Much as I love these tales, this is the weakest of the Elemental Masters novels. Most of the story involves Sarah and Nan, young, magically-talented girls who come to live at the Harton School in London, run by the also-talented Isabelle Harton and her husband. Sarah has been sent home to England "for her health" from her parents' hospital in Africa, along with her remarkably wise and capable African Gray parrot, simply called Gray. Nan is taken in from the streets, where she has been living a tenuous life with her drunken and drug-addicted mother, and she becomes a valued friend to Sarah and an asset to the School, even as she begins to learn how to manage her ordinary and extra-ordinary talents.
Also living in London is Lord Alderscroft, the so-called Wizard of London and a Fire Master, head of the Elemental Masters group. However, Alderscroft has come under the influence of Cordelia, a secretive and powerful Master. She has gradually cut him off from all of his ordinary enjoyment of life and his friends and surrounded him with a crowd of the politically influential, since she hopes to accompany Alderscroft as he rises to political power and influence. And then she begins to crave even more power, power beyond the usual reach of women in this Edwardian era.
This is a weak adaptation of the Ice Queen tale, with Alderscroft as the stricken boy, and while the adventures of Sarah and Nan are interesting, the story really hasn't got the weight of Ms Lackey's usual plots. The narrator does a creditable job with slightly different voices and reads at a reasonable pace.
This is one of my favorites in this series, such a good mystery, with Mavis' pregnancy and new baby to add to the fun. But there's an odd hollowness to the sound through the entire recording - nothing to do with Susan Ericksen's narration - just something different in the production end.
Grover Gardner's reading brings a lot of nuances to the story. I've recently read a few more of Georgette Heyer's Regency romances, and I have to say that the first 2/3 of the Alliance story (up till Tej's family arriving on Barrayar) is very much like a Regency romance. After that, it's a high-stakes caper all the way. Delightful.
And to top it off, it won the 2014 Audie Award in the Sci-Fi category.
This is a stronger story than the second half/sequel, Big Jack. Susan Ericksen is such a good narrator.
This is a 3.5 star tale; a few points off for the voice that was used for Megan, just something about it that wasn't right imho. Well-done, of course, Martin Jarvis is a really good narrator, and a good voice for this post-WWII story, with very little of Miss Marple in it.
Wow. This is almost as amazing as *Treasure Island*. Patrick Tull was a wonderful narrator (I have all his Brother Cadfael audios), and he's just right for this book, which is written as a retrospective of the great adventure, as if it were a tale told by the fireside, and in this context the mouth noises, as of an old gent were pausing to swallow or whatever, work.
I've been a huge fan of the Fuzzy books by H Beam Piper since the 1980s, and have read and re-read all of the books (his and others' work) several times. I was not sure about this re-imagining, though I generally like Scalzi's work, and it took me a while to finish listening. The courtroom appearance of 'Papa Fuzzy' is amazing, and Wil Wheaton really does it well. I promptly zipped over to Amazon and bought the ebook to read the story all over again.
This is my first Montalbano book, after many recommendations from friends. I'm a huge fan of Grover Gardner's narration, so, while the dialog seems a bit silly and overly dramatic in places, the voice is excellent. The rhythm and style of the dialog are unlike most English-language mysteries, which I have to think is due to the book having been written in Italian and then translated.
The attitudes toward Ingrid's rape by her F-i-l are shocking, but at least Montalbano has an effective solution. And Montalbano isn't fighting active obstruction by his superior officers, as Donna Leon's Commissario Brunetti has to do in that series.
I can't give this 4 stars, but it is 3+; I think I'll listen further.
The narrator is OK, but I didn't think there was enough differentiation between Martha's voice and that of the Doctor. Interesting interaction between the Doctor and Robot Twelve, possibly better than Martha's role in this story.
Interesting premise, and a different take on the Sontarans, somewhat better than most, in fact. Loved the kids - very bright, and the Doctor actually acknowledged their help with things he didn't know. How often does that happen?
Didn't greatly like the narrator, though he did a good job; just didn't find that his voice/phrasing, etc for the Doctor was as good as it could have been. But part of that is just his voice. He gets 3 stars, the story 3+. (from my Goodreads review)
Bog-standard Doctor Who Three and Sara Jane adventure, this time with dinosaurs, being used by a bunch of crack-pots who want to take Earth back in time. Well read by Martin Jarvis.
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