenes, a complex plot is unfolding, with the destruction of Holden at its core. As the emissaries of the human race try to find whether the gate is an opportunity or a threat, the greatest danger is the one they brought with them.

    Greg says: "The worst part is waiting for book 4"
    "Solid in every way"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I rushed through this series and found myself not unhappy to do housework because I could listen to the book.

    I have been seeking strong female characters and this book had them, as well as alien intrigue and a satisfying explanation of the complexities from the prior books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Doomsday Book

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Connie Willis
    • Narrated By Jenny Sterlin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1869)
    Performance
    (1208)
    Story
    (1229)

    For Oxford student Kivrin, traveling back to the 14th century is more than the culmination of her studies - it's the chance for a wonderful adventure. For Dunworthy, her mentor, it is cause for intense worry about the thousands of things that could go wrong.

    Owl says: "Timely, beautiful, terrible and haunting"
    "Historical fiction with a twist"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I didn't start listening to this series at the beginning which may be why my rating isn't a bit higher. I enjoy the time travel premise very much and enjoyed the parallel plague stories.

    Dragged on a bit for me, but I will listen to the rest of the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Android's Dream

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1764)
    Performance
    (1505)
    Story
    (1507)

    A human diplomat creates an interstellar incident when he kills an alien diplomat in a most unusual way. To avoid war, Earth's government must find an equally unusual object: A type of sheep ("The Android's Dream"), used in the alien race's coronation ceremony. To find the sheep, the government turns to Harry Creek, ex-cop, war hero and hacker extraordinaire.

    James says: "Philip K Dick meets Douglas Adams"
    "Written on a Dare?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am fairly certain this was written on a dare…"I bet you can't write a book that in the first chapter someone dies from …."

    I will listen to anything Wil Wheaton narrates and I loved other Scalzi books, I was a bit worried about the seemingly junior high opening of this book but I was caught up in the story after I met Robin, the pet store owner. The dialogue between Robin and her escort was rich and the plot twists don't disappoint.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Damocles

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By S. G. Redling
    • Narrated By Angela Dawe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (119)
    Performance
    (114)
    Story
    (111)

    When Earth is rocked by evidence that extraterrestrials may have seeded human DNA throughout the universe, a one-way expedition into deep space is mounted to uncover the truth. What linguist Meg Dupris and her crewmates aboard the Earth ship Damocles discover on Didet - a planet bathed in the near-eternal daylight of seven suns - is a humanoid race with a different language, a different look, and a surprisingly similar society. But here, it’s the "Earthers" who are the extraterrestrial invaders, and it’s up to Meg - a woman haunted by tragedy and obsessed with the power of communication - to find the key to establishing trust between the natives and the newcomers.

    Kathy says: "Swimming against the current!"
    "A little above ho hum"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I almost didn't listen to this book after the first 10 minutes because the narrator seemed so out of character with the characters…a sweet female voice using profanity…I didn't mind the profanity, it just grated because it was incongruous. The attempts to lower her voice to male timbres didn't work for me either. I had forgotten to download another book, so it's all I had and I slogged through. The story dragged, it seemed like there was a chapter missing in the end when we skipped from one character to another without any link. Wouldn't recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Blue Remembered Earth

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Alastair Reynolds
    • Narrated By Kobna Holdbrook-Smith
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (197)
    Performance
    (181)
    Story
    (180)

    Critically acclaimed author Alastair Reynolds holds a well-deserved place “among the leaders of the hard-science space opera renaissance." (Publishers Weekly). In Blue Remembered Earth, Geoffrey Akinya wants nothing more than to study the elephants of the Amboseli basin. But when his space-explorer grandmother dies, secrets come to light and Geoffrey is dispatched to the Moon to protect the family name - and prevent an impending catastrophe.

    Michael G. Kurilla says: "A surprising and staisfying departure for Reynolds"
    "Amazing Performance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Kobna Holdbrook-Smith delivers a masterful performance, creating distinct voices for the many characters in this engrossing story of a family secret that isn't easily unearthed. The characters were likable, the plot twisty and the future an interesting vision of a post climate change earth. I could have enjoyed a bit shorter denouement, but well worth the listen.

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

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Markus Zusak
    • Narrated By Allan Corduner
    Overall
    (5892)
    Performance
    (4257)
    Story
    (4277)

    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"
    "I gave up!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It's probably just me, but I could not follow this story. I suspect there was something about how the words appeared on the page (indented? italics?) that would have helped me follow what was happening. I started it over several times thinking I would "get it" but I had no luck. The story sounds so interesting. Your mileage may vary!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Caliban's War: The Expanse, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By James S. A. Corey
    • Narrated By Jefferson Mays
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (738)
    Performance
    (680)
    Story
    (681)

    James S.A. Corey’s best-selling hit Leviathan Wakes earned Hugo and Locus Award nominations. In Caliban’s War, the second chapter of Corey’s Expanse series, a desperate Earth politician works tirelessly to prevent war from reigniting. Meanwhile, upheaval takes root on Venus and Ganymede. And amidst this tumult, James Holden and his crew on the Rocinante are charged with the impossible task of saving humanity from a terrifying fate.

    Ethan M. says: "No sophmore slump as both plot and writing improve"
    "Filling in the details with fascinating characters"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Book 1 avoiding delving into the politics and context, but Book 2 dives right in. The characters continue to intrigue. I loved Bobbie and Avasarala. Their idiosyncracies and relationships were fascinating and fun. And the ending....will definitely finish out this series!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The End of Your Life Book Club

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Will Schwalbe
    • Narrated By Jeff Harding
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (358)
    Performance
    (317)
    Story
    (319)

    >"What are you reading?" That's the question Will Schwalbe asks his mother, Mary Anne, as they sit in the waiting room of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. In 2007, Mary Anne returned from a humanitarian trip to Pakistan and Afghanistan suffering from what her doctors believed was a rare type of hepatitis. Months later she was diagnosed with a form of advanced pancreatic cancer, which is almost always fatal, often in six months or less. This is the inspiring true story of a son and his mother.

    Mark says: "A good book, but not really for me."
    "Books, a Mother & Son, and a Terminal Diagnosis"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Will Schwalbe introduces us to his extraordinary mother, Mary Anne, through the books they choose to read and discuss as she and they face a devastating diagnosis. We learn about Mary Anne's work in refugee camps, her philosophy of life, her only regret (not being able to see her grandchildren grow up), and her drive to organize everyone and everything around her. It was an honour to meet Mary Anne through Will's memories and Mary Anne's stories. And the books! Each book opened up topics of conversation that allowed Will and his mother to discuss what truly matters in life.

    I'm a nurse who specializes in care of the elderly and this book is a real gift!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Leviathan Wakes

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By James S.A. Corey
    • Narrated By Jefferson Mays
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1330)
    Performance
    (1184)
    Story
    (1183)

    James S.A. Corey delivers compelling SF that ranks with the best in the field. In Leviathan Wakes, ice miner Jim Holden is making a haul from the rings of Saturn when he and his crew encounter an abandoned ship, the Scopuli. Uncovering a terrifying secret, Jim bears the weight of impending catastrophe. At the same time, a detective has been hired by well-heeled parents to find a missing girl, and the investigator’s search leads him right to the Scopuli.

    Ethan M. says: "Fun hard SF action with a blue collar bent"
    "Detective and Space Cowboy all in one book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The juxtaposition of Miller, the washed up cop, with Jim, the impulsive officer-turned Captain creates an engaging tension throughout this book of grand proportions. A war that could involve the entire solar system, a plague that could wipe out humanity...I was very glad I wasn't "seeing" this book as the descriptions were vivid enough in print to suit my taste. The detail is just right: a focus on the characters and the challenge in front of them and not a lot of politics or background to bog it down.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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