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CatBookMom

ratings
253
REVIEWS
47
FOLLOWING
1
FOLLOWERS
8
HELPFUL VOTES
125

  • Doctor Who: The Stone Rose

    • ABRIDGED (2 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Jacqueline Rayner
    • Narrated By David Tennant
    Overall
    (583)
    Performance
    (344)
    Story
    (337)

    Mickey is startled to find a statue of Rose in a museum; a statue that is 2,000 years old. The Doctor realises that this means the TARDIS will shortly take them to Ancient Rome, but when it does, he and Rose soon have more on their minds than sculpture.

    Vincent says: "Be Careful What You Wish For"
    "Excellent!"
    Overall

    I've been accumulating the Doctor Who stories read by David Tennant, and this is the best I've listened to so far. Loved the plot and the usual twists as well as Tennant's voicing of Rose and Mickey and the other characters. Now if they'd just have made this into a TV episode!!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Doctor Who: The Angel's Kiss

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 42 mins)
    • By Melody Malone
    • Narrated By Alex Kingston
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (111)
    Performance
    (106)
    Story
    (108)

    On some days, New York is one of the most beautiful places on Earth. This was one of the other days... Melody Malone, owner and sole employee of the Angel Detective Agency, has an unexpected caller. It's movie star Rock Railton, and he thinks someone is out to kill him. When he mentions the 'kiss of the Angel', she takes the case. Angels are Melody's business...

    Tabitha says: "Loved it!"
    "It was fun, and pretty much OK"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a scant 3 stars, though it was cute, and I do like listening to Alex Kingston. There is pretty much less than zero involvement of Doctor Who or any of the characters therefrom (though I haven't watched the last season or so of DW, so I may be missing some connection). But Alex K did a great job of the fun and innuendo of the story, and managed more-or-less enough voice differentiation; it's a story entirely from that character's POV, so the limited differences are OK. It's short, but I think that's about all the story there was. Not something I expect I'll re-listen. But it put a small smile on my face, and that's good. (GR review)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Doctor Who and the Planet of the Spiders

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Terrance Dicks
    • Narrated By Elisabeth Sladen
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    Its happening, Brigadier! It's happening!' Sarah cried out. The Brigadier watched, fascinated, as the lifeless body of his old friend and companion, Dr Who, suddenly began to glow with an eerie golden light... The features were blurring, changing... .'Well, bless my soul,' said the Brigadier. 'Who will be next?' The last exciting adventure of Doctor Who's third incarnation.

    CatBookMom says: "Just like the original series"
    "Just like the original series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Elisabeth Sladen did a decent-enough job with the narration. I especially liked the high, squeaky-but-so-evil voice she used for the Spider characters. The plot and pacing clearly reflected the 20+ minute segments of the old, original Doctor Who shows, with lots of scene changes. I could almost see the old yellow flivver named Bessie that Jon Pertwee drove, as well as the Brigadier and the Sergeant from UNIT. Fun, likeable, not great.
    (from my GoodReads review)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Forbidden Fruit: Corinna Chapman Mysteries, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Kerry Greenwood
    • Narrated By Louise Siversen
    Overall
    (46)
    Performance
    (43)
    Story
    (42)

    Corinna Chapman, owner of Earthly Delights, detests Christmas. The shoppers are frantic and the heat oppressive. Neither of which, this perfect size 20 with a genius for baking breads finds congenial. She's dreaming of quiet, air-conditioned comfort but instead finds herself dealing with a rose-loving donkey named Serena, a maniacal mother with staring eyes, a distracted assistant searching for the perfect muffin recipe, her friend the fearless witch Meroe, and the luscious Daniel with whom she'd like to spend a lot more time.

    CatBookMom says: "Nicely done; very enjoyable"
    "Nicely done; very enjoyable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Another very enjoyable story about Corinna and her wonderful bakery, the great friends she has, and the odd little mysteries that fall into her life. Nice Christmas theme twining through, without being sappy; and of course there’s no snow, since Christmas happens in Melbourne in the middle of summer. The narrator, Louise Siversen, isn’t quite as multi-voiced as Stephanie Daniel, who reads Greenwood’s Phryne Fisher books, but she’s very good. 4 stars means I like it a lot.

    Definitely recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Thankless in Death: In Death, Book 37

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By J. D. Robb
    • Narrated By Susan Ericksen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1120)
    Performance
    (1014)
    Story
    (1026)

    For Lieutenant Eve Dallas of the NYPSD, the job is a useful reminder of what she has to be grateful for this season. Hosting Roarke's big Irish family for the holiday may be challenging, but it’s a joyful improvement on her own dark childhood. Other couples aren’t as lucky as Eve and Roarke. The Reinholds, for example, are lying on the floor of their Downing Street apartment, stabbed and bludgeoned almost beyond recognition. Those who knew them are stunned - and even more heartbroken by the overwhelming evidence that they were murdered by their own son.

    Patricia says: "Violence vs. Sentiment"
    "Better to read than listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I found that it was not possible for me to continue listening to this book, and had to get the print edition. It was nothing wrong with Ms. Ericksen's narration, which was wonderful, as always. It was something I cannot describe about this particular killer and the words that described his killings, that somehow affected me as an audiobook; as a print book, I could skim or skip the cruelest bits.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Murder on the Ballarat Train: A Phryne Fisher Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Kerry Greenwood
    • Narrated By Stephanie Daniel
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (384)
    Performance
    (288)
    Story
    (289)

    In Phryne's third adventure, Phryne is off to Ballarat for a week of fabulousness, but the sedate journey by train turns out to be far from the restful trip she was planning. What was planned as a restful country sojourn turns into the stuff of nightmares: a young girl who can't remember anything, rumours of vile white slavery and the body of an old woman missing her emerald rings.

    Kathi says: "Phryne's back--another really fun listen!"
    "Outstanding!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am a huge fan of the Phryne Fisher mysteries, both in print and in audio, and this is one of the best. Stephanie Daniel is an excellent narrator, and I cannot say enough about how well she does voices and background, timing and emphasis.

    I've recently listened to a couple of new audio versions of long-time sci-fi/fantasy favorites, and I wish the narrators had listened to Ms Daniel as a training exercise.

    Very highly recommended.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Sassinak: The Planet Pirates, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Anne McCaffrey, Elizabeth Moon
    • Narrated By Ax Norman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (95)
    Performance
    (86)
    Story
    (89)

    Sassinak was 12 when the raiders came. That made her just the right age: old enough to be used, young enough to be broken. Or so the slavers thought. But Sassy turned out to be a little different from your typical slave girl. Maybe it was her unusual physical strength. Maybe it was her friendship with the captured Fleet crewman. Maybe it was her spirit. Whatever it was, it wouldn't let her resign herself to the life of a slave. She bided her time, watched for her moment. Finally it came, and she escaped.

    CatBookMom says: "I hoped for better; I didn't get it."
    "I hoped for better; I didn't get it."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Once again I am disappointed by the newly published audiobook of an old favorite sf/f book. Maybe Audible Frontiers needs a bit more in their budget for narrators.

    Ax Norman did a passable job of reading the book. He did not feature any differing voices for the different characters. Toward the end of the book he began to waver in how he pronounced names - maybe he was getting tired. And Mr Norman's rhythm varied a lot, sometimes fast when it should have been slow and vice-versa.

    It was perhaps only my many re-readings of this book that made me hope for better, and that I differed with how Mr Norman chose to pronounce names. The title character in particular, I've always thought of as SASS-ih-nak, not Sah-SIN-ik. Sadly, we can't ask Ms McCaffrey.

    I won't be buying any sequels as audiobooks, and definitely not any of Mr Norman's other recordings. In 2013, I've come to expect multiple voices, consistent pronunciations, and timing that suits the story.

    12 of 15 people found this review helpful
  • Murder in Montparnasse

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Kerry Greenwood
    • Narrated By Stephanie Daniel
    Overall
    (177)
    Performance
    (94)
    Story
    (93)

    The divine Phryne Fisher returns to lead another dance of intrigue. Seven Australian soldiers, carousing in Paris in 1918, unknowingly witness a murder and their presence has devastating consequences. Ten years later, two are dead ... under very suspicious circumstances. Phryne's wharfie mates, Bert and Cec, appeal to her for help. They were part of this group of soldiers in 1918 and they fear for their lives and for those of the other three men.

    Margaret says: "C'est tres bon"
    "One of the best!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This (#12) is one of the best of the Phryne Fisher mysteries, not that it is a great mystery, but because it gives so much insight into Phryne and her background. She was an ambulance driver in WWI from the age of 17, and when the war ended in 1918, she settled for a time in Paris and became an artists' model.

    Lovely story, great background, and important in understanding how Phryne became the strong person that she is. Very much recommended.

    Stephanie Daniel does her usual excellent job with voices and accents.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Winds of Fate: The Mage Winds, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Mercedes Lackey
    • Narrated By Karen White
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (88)
    Performance
    (78)
    Story
    (79)

    High Magic has been lost to Valdemar centuries ago when the last Herald-Mage gave his life to save the kingdom from destruction by dark sorceries. Yet now the realm is at risk again. And Elspeth, Herald and heir to the throne, must take up the challenge, abandoning her home to find a mentor who can awaken her untrained mage abilities. But others, too, are being caught up in a war against sorcerous evil.

    CatBookMom says: "Very disappointing; could have been so much better"
    "Very disappointing; could have been so much better"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have been hoping for an audiobook version of this series for years. Now that one has been released, I'm so disappointed.

    Karen White has a lot of books listed at Audible, but many aren't well-known, at least not to me. She narrated _The Hemingses of Monticello_, but those reviews reflect comments about the same sort of disappointing performance that I've been listening to.

    Ms White has a very nice basic voice - the one she uses for the background, the narrative parts. She uses inflections, pauses, emphasis, all good. She got most of the character and place names right, including some very odd made-up-language words and phrases full of glottal stops. What she doesn't show in _Winds of Fate_ is a good repertoire of voices for different characters. Instead she chose to use differing accents for the characters, and she not only made some odd choices but wasn't able to do the accents consistently for each character.

    So, starting from the beginning of the book, Kerowyn, a very strong, active, decisive woman, who has a background as a successful mercenary soldier, got an unsure, sort-of Irish accent that doesn't reflect her character. Skif, a young man who spent most of his early life as a thief and scrounger, but who has become a reliable, effective member of an elite group, has a sort-of lower-class British accent but sounds rather like a hick. Elspeth, the young female heir to the throne of Valdemar, has a sort-of snobbish upper-class British accent, and is probably the closest in reflecting the character, but it isn't used consistently. Darkwind, who is a young but mature and powerful mage, woodsman and fighter, started out with a somewhat thin, wavery voice; it got stronger over the course of the book (18.5hrs), but he never sounded decisive or strong. The voice Ms White used for the character of Need, an extremely powerful female spirit lodged in a sword who communicates via mind-speech (telepathy), often changed accent within a sentence or two, with a British-sounding beginning to the vowels and an accent from anywhere-USA at the end.

    What's annoying is that the voices are partly right. Kerowyn is from a different country than Skif and Elspeth, and Darkwind is from yet a third country. So a different speech pattern or rhythm for each of them wouldn't be a bad choice. Skif was a street kid, so a lower-class voice was somewhat appropriate; Elspeth is from the noble class and should speak more elegantly than Skif, though they were both brought up in the same city of the same country and so should have some similarities in their speech, but didn't. But the accents weren't done consistently nor were they done very well.

    It's especially disappointing because fans of Mercedes Lackey and this series of books have been waiting for years and years for these audiobooks. Of course we have some expectations built in from all the re-reads of the print books, the voices we've heard in our minds. But if the voices Ms White had chosen had been done a bit better, more consistently, perhaps with more practice, this would have been a much better audiobook. Another few months' delay would have been worth it to get it done with more polish.

    I was all set to buy the other 2 books in this _Mage Winds_ trilogy as soon as they came out, but I'm not going to do that. Sadly, the comments about the next trilogy, called the _Mage Storms_, though narrated by a different person, have similar sorts of comments about a poor listening experience, and some of those shortcomings are evident in the samples. So I'm not buying those books either. I can't even give this book a 3-star rating, because I didn't like it. It's just barely OK, a 2-star deal. And that's with a book that's been a nearly 5-star read for years and years.

    15 of 16 people found this review helpful
  • Heavenly Pleasures: A Corinna Chapman Mystery, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Kerry Greenwood
    • Narrated By Louise Siverson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (108)
    Performance
    (85)
    Story
    (84)

    Corinna Chapman likes the quiet life: good food, good company, and her daily work as a baker. She doesn't really want mystery and intrigue in her life. Unfortunately for her, she doesn't have much choice. Corinna's apartment building seems to be a magnet for mystery and mayhem and, with her new lover, Daniel, a private investigator, Corinna seems destined to be involved in solving these mysteries.

    Sires says: "Second Outing for Corinna Chapman"
    "Like the story; the narrator needs work"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've previously read the print version, so I like the story a lot. The narrator has a decent voice to my ears (don't know if it's a good Aussie accent, though) for the main character and the intervening comments.

    But the other voices she's doing for the rest of the cast are not very good. The very-young girl voices are the most poorly done, and that for the young male assistant is mostly wooden. There's another main male voice and that's done quite flatly.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Sleeping Murder: Miss Marple's Last Case

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Agatha Christie
    • Narrated By Stephanie Cole
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (45)
    Performance
    (39)
    Story
    (38)

    Soon after Gwenda moved into her new home, odd things started to happen. Despite her best efforts to modernize the house, she only succeeded in dredging up its past. Worse, she felt an irrational sense of terror every time she climbed the stairs.

    In fear, Gwenda turned to Miss Marple to exorcise her ghosts. Between them, they were to solve a "perfect" crime committed many years before.

    Kathleen says: "The Last Miss Marple Mystery"
    "Always fascinating"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've read or listened or watched the TV version of this story many times, and yet it is always fascinating. Stephanie Cole does a decent job of narrating, though she doesn't quite get the New Zealand accent she's trying for. Regardless, it's not annoying, and you are just carried along in the story of how this young woman's past has come back into her life, and how she, her husband, and the very wise and resourceful Miss Marple find the killer who has remained in hiding for so many years.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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