Start here for Meljean Brooks' Iron Duke series!
I read a lot of long books so I have to give this props for not feeling rushed or underdeveloped at less than four hours. The world building is strong, and the story puts you right into the thick of things. No boring lag times here! You'll be able to jump into the next book with a strong grasp of this steampunky universe.
Yet I'm in no hurry to get to the next books, and I think it was the narrator. It's not as evident in the sample as it could be, but she takes a noticeable pause about once every five words or so, much more obviously than you'd hear in normal conversation. I found the effect rather clunky. She also gives a lot of thrust and an imperative tone to much of the dialogue which didn't make for an easy listen. It's weird, because I'm usually pretty easy-going when it comes to narrators and can brush off other people's complaints, but in this case I won't be continuing on with the Iron Duke series on audio.
So I'd recommend listening to the sample carefully before buying! (Well, I'd recommend that anyway!) The narrator doesn't really do anything wrong, but her performance never seemed to smooth out as the book went along. Just the opposite in fact, so try before you buy!
This book is funny and quirky and amazingly well narrated! Hapless British Charlie, his ultra-suave brother, little old ladies in the Caribbean, and ancient Gods shine with Lenny Henry’s perfect delivery.
The plot summary is enough to give you an idea of where this books starts, but the plot isn’t just about the plot. In many ways, this is an ode to old-fashioned storytelling which makes the wonderful narration even more apropos. If you were to ask for a list of books that were just meant to be listened to in audio form instead of read on paper, this would be one of my top picks.
Anansi Boys is connected to Gaiman’s American Gods, but you don’t need to have read one to read the other. The styles of the two books are dissimilar, Anansi Boys being the light to American Gods dark, and they aren’t direct sequels. This book could be a good place to start if you’ve never tried this author before.
It’s not the story itself that really makes this audio, it’s the whole package. I like Gaiman well enough but am not a die hard fan, but the combination of story, theme, and performance totally send this one over the top!
Highly recommended for fans of fantasy, fiction, or any story fabulously told!
After loving the first book, I held off reading the second until I was in just the right mood. These books are pure paranormal-romance-and-action candy!
The backdrop of the series reminds me a bit of Sherrilyn Kenyon’s dark hunters taken in a new direction (in two *very* new directions by the end of this second installment!). Good guy immortal vampires battle together against bad guy vamps, assisted by a network of human helpers. A host of characters makes up the continuing storyline, and each book also highlights one couple’s story. This time it’s Ami and Marcus who take center stage.
I was intrigued by Ami at the end of the last book, and initially surprised to see her character coming up to bat so quickly, but now I’m catching on. I don’t want to say too much and risk giving anything away! I will say that I was hoping for a touch more sizzle between her and Marcus, which is why I knocked one star off the story rating. Oh it’s there, but even more of a good thing is always an improvement, right? Scanning the other reviews it seems like only a few of us felt that way though, so you can probably just count me as an Ami fan girl with high expectations.
From the looks of things, all the main characters will continue to appear in future books as their shared storyline unfolds, which is an excellent thing if you’ve got a favorite. Or two. This is one series I’ll happily follow to the end!
Overall, great series with lots of interesting details, fun romances and great narrator. I'm a happy listener!
Overall this was fine while I was reading it but I doubt I’d listen to it again. The other book I’ve read by this author was very emotionally intense, so perhaps this one suffered a bit by comparison.
This was... medium. Nothing about it stood out and grabbed me as either great or terrible. The plot is very basic (which isn’t a bad thing) but I know the author is capable of more flare. The narration is all right but not excellent. The characters were okay but I didn’t fall in love, and I really wish the male lead hadn’t been an illegal arms dealer. Well, a reforming arms dealer, at least.
I picked this up during a sale. If it comes up on sale again, listen to the sample before deciding whether it’s your cup of tea. Maybe the other reviewers are right and a different narrator would have given this more oomph?
This book had me in high emotions the whole time! Brace yourselves for one angsty love triangle. If you’ve followed the series to this point then of course you’ll want to continue, just don’t plan on reading at bedtime. I kept getting so mad at various characters I was too worked up to fall asleep!
And of course, since I couldn’t turn the book off, I didn’t get much sleep at all until I finished it. ;) These books are such addictive guilty pleasures. I love the whole series but wow this one’s an angsty scorcher!
After this book… Tod is really growing on me. I really don’t like Sabine, and I wish for Kaylee’s sake that Nash didn’t see anything likeable about her either. (I wish that last part a lot, apparently – it’s one of the bigger things that kept me awake.) And after everything that’s happened in the series so far, I can’t for the life of me figure out why Kaylee’s and Nash’s parents ever let them out of their sight!
All that and an excellent narrator. What more can you ask?
If you haven’t read the first book in the series yet, go back and start with Shade! This is not one of those series where you can skip around.
I enjoyed this book as much as the first. It’s very hard to talk about this story without giving too much away! The love triangle continues, and Zachary isn’t willing to sit back and play second fiddle (pun intended) to a ghostly rocker. The level of emotion continues from the first book, as does the level of threat from assorted government agencies. They don’t seem to be willing to take a back seat either!
We also learn more about the background of the Shift, and some of Aura’s mother’s secrets. The story ends at a reasonable stopping point, but I’m chomping at the bit to read the next book. Still think the narrator does a great job too. Fun older YA series!
It’s been a long while since I read an historical romance, but I’ve always had a soft spot for unusual main characters. Ian Mackenzie’s “madness” drew me right to this one, and I’m glad it did! This was a very good book. Great characters, lots of plot, excellent narrator!
Ian has what must be a mild case of autism. He’s extremely intelligent has learned to handle himself in society fairly well, but other people’s emotions and actions often baffle him. Enter Beth, who’s also a somewhat unusual character for an historical romance. She’s a no-nonsense, common widow who’s recently come into a lot of money. (Egad! Whatever should society do with her? Marry her for the money or shun her for her lack of noble blood? Oh the dilemma!) Things heat up when Beth and Ian cross paths, and romance and a murder mystery ensues. And along the way, two unusual main characters become perfectly endearing. The author handled Ian’s differences with sensitivity, never trivializing them but always keeping us aware of his humanity. I’ll be excited to see what she does with the other characters we’ve met so far!
It’s clear as Beth begins to meet Ian’s brothers that his whole family has had a tumultuous history. I almost double checked to see if I’d skipped an earlier book in the series! There are plenty of hints about what we might expect to see happening with the other brothers in the books to come. Historical romance may not be my usual genre, but after this book I’ll be sure to look into those too.
I'll admit it, I didn’t know how this would go. Would the author be able to keep up the pace of the last book?
My doubts are laid to rest! This was just as fast and intense as the first book! This is a very strong second installment. If you liked ‘Divergent’ you’re going to be a very happy reader!
It’s not just the action that moves the story, either. Tris and Tobias are becoming more and more complex as characters. You could say that one becomes visibly more divergent, while the other almost seems to become less. All the characters start out bruised and battered, and there isn’t time for physical or emotional healing. Amidst the action and chaos, we watch as Tris uncovers “layers upon layers” of the people around her. Inner strengths, secrets, and betrayals lie waiting in unexpected places.
You get to see more of the city in this book, and get to know a little more about what goes on in different factions, which I really enjoyed. The whole concept of factions is so unique that it was exciting to check out the inner workings of those beside Dauntless and Abnegation!
‘Insurgent’ also filled in some places I had wrongly thought were weak points in the overall storyline. Not all my questions are answered yet, but it’s obvious now that the author does have a big picture clearly in mind! We'll have to wait until next year to see how things end, but now I have even more faith that it'll be worth the wait.
Emma Galvin narrates beautifully. She truly gives Tris her voice. I can’t imagine anyone doing it better.
Overall this was wild, intense, and often surprising. Seriously, for anyone reading this who likes action, YA, and dystopia who *hasn’t* started this series yet… Be dauntless. Just jump in!
Cozy mysteries aren’t my usual cup of tea. My life is cozy enough on its own! But the London Olympics must have wet my appetite for all sorts of tea, and this British period cozy found its way onto my player.
Very cute! This is a happy little book that keeps you reading because the main character is so very likeable. Lady Georgiana is a royal relative. She’s just out of finishing school, unmarried, and almost completely without funds. Instead of sitting around moping or hoping for a white knight to save her, she musters all her considerable pluck and tries to learn to support herself!
This will only work out, of course, if no one finds out that a peer is trying to work to support herself. That would certainly never do! Oh, and then there’s the body in the bathtub. Best they not find out about that either….
The charms are the characters, a strong sense of the 1930’s London setting, and a dollop of wry British humor.
There’s no real tension to be found here. It won’t leave you jumpy or completely surprised by the mystery element, and any spying going on is more social in nature. This is…well, cozy, but in a good way. Unlike other cozy mysteries, this one kept me happily reading. In fact, the next book in the series is already in my listening queue. I’d highly recommend it to people looking for a fun, light read!
The narrator was excellent. She captured Lady Georgie well, and did a wonderful job voicing the many other characters.
First off, this was much more grim than I was expecting! But then, for some reason I was expecting a sappy teenage love story, and with the space battle and all the desperate fights to save a spaceship and survive captivity, there wasn’t time! All in all? This is what happens when space colonists meet the boys from Lord of the Flies and a crazy baby cult. Not a lot of clear thinking, lots of pressure, and plenty of room for disaster.
The plot switches between Waverly and Kieran’s points of view, each with its own narrator – both of whom read very well, by the way. They’re about sixteen, and as the oldest girl and boy on a space voyage that will take nearly a century, they thought their lives were all mapped out. That all changes the day their spaceship unexpectedly catches up to the one that left ahead of them.
I really enjoyed hearing the details about life aboard the ships. The gardens and orchards, everyone’s jobs, what they ate, how day-to-day life went, that sort of thing. As always with sci-fi, I found myself picking out small details that couldn’t be true, but that’s almost part of the fun for me. Another reviewer mentioned that the adults on this voyage were like “lemmings,” and there were several times I had to agree! Perhaps life in a small, enclosed community breeds naiveté? Interestingly, while Waverly and Kieran are clearly marked as the main characters, I found Kieran to be much less interesting than the other boys on the ship. He’s too weak and spoiled. But then, this isn’t a story about perfect people. In fact, it’s clear the whole time that human flaws are what drive everything about the storyline! By the end of the book it’s hard to tell who to trust, up to and including the main characters.
For a book marketed towards adolescents there are some seriously adult issues floating around. The rights of the individual vs. the rights of a group, procreative rights, the role of religion in society, morality, organized religion vs. cult behavior… And the interesting thing is that the answers aren’t all spelled out. For example, we see religion used for horrible purposes, religion used for good purposes, and then are given pause to wonder, “Wait, is that what’s really going on?” I was almost turned off when for a moment it looked like a strong dose of Sunday School was going to descend on the story and simplistically save the day, but that’s not what ended up happening at all. The day is not yet saved, simplistically or otherwise, and while religion is definitely an element, it’s not clear which way the chips will fall by the end of the trilogy.
The book ends at a reasonable stopping point, but also sees things running headlong toward a new conflict. The characters are all in desperate situations, and each one is reacting differently. There is a lot of story left to tell, and I’m interested to see how this plays out. Not quite riveted, but interested. There may be more going on under the surface than I was expecting!
I liked this book as a child but loved it even more as an adult! Timeless and endearing, it was pure sunshine to hear. Listening to this soothed nerves I hadn't realized were frazzled.
It's not often you can go back to a book you liked from long ago and find it's even better than you remember. Montgomery transports you completely to another age and time, and you bring back nothing but smiles! Recommended for red heads, romantics, curmudgeons, and readers of all shapes and sizes.
The narrator is perfect. I wouldn't want to hear the rest of Anne's tales from another reader, so I'll seek out all of Shelley Frasier's versions I can find!
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