The narrator was the primary disappointment but the story wasn't that spectacular either.
I think I'm going to avoid Maria V. Snyder, unless her writing skills improve drastically.
Gabra Zackman, the narrator, is awful. She does not sound like a 20 year old and her voice is more masculine than feminine. Most of the narration was either unemotional or monotonous. It annoyed me that the narrator ended sentences by slightly raising her voice and making the story sound like a string of questions. For me, the narrator diminished what little power the story had...she made the story sound like baby-talk.
I thought I was listening to a children's book. First the narrator and then the story. The people, places, descriptions (actually lack of) are superficial, dull and barely interesting. The underdeveloped characters are simple, flat and not very memorable. On one hand Avry is introduced to us as one who is condemned to death because in her world such healers have been accused of spreading the plague. Avry heals people and actually welcomes other people's pain and injuries; but on the other hand, a deadly illness is just as deadly for her too. So here's the question. What's the real benefit of being a healer if Avry can only heal minor/healable illnesses...because these people could heal on their own and probably would anyways!?!Then there's Avry's love interest, Kerrick, who is a total jerk. He backhands, starves and exposes our heroine to the elements in the hope that some cold weather and shivering will break her will...really!?! (rolling my eyes). I do admit it...I am so sorry I purchased this audiobook.
If you have the right 'equipment' you can travel imaginary roads and experience supernatural wonders...but you must pay the price.
This is a good horror story (strike that)...This is a REALLY GOOD horror story and Stephen King should be proud of his son who is most definitely a chip off the old block. At the start the listener/reader is enticed by the creepy title hinting at vampires, blood and gore but this is not precisely the case. The listener/reader is introduced to Charles Manx, an old man of +110 years, whose peculiarity is to be alive. After spending almost a decade in a coma and after being officially declared as dead, Charlie ‘wakes up’. This unnerving scene is the first of many. We learn that Charlie drives a 1938 Rolls Royce Wraith…that is also ‘alive’. He and his minion (Bing) go looking for kids that are ‘brutalized’, taking them to Christmasland…a place where all the kids are happy and never want to leave. We also meet Victoria ‘Vic’ McQueen (also the ‘Brat’) who is the strong, complicated and far from flawless heroine. She discovers she has a rather special power as she is able to transport herself to different physical locations by pedaling her bike (her Raleigh Tuff Burner) and riding through a covered bridge. She can find lost things but is ‘costs’ her. Sometimes the things she finds are tangible, like her mother’s bracelet a lost picture, etc. but sometimes she encounters things that are less tangible; such as her meeting with a stuttering librarian (Maggie) and Maggie’s special scrabble letters. It’s when Vic goes looking for trouble that her story gets entangled with that of the malevolent and uniquely nasty villain, Charlie.
This supernatural suspense story is fused with well-developed characters that are complex in their own ways and the plot is interesting and moves quickly. Whilst being edgy, dark, scary and at times uncomfortable, the novel is also a book about family and the contentious relationships that exist between parents/children and husbands/wives. There are numerous scenes and characters that are memorable but of course Vic and Charlie are particularly unforgettable. NOS4A2 kept me up at night because I just could not stop listening. I definitely recommend this to any horror or suspense loving fan and to all who are on the hunt for a truly spellbinding listen.
I hesitated before writing this review because normally I like Kresley Cole. I'm also aware that this book's overall rating is high but in my case, I was disappointed with it. I didn't like it...I just DIDN'T LIKE IT.
(1) To me the story's gruesome scenes, demonic possessions, killings, deaths, rape, gory (explicit) sex etc. were way too dark and hard to overcome. (2) Lothaire's character is unlovable, uninteresting and remains as such even after the close of the final chapter. (3) His interactions with Elizabeth are never 'loving'. He is demeaning and controlling, without any real display of true love or caring. I became disgusted with his constant demands for sex and obedience, which were usually followed by Elizabeth's fleeting anger, her excuses as to Lothaire's abusive behavior and then submission. Hmm…does Ellie have Stockholm Syndrome? In any case I got the feeling Elizabeth was more of a slave than the love of Lothaire's life. (4) The whole hillbilly thing is offensive and Elizabeth's so-called Southern accent is inaccurate and unbearable. I live in the South and have friends/family who are from the South and NO ONE speaks like that! Although the narrator does fine with the other accents, he does a horrible job reading Elizabelth's hillbilly, Appalachian ‘mountain talk’. (4) The Lothaire/Nix interaction was forced and disingenuous...obviously dumped into this book only to appease the readers who wanted the two to be romantically linked. I mean, if the author really didn't want to make us happy by putting Lothaire and Nix 'together' then why even bother with their mini-storyline?
In short, neither could I warm up to the two main characters nor did their 'long', overly abusive story captivate me. In fact it is just the opposite and I care less what happens to Lothaire and his hick-vampire-bride. HOWEVER...and like most true fans, I’m definitely going to purchase the other books in this series.
Before all else I must say that Humphrey Bower does a stupendous job in narrating this +600 page book. I only have praise for Mr. Bower’s ability and the many different accents he effortlessly juggles throughout this story of two would-be lovers during the Second World War. Nicholas Duncan is the son of an Australian missionary who has spent most of his career in Japan and Indonesia. Anna van Heerden is the daughter of a rich Dutch land owner and a Javanese woman. Their story begins in Java and covers a large period, including the period when the Dutch controlled Java to the time when the Javanese kicked the Dutch out and Japan stepped in as that country's new ruler.
If you like history then you will find this book to be very interesting as Courtenay has done his research well and intertwined his story with numerous historic facts. That being said, there is no mistake that this is fiction because the main characters are just too good. Nick's story gets a bit tiresome because everything good happens to him. He seems to possess exceptional knowledge, which is surpassed only by his even better physical skills, and with very little going wrong Nick practically wins the war in the Islands...apparently on his own. Anna's story on the other hand is sad. She is unable to escape Java and she suffers much tragedy. Although she has money and a group of devoted friends, these are not enough to protect her. She is left to fend for herself, ultimately becoming a special, 'skilled' form of entertainment for a Japanese Colonel, Konoe-san. The idea that Nick and Anna's love of only a few days could last, let alone overcome numerous years of separation, particularly after we learn of Nick's subsequent behavior, seems more unlikely than likely.
I enjoyed the supporting characters. The Indonesians are well detailed, especially Til, the Tuk Tuk driver who befriends and continues to help Anna. The American sailor, Kevin Judge, is another memorable character. Kevin is rescued by Nick after he is found unconscious on the beach. They sail to Australia, a harrowing journey in any scenario, and theirs becomes a strong and everlasting friendship. Nick continues to enjoy good fortune but he never gives up the search for his beloved Anna.
Yes this book is long and no, it is not for everyone but if you have the patience, if you are looking for attention to detail and if you like historic novels of the WWII subject matter then this is a good audiobook for you.
What happens when someone or something interferes in fairytales? Well, this is not your typical Disney or Mother Goose story but knowledge of the classic fairytales your mother read you is the absolute key to recognizing characters like Cinderella, Snow White, Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, etc. and identifying their basic fairytale-patterns. Those familiar will appreciate the weaving together of several different tales. In truth, part of the fun is in figuring out the connections and how the author shifts each story from its original telling.
This is a unique book and the twists in Kate Danley’s story of ‘many stories’ take you down dark paths, making The Woodcutter engrossing and entertaining for adults. The plot is well thought out, the writing is fast-paced and there is plenty of action. You can't help but fall in love with the unusual man who is this story's main character and true 'Prince Charming'. Although he does not cut wood he is known simply as the Woodcutter. He understands magic and the balance between the fae and mortals. He is the protector of the enchanted creatures and trees. He struggles to right the many fairytales-gone-wrong, ultimately sacrificing the greatest thing he possesses in order to keep the twelve kingdoms free from the sinister designs of the evil 'Gentleman and Queen'.
It is not hard to see why this book took so many awards, such as the Garcia Award for Best Fiction Book of the Year. It does not disappoint and so I recommend this audiobook as a quick, fun listen for anyone who is grown up but nostalgic for those once upon a time, fairytale days.
I know I'm being harsh with my 2 star rating but I was bored with the story and the dry, uneventful plot. Why? Well, the story is slow moving, the main characters are not particularly endearing, their magic isn't very 'magical' and the illusions are more whimsical than glamorous. POSSIBLE SPOILER: The big ‘competition’, or lack thereof, is a monumental disappointment and I still can’t believe I listened to the whole audiobook only to be deprived of what I anticipated would be a terrifying, love-charged, abracadabra, duel-to-the-death ending. Sigh...where is Voldemort and his crafty minions when you need them?
That being said, the author deserves praise for her prose perfect writing and her mesmerizing descriptions, which are proof of the author's obvious and vivid imagination. The circus world she creates, within which black and white tents rise over unusual exhibitions, is detailed, beautiful, lyrical and lush; forming enchanting pictures in the listener’s mind. I must admit I did enjoy the gorgeous descriptions but I also know only a person who likes such details will appreciate this author’s artful imagery. On the other hand, beautiful descriptions and lovely words fulfill one part of a book but it does not complete a book, especially if that book wishes to be categorized as 'a good book'. I just wanted more magic, more drama and more action but this book failed to do that.
This is a smart story with complicated characters and an excellent plot that branches and twists while weaving doubt and uncertainty in the reader/listener's mind. This audiobook kept me listening deep into the night and I stayed interested and engrossed...right to the very end.
There are characters with English accents and some with Scottish, Russian and a couple of other accents as well. The narrator is very talented and does an excellent job keeping track of the many characters. By far the most interesting character is Wolf Hadda. There is absolutely nothing nice about him but as the characters reveal and the reader/listener also comes to know, there is just something so undeniably alluring and attractive about Wolf Hadda. I absolutely loved the humorous banter between the young vicar, Hollins, and Wolf. Their conversations were endearing and helped to humanize Wolf who otherwise and up to that point offered an mostly abrasive, harsh and unapproachable demeanor.
Wolf Hadda is a smart, rich and successful man. He is married to his childhood sweetheart and it seems he has everything but an early morning knock on his front door changes his life forever. Arrested and jailed, Wolf protests his innocence but neither his family nor his friends try to help him. A failed escape from the authorities lands him in a coma after which months later, he awakens only to find that he is penniless, crippled, blind in one eye and completely deserted; not to mention single, since his wife has divorced him to marry his lawyer and good friend. Wolf is sentenced to a prison term and branded a pedophile but those are not the last of his worries. He lapses into silence and settles to serve out his jail sentence until he learns of his estranged daughter's tragic death.
After seven years of silence Wolf finally begins to open up to his new prison psychiatrists, Alva Ozigbo, who dutifully treats him and sets his mind on the path to acceptance and recovery. When Alva becomes convinced Wolf is rehabilitated, she helps to get him released from prison on parole. Wolf returns to his simple, rundown family home in Cumbria and it is here, at this point, where the real story of Wolf emerges.
We learn of his early life as the son of a simple woodcutter and his subsequent rises in position and wealth. Sir Wolf Hadda was a different man than the criminal he is later labeled. He is a man who most definitely has his faults but did he actually commit the heinous crimes he was found guilty of? Is he a pedophile or was he set-up...and does he have revenge on his mind?
This is a grim, psychological story but it is not a straightforward revenge thriller by any means. I enjoyed the ruthless twists and the startling revelation right at the end, but just before this audiobook's stunning climax. I am sorry this audiobook came to an end but you can be sure I'll look to purchase more of this author's books.
This audiobook is interesting. The story gives the listener a lot to think about. Even if there isn't a nuclear holocaust there are numerous natural disasters that can bring about conditions where one may find himself/herself without resources and/or the necessities most people are used to. It makes one wonder what he/she might do if such a tragedy were to suddenly decimate or destroy life and living as we know it. The characters in the book had done little to no preparation but yet they managed to adapt and survive, granted they were lucky enough to have been within a radiation-safe zone.
After listening to this audiobook I find myself wondering how well I might be able to adapt, what I might do if my family was lost and how I might cope, knowing the world had regressed hundreds of years and was for all intents and purposes, 'poisoned' for thousands more. Disaster is devastating. Reading about it is one level of fear but this audiobook made me really think about nuclear war and the end of the world. I admit I am truly, wholly and unbelievably terrified...Alas, Babylon!!!
I wouldn't tell a person NOT to buy this audiobook. In truth I did find it quite satisfactory. It was an easy audiobook to listen to, having romance, no real antagonist and presenting an uncomplicated plot with basically 'good' characters whose only conflicts are the ones they create themselves. I listened to this book while doing chores around the house and I found it to be good company as I worked.
The author bases her story around twins who are identical in appearance but complete opposites otherwise. A turn of events puts the wrong sister in the right place...and so the story unfolds, progressing as one might suspect with little to no surprises.
The author's way of writing is lovely. He presented this story much like a fable, delivering an emotional message about the value of time. Also, there is just something magical in the voices of Dor (Father Time), Sarah (the awkward, lonely teen girl who wants to give back the time allotted to her) and Victor (a rich, successful guy in his late 80s who is dying of cancer and who wants to be given another lifetime).
"...you will not age a moment."
Dor looked away, ashamed. “I deserve no such gift.”
“...It is not a gift..."
The Time Keeper is about an early man named Dor who discovers the lengths of time. Years later Dor is shown how his invention of time evolves over billions of years. In the distant future, time becomes mankind's obsession and so as punishment for his vile creation...and for drinking in the power of this new found phenomena, and for thinking of little else, Dor must sit in a cave for 6,000 years listening to earth's complaints and requests to add time, speed up time, slow time down, etc.
After his sentence, Dor becomes Father Time and he is given a task. Dor must search for a girl who wants to end time, "make it stop!" and a man who wants more time "another lifetime"; and he must teach them the importance of time and why it must not be taken for granted. He must make them understand why living (and dying) are more important than counting and why God limits our days. This audiobook touched my heart because I admit, I am one of those who is always looking for more time...it always seems to run out ;)
I have to say that I did like this audiobook and I'm glad I bought it. The writing is sharp, clever and witty with genuinely surprising twists but to those who might think this is a lighthearted fantasy novel, don't be fooled. The title may sound fun and harmless but this book is not for kids. The Magicians is more for young adults and adults. It does contain humor and fantasy but it is essentially a dark novel. The characters are complex, spoiled, bratty and very cynical and almost all of them have their dreams and expectations shattered at some point.
The ending (I will not spoil it) was my favorite because I love strong women!
The story starts off with Quentin, a brilliant but depressed teenager, who is dissatisfied with his life, his friendship(s) and his future. His outlook is bleak and so he finds solace in a group of beloved children's books, about a magical land called Fillory. One day Quentin and his friends are on their way to a college interview when a tragic turn of events lands Quentin in a very different but very special sort of exam. Thereafter he finds himself enrolled in Brakesbills, a secret magic college hidden away in upstate New York. Brakesbills has cliques and power circles, and people stuck on the outside while life on campus is like any other college. There’s a good amount of booze, fighting, profanity and also casual sex. The first part of the book deals with Quentin’s and his friends’ magical education but we also get glimpses into the bitter afterlife Brakebills graduates can look forward to.
When the newly graduated students leave Brakesbills they go to live in New York City where they quickly become bored and disillusioned. Having no direction or guidance they easily fall into a hedonistic lifestyle. Quentin and his friends have time, money and magic with all its limitless power. All except Alice become reckless in their pleasure-seeking habits; getting drunk, using drugs, clubbing, having meaningless sex and other such excesses. It is only after a long-lost fellow Brakesbillser shows up that the group finally decides to do something other than drown themselves in debauchery.
Quentin and his friends finally embark on a true adventure and it is their journey through the heart of darkness that changes them all. They are all searching for happiness, worthiness and value in their lives. Unlike Harry Potter the Magicians has a much darker, almost satiric edginess. It breaks conventions in its grim but realistic portrayal of the way the magic world and the real world might interact if a magic world truly co-existed with ours. Quentin and his friends are the ‘heroes’ but they are obnoxious, arrogant, complex and absolutely flawed heroes. Unlikely and as unsuitable as they may seem, this tainted group of wizards, in spite of their imperfections, make this book noteworthy and interesting. I truly enjoyed this audiobook and I do recommend it...as long as the listener/reader is not fixed on a happily-ever-after ending.
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