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Charlene

Seattle, WA, United States | Member Since 2005

122
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 47 reviews
  • 391 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 27 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
4
FOLLOWERS
4

  • Silent in the Grave

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Deanna Raybourn
    • Narrated By Ellen Archer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (729)
    Performance
    (291)
    Story
    (290)

    Let the wicked be ashamed, and let them be silent in the grave. These ominous words, slashed from the pages of a book of Psalms, are the last threat that the darling of London society, Sir Edward Grey, receives from his killer. Before he can show them to Nicholas Brisbane, the private inquiry agent he has retained for his protection, Sir Edward collapses and dies at his London home, in the presence of his wife, Julia, and a roomful of dinner guests.

    Parusski says: "Happily surprised"
    "Not a bad historical mystery"
    Overall

    I'm not a big romance reader, but I love a good mystery. I like historical fiction well enough, too. This was a good combination of mystery, historical fiction and chick lit. It was not full of ooshy-gooshy romance (a relief), nor was it full of bodice ripping passion. It was, however, a pretty good mystery and the author did her research for the historical component. The narrator does some pretty terrible accents, though. Everyone who isn't English sounds like an English person doing a caricature. Also, she makes some pretty glaring mispronunciations.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Criminal

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Karin Slaughter
    • Narrated By Kathleen Early
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1587)
    Performance
    (1342)
    Story
    (1348)

    Will Trent is a brilliant agent with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Newly in love, he is beginning to put a difficult past behind him. Then a local college student goes missing, and he is inexplicably kept off the case by his supervisor and mentor, deputy director Amanda Wagner. Will cannot fathom Amanda's motivation, until the two of them literally collide in an abandoned orphanage they have both been drawn to for different reasons. Decades before - when Will's father was imprisoned for murder - this was his home....

    Melinda says: "Heart Pounding, Gripping Thriller"
    "best discovery in ages!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is the first Karin Slaughter book I've listened to (or read) - I didn't have any trouble jumping in to the story without knowing any back story. The characters are all nuanced enough that it didn't matter that I'd missed 6 books before. The story, which moves back in forth in time, was riveting. I didn't know whodunnit until pretty close to when it's discovered in the story; I didn't want the story to end. Best discovery in ages!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Nightlife

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Rob Thurman
    • Narrated By Patrick Lawlor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (123)
    Performance
    (73)
    Story
    (76)

    In New York, there's a troll under the Brooklyn Bridge, a boggle in Central Park, and a beautiful vampire in a penthouse on the Upper East Side. Of course, most humans are oblivious to this, but Cal Leandros is only half-human. His father's dark lineage is the stuff of nightmares - and he and his entire otherworldly race are after Cal.

    Kathryn S. March says: "Highly entertaining"
    "Like a bag of potato chips"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I like urban fantasy, so this book was right up my alley. The characters are likable; the main character is funny; the narration is nuanced and the story itself is fine. That being said, I purchased this title a few years ago and listened to it. I re-listened to it, because I saw the title in my library and couldn't remember it at all. When I re-listened, I remembered little bits, but not much. It is like a bag of potato chips: filling, satisfying, no nutritional value. But you're still going to eat it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Her Royal Spyness: A Royal Spyness Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Rhys Bowen
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    Overall
    (4142)
    Performance
    (3522)
    Story
    (3505)

    Georgie, aka Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie, cousin of King George V of England, is penniless and trying to survive on her own as an ordinary person in London in 1932. So far she has managed to light a fire and boil an egg... She's gate-crashed a wedding... She's making money by secretly cleaning houses... And she's been asked to spy for Her Majesty the Queen.

    Coffee Lover says: "Joy, Joy, Joy!"
    "Wodehouse Chick-Lit"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The characters are of the same lot as Bertie Wooster, but in a different era, when the royals are penniless. It's an amusing story (though the mystery part is slow in development) with likeable characters. The narration is quite good, though the narrator's accent sometimes swerves between Irish and Scottish. It won't blow you away with plot twists or brilliant word play, but it will keep you entertained for a couple of hours. It was a great break from listening to darker, more serious books.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Helen & Troy's Epic Road Quest

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By A. Lee Martinez
    • Narrated By Khristine Hvam
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (227)
    Performance
    (210)
    Story
    (212)

    Witness the epic battle of the cyclops! Visit the endangered dragon preserve! Please, no slaying. Solve the mystery of The Mystery Cottage, if you dare! Buy some knickknacks from The Fates! They might come in handy later. On a road trip across an enchanted America, Helen and Troy will discover all this and more. If the curse placed upon them by an ancient god doesn't kill them or the pack of reluctant orc assassins don't catch up to them, Helen and Troy might reach the end their journey in one piece, where they might just end up destroying the world.

    Charlene says: "A little twee but very funny."
    "A little twee but very funny."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It's a ridiculous plot written so that it is amusing and the reader just accepts, "Sure - it's a minotaur who just, y'know, has to go through regular high school life being gigantic with horns." It's a little bit about the way narrative arcs tend to follow patterns; a little bit about personal agency; a little bit more than pretty good. It's got a bit of a pat ending, but there are worse things.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Death, the Devil, and the Goldfish

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Andrew Buckley
    • Narrated By Jon Cross
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (22)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (20)

    From the Bahamas to Heathrow airport, to the rain soaked streets of London the dead have ceased dying. This is inconvenient for a number of reasons but what's the real reason behind the chaos? In London we find Nigel Reinhardt, a disgraced, confused, and gifted London police constable who owns a prophetic goldfish. In Ireland the Angel of Death questions the value and position of his current employment. At Majestic Technologies Celina McMannis works diligently on a top secret project.

    Kimberly says: "My Advice, Read the Book"
    "Pratchetty, funny and clever"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It's not just Pratchetty because there is an anthropomorphized death, but because it is also an amusing and engaging and absurd satire of human behavior. I'm not giving anything else away - but I've been a little disappointed with the long earth books, as they are so not like the discworld books, and I wish there was more Buckley on Audible, because it seems a promising way to fill the void of funny, smart satires.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5310)
    Performance
    (4954)
    Story
    (4948)

    Ensign Andrew Dahl has just been assigned to the Universal Union Capital Ship Intrepid, flagship of the Universal Union since the year 2456. Life couldn’t be better…until Andrew begins to pick up on the facts that (1) every Away Mission involves some kind of lethal confrontation with alien forces; (2) the ship’s captain, its chief science officer, and the handsome Lieutenant Kerensky always survive these confrontations; and (3) at least one low-ranked crew member is, sadly, always killed.

    Ken says: "It's all about the codas"
    "Just get past the first half an hour..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really enjoyed this book - John Scalzi is a funny writer; Wil Wheaton is a great narrator. HOWEVER, the first half an hour or so is unbelievably stilted when read aloud. It's a lot of "he said," then "she said," then "he said" ad nauseum. I think when reading print, my eyes skip over those things and it's not a big problem. In audio, it's as if it's all I could hear. The first part, consequently, is irritating and confusing. Past that, it's a well written story that is ultimately about choices and consequences - thought I didn't realize it for awhile, because it is also very light and funny.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Chasing Magic

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Stacia Kane
    • Narrated By Bahni Turpin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (170)
    Performance
    (154)
    Story
    (151)

    Magic-wielding Churchwitch and secret addict Chess Putnam knows better than anyone just how high a price people are willing to pay for a chemical rush. But when someone with money to burn and a penchant for black magic starts tampering with Downside’s drug supply, Chess realizes that the unlucky customers are paying with their souls—and taking the innocent with them, as the magic-infused speed compels them to kill in the most gruesome ways possible.

    The Book Nympho says: "LOVE LOVE this series!"
    "I need a little more character growth!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    When I started this series, I liked that Chess is an unconventional heroine - I appreciated that with every action, she was also overcoming a gnawing self-doubt and loathing, that she was darker and more complicated than most heroines I have come across in the genre. I understand that in reality, a person with her background and problems would be haunted with self-doubt and recriminations. In writing, though, the mantra of "I don't deserve this, so I'll ruin it," has gotten a bit old. It seems to be even more prevalent in this volume than in previous ones - again, understandable, but it feels like the character isn't growing. And it sounds whiny. My irritation with Chess is not enough to keep me from listening to the next book, but if she doesn't make a breakthrough, I think I'll give up.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • First Grave on the Right: Charley Davidson, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Darynda Jones
    • Narrated By Lorelei King
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3233)
    Performance
    (2607)
    Story
    (2593)

    A smashing, award-winning debut novel that introduces Charley Davidson: part-time private investigator and full-time Grim Reaper. Charley sees dead people. That’s right, she sees dead people. And it’s her job to convince them to “go into the light”. But when these very dead people have died under less than ideal circumstances (i.e. murder), sometimes they want Charley to bring the bad guys to justice. Complicating matters are the intensely hot dreams she’s been having about an Entity who has been following her all her life...and it turns out he might not be dead after all.

    Maggie says: "Loved this audiobook!"
    "Mystery, urban fantasy, comedy."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There are a LOT of books about women who happen to stumble on mysteries with a fair few of them having a paranormal twist - This one stands out, because the main character is really, really funny and likeable - she's very Stephanie Plum without being a clear knockoff. I also think that the narrator (who also voices Stephanie) is much better suited to this character. Totally worth the credit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ghouls Gone Wild: A Ghost Hunter Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Victoria Laurie
    • Narrated By Eileen Stevens
    Overall
    (259)
    Performance
    (190)
    Story
    (188)

    Psychic M.J. Holliday finds herself in a witchy situation. When M.J. and her friends travel to a small town near Edinburgh, Scotland, to film the first installment of their new cable TV show Ghoul Getters, they find plenty of spooky action in a series of supposedly haunted caverns. But when they discover the body of a maintenance worker, the cause of death is reminiscent of an old legend involving a witch's wrath.

    Charlene says: "Hard to say what I liked least..."
    "Hard to say what I liked least..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    What's more frustrating, the narrator or the story? The narrator is excellent at caricatures, like your embarrassing great uncle after a few drinks. Her Scottish accent mostly sounds like the Simpsons' Groundskeeper Willie, except when it slips into Lucky Charms Irish. The one gay character lisps and sounds like Big Gay Al on South Park. It is really, really grating. The story has gigantic holes you just have to look past, like the slowness with which news travels in a small Scottish village. A crew of ghost hunters with a camera crew show up in a village, anywhere, and I am certain the entire village will be aware pretty quickly. Deaths start occurring around them, people will immediately know and be suspicious of them. But not in this village. There is an embedded love story, of course. It is painfully cliche. And then there are the little details of the story - things like the narrator's phone working in both the US and UK.

    I listen to audiobooks while I walk to work, run errands and do chores - so I go through a lot of them. I generally prefer mysteries and urban fantasy. Without trying, this author should have been able to get at least a 3 star from me, but the terrible accents, the silly plot, the sillier love story and the sloppy details - this is pretty awful.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Night Circus

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Erin Morgenstern
    • Narrated By Jim Dale
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6113)
    Performance
    (5427)
    Story
    (5425)

    The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

    Pamela says: "The circus of your dreams"
    "Hrm."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There are many good things about this book, not the least of which being the lush writing that puts the reader in the middle of a magical circus. Unfortunately, though, the love story is totally unconvincing. The scenes between the lovers read like a portion of Twilight - the characters fall in love before you know it and say really, really painfully hokey things. The characters' motivations are swept into "because they're so totally in love and dedicated to each other," which isn't compelling at all. Still, a good story; a solid 3.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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