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Candace Robinson

Candace's Book Blog

Vancouver, Wa USA | Member Since 2011

5
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 7 reviews
  • 7 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 16 purchased in 2014
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  • Zoe & Zak and the Yogi's Curse (Volume 2)

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Lars Guignard
    • Narrated By Sonja Field
    Overall
    (20)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (20)

    Move over Percy Jackson. The Yogi's Curse has arrived...Zoe and Zak are back in India. Again. And this time they're attending Moonstock Himalayan Boarding School, which might seem fun except for the fact that the school itself is a little strange. Students ride elephants instead of school buses, snarling monkeys work as security guards, and angry parrots monitor the halls. And even when they manage to get used to the wildlife, the food is absolutely terrible.

    Erika says: "A truly magical adventure for young adults!"
    "Fun adventure!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, definitely! It's good for the whole family and has something for everyone. The main characters are kids so they are easy to relate to for kids, but they have fun voices that adults will enjoy as well. And the setting and adventure are just wonderful!


    What did you like best about this story?

    My favorite part of the story is the adventure. I would love to have been able to experience some of the things that Zoe and Zak are able to. Maybe some things are really scary and intense, but being able to go to school in India and learn about their culture and country would be so fun! But you add in the fantasy elements and it's even better! All I can say is- Flying Elephants!


    What about Sonja Field’s performance did you like?

    I liked it all! She is brilliant at the different voices and manages to make each character sound different. She gets the accents perfect too!


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It didn't make me cry, but I was on the edge of my seat sometimes. And I definitely laughed a time or two!


    Any additional comments?

    This is a fun fantasy adventure that has wonderful characters, setting, and fantasy elements. I would definitely listen or read it again. I think it would be perfect for a car trip with the whole family.

    If I were to point out things that I liked less, it would be that sometimes I felt the plot moved along a little slowly in the beginning. I wasn't clear what was suppose to happen right away. But it is a shorter story, so I'm not sure it could have been different. And I did love when they talked about the school.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Sulan, Episode 1: The League

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Camille Picott
    • Narrated By Karen Savage
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    Sixteen-year-old Sulan Hom can't remember life before the Default - the day the United States government declared bankruptcy. As a math prodigy, she leads a protected life, kept safe from the hunger and crime plaguing the streets of America. She attends the corporate-sponsored Virtual High School, an academy in Vex (Virtual Experience) for gifted children. Beyond the security of Sulan's high-tech world, the Anti-American League wages a guerrilla war against the United States.

    Candace Robinson says: "Captivating!"
    "Captivating!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Sulan, Episode 1: The League is a different sort of book. I went in expecting a science fiction book but this one was just so much more. It just really caught me up in the story and I found myself completely in love with each step of the story.

    The author did an incredible job with world building and character creation, along to go with a plot that was action packed and intense for the full last quarter. The entire novel was easy to soak in and never boring, constantly progressing with character growth as we learned about the world.

    Sulan was an excellent character and while a bit too headstrong for her mothers liking, she makes sense. They live in a dangerous world and being able to protect yourself is a handy ability. Especially if you're a hot commodity for the anti-American league and have special skills like Sulan does. When Sulan goes into Vex (cyber world) to learn to fight it's really no surprise. She gets lucky and finds someone to train with her. Through the book we are introduced to a variety of great characters and each one was easy for me to 'get' and picture.

    The whole idea of this world is almost over my head, like it's so well created and so different, so technically different. At the same time it's almost easy to imagine us in that place one day. Maybe not quite to the extreme we get here, but you never know! I'm not at all tech savy and this was not difficult for me to picture. It's crazy, but it's really cool and creative.

    There's a lot of action in the last quarter or so. Maybe more like the full second half of the book. Since I was listening on audio I'm not sure, but it was at least two hours, maybe 3, of constant action. I even drove around extra long one day when listening because I was desperate for a good stopping point.

    This leads to the narration- while I wouldn't say it's the best I've ever listened to, I did end up enjoying it. The studio quality was good and after a short while I fell into her voice. She doesn't sound like a teen girl but she did a good job and I found that after the initial 15 minutes or so that I liked her voice and it fit the style of the story. She got the inflections correct and used the words in a way that just 'went'. If you listen to audiobooks I think you'll understand what I'm saying.

    The end of the book was kind of perfect. There's major stuff ahead but the first 'battle' is over. I think calling them 'episodes' fits perfect here. I highly recommend this one!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Zoe & Zak and the Tiger Temple: Zoe & Zak, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Lars Guignard
    • Narrated By Sonja Field
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (12)

    Last semester, Zoe and Zak returned the first lost Noble Truth to its rightful home. Now, the seventh graders are back in India for their second semester at Moonstock, their boarding school high in the Himalayan mountains where impossible things seem to happen on a regular basis. School kicks off with the Activity Week Challenge in the tiny mountain kingdom of Bhutan where the students must deliver medical supplies.

    Candace Robinson says: "Perfection! Best Narration I've Heard Yet!"
    "Perfection! Best Narration I've Heard Yet!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is the third Zoe & Zak book I've listened to on audio and I have to say, they just keep getting better and better. There are so many things I love about this series so I hope that I can express my love well enough that you know that this is a series you MUST get!

    Zoe and Zak are perfect compliments to each other. Zoe is more serious and Zak is all about the fun. In the past they've had to deal with some serious life or death situations, but things step up another notch in this one and things are so serious that Zak could die if they don't figure things out. It's clear that Zoe is freaking out and it's not really helping much. Zak on the other hand is handling things well and gives us some comedic relief. Not that the book feels so 'scary' or whatever, but knowing that things really ARE serious makes it a bit more intense.

    In this book there's a new bad, but who would have guessed it to be the new student who seems to get his way with everything and everyone? He has it out for Zak and will go to any lengths to make Zak look bad, or to get him in trouble.

    One thing I really, really love about these books is the culture. I think it's important to teach our kids about other cultures and so them being at a boarding school in India is perfect. It's an international school and Zoe and Zak are American, so we can follow things easily. But they are experiencing Indian culture everyday. And Zoe does a good job of explaining the foods and the different words used, etc. So we don't get too much and can feel like we are really there. I appreciated that the words they use in India were used and explained. For example, the word 'walla' (I listened to the audio so the spelling might be wrong) is someone who sells something. So when they say the 'bike walla' we know what they are talking about, it's the person selling the bikes.

    I have watched some shows about the scary roads in the Himalaya's so it was easy for me to really picture things as they were barreling down (or up) the mountain and Zoe feeling like they would fall off the cliff at any minute. There were so many times in this book that I found myself just staring off into the distance listening intently. I listen while doing things usually (cooking, cleaning, etc) so this was impressive that it pulled me out of doing stuff to where I concentrated completely on the story.

    The narration is pure BRILLIANCE. I have listened to quite a few audiobooks and there's not many narrators that can pull off a variety of voices. Sonja Field does it all perfectly. We get Zoe and Zak and their two distinctive voices that are easy to tell apart. We also get the various Indian accents, somehow still distinctive from each other. We also get some British accents and a few other voices but on top of that we get the various things like the talking elephant Alta, the creature called Mon Sta and various other animals that all had their own incredible voices. Oh and the parrot that we get in this one, also done perfectly. This is definitely the best narration I have heard in an audiobook yet.

    If you have a reluctant reader this is a series I recommend. This is perfect for middle grade readers up to adults. It's a series the whole family can enjoy together. It's a perfect pace of adventure with fabulous characters, a wonderful setting, and an intense plot that keeps you wrapped up and anxious for more . I couldn't recommend this any more highly. It's perfection.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Blown Circuit: Circuit Series, #2

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Lars Guignard
    • Narrated By Russell Jonas
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    Michael survived China. Barely. But now he's got bigger problems. A pair of coordinates broadcast on an obscure frequency have brought Michael to Istanbul, Turkey where credible chatter has emerged that a terrorist group plans to use a devastating device to hold the world hostage.

    G says: "A great sequel!"
    "Incredible narration!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Blown Circuit takes off only days after Lethal Circuit ends. If you haven’t read or listened to the first book, it’s kind of okay. This was definitely it’s own story. There are things mentioned in this from the first book though and I think you would benefit from reading it. This book is fast paced and action packed, without really a moment to relax as Michael is constantly on the run for his life.
    Characters~ Michael is the main character and I really like him. He’s not perfect and we see that, but that makes him even better as a character. Michael is one of those characters that knows a lot of stuff. It may seem a bit far-fetched that he knows so much about all these things, but it’s easy for me to write it off as him being smart and having a good memory. His father also kind of trained him as he grew up so he knows how to work with what he has, in the situation he’s in. He might not always make the right choices, but he makes the best choice he can with the information he has. And it’s always entertaining seeing how he’ll get out of it.
    There’s a lot of new characters in this installment, but also some from the previous book. I don’t want to spoil anything though, so I won’t say more. This is a book where you never know who is good and who is bad. Who you can trust.
    Plot~ This is an action packed spy thriller and Michael is constantly on the run. He’s originally trying to find his father but he’s sucked into a different thing and that becomes priority at the moment. He has to kind of solve a puzzle and piece the clues together and then make sure that the wrong people don’t get their hands on it. This is easier said than done… The book is full of twists and turns. Some are more predictable, but for the most part I felt like I was on a wild ride that I had no clue where it would take me. And it was fun!
    Narration~ This has a new narrator and he did perfect! I thought it was amazing that he sounded similar enough to the narrator from the first book but better. He did the many various accents absolutely perfect and I have not a single complaint about the narration. It was perfect!
    Negatives~ My only negative is actually something that fits the story and the genre so it’s only a personal issue (remember this is kind of outside my normal genres), but it felt like some things were explained a bit too thoroughly. Like too much explanation. For many this would actually be a positive because they need these explanations to really understand what is happening. I found that I didn’t really care so much about all that stuff, like what kind of gun it was and what it can do, etc. This is a negative that is actually a positive for many (if not most).
    Overall, this was an excellent book and I think it’s a series that I’ll have to continue as I’m really loving Michael and want to know more about his father and what is happening in those regards.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Secrets of the Realm

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Bev Stout
    • Narrated By Anne Day-Jones
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    Blamed for her uncle's death, fifteen-year-old Annie is on the run. Knowing the perils she will face on the streets of eighteenth century London, she disguises herself as a boy. Her life on the streets is cut short when she becomes Captain Hawke's cabin boy. Not only must Annie work alongside the Realm's motley crew of outcasts and gentlemen, she must also keep her superstitious shipmates from discovering she is a girl.

    Candace Robinson says: "Stunning narration!"
    "Stunning narration!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Secrets of the Realm rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Narration wise, it stands near the top!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    It's hard to say. I loved Annie, the main character, but several secondary characters stole my heart as well. Barrett and Captain Hawke are two of them.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I laughed several times! Annie really got up to some real antics! There was a point that definitely brought tears to my eyes as well though.


    Any additional comments?

    Very fun book and a brilliant narration! Highly recommend this one on audio.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lethal Circuit: A Michael Chase Spy Thriller, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Lars Guignard
    • Narrated By Ben Sullivan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (24)
    Performance
    (24)
    Story
    (24)

    A Chinese satellite is on a crash course with Earth. It contains enough plutonium to irradiate a large city. 
And that's the good news.... 
Michael Chase is a 26-year-old backpacker, a recent college graduate, an amateur. He flew to Hong Kong to find his missing father. Four hours later, he's running for his life. The Chinese secret police want him dead. The Conspiracy wants him dead. And the one person who he thinks is on his side, may want him dead too.

    G says: "A wonderful start to a new spy thriller series"
    "A wild ride through China!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Lethal Circuit to be better than the print version?

    I didn't read the print version, but since I don't read many spy thrillers I think I enjoyed it more as an audio then I would have reading it myself.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Lethal Circuit?

    Well, the ending was since it was all so unexpected. I'm still trying to wrap my head around it.


    What does Ben Sullivan bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I felt like his voice really fit the story and Michael and in my head, reading it, it wouldn't have been the same.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I'm not sure. Maybe toward the end when Michael found out some new information.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Zoe & Zak and the Ghost Leopard (Volume 1)

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Lars Guignard
    • Narrated By Bailey S. Carlson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (28)
    Performance
    (28)
    Story
    (28)

    Zoe Guire just talked to an elephant. Well, technically speaking, the elephant spoke to her, but either way it was weird and, as a rule, Zoe doesn't do weird. Except the thing is, when Zoe goes along on her mom's business trip to India, things get very weird, very quickly. Soon after she arrives, Zoe finds herself tagging alongside a kid named Zak, lost in a crazy city, with no money and no way home.

    Ginny - Gin's Book Notes says: "a Fun, Educational, Fantasy Adventure"
    "Very fun adventure!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Ghost Leopard again? Why?

    Yes! It was a fun adventure and I loved 'visiting' India.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Zak. He was the one willing to jump in with both feet and while at first that was annoying it became one of my favorite things about him. He rarely questioned things, he trusted in what he saw and felt.


    Which character – as performed by Bailey S. Carlson – was your favorite?

    Zoe because she's the one narrating the story anyway. I felt like the narration was spot on for Zoe's voice.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I loved when Zoe finally started finding her strength and started trusting in herself. Even if she had to do it alone, she was going to keep the promise she had made to protect the ghost leopard.


    Any additional comments?

    This was a fun ride with great fantasy elements, truly scary bad guys, great adventure, and an amazing setting. I very highly recommend to fans of middle grade fantasy!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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