I have listened to all of the Percy Jackson books and I have pretty much lost steam at this point. Each book is more and more similar to the previous one. Sometimes that works, but in this case, there is almost no innovation to each book. I originally thought the premise of the stories was clever -- why create new stories when you can just borrow from Greek and Roman mythology? Genius! -- but it is as though the author is on auto-pilot. I made it through because I listened to it at 3x speed and even then didn't really have to pay attention to get through it. I'm not planning to read any more Percy Jackson books.
I stumbled upon this book while searching Audible for another mystery series. Right off the bat, this met several of my criteria:
a) significant number of books in the series and on Audible (8);
b) takes place somewhere interesting that I don't know much about (London)
c) has the added bonus of a fun accent (British)
And then, once I read the book, I could add well-developed, interesting characters to the list, as well as two cases for the price of one. The case in the present has to do with Arthur Bryant, the eccentric half of Bryant & May (John May is the straight arrow), who is trapped in a building when it inexplicably explodes; and the case taking place in WWII London delves into theater life, the prevailing culture, and Greek mythology to solve a host of murders. This book does a nice job of setting the scene of the WWII times without getting overly emotional about it: Yes, it was unfathomably awful; but Londoners were doing their best to keep calm and carry on. The story follows the detectives as they stumble their way through the 1940's case (their first one) and in turn updates the reader on progress on the modern-day case, all the while being easy to follow.
The narrator does a very good job with the several voices and accents.
Note: I use the Goodreads rating system (three stars = liked it, four stars = really liked it).
My recommendation: Go download this book immediately!
In the past, I had come across this book, read the description, and passed on it. Then my co-worker insisted I would love it, so I got the audiobook... and I AM SO GLAD I DID.
I had trouble putting this one down. I laughed, I cried, I learned about medicine and Ethiopia. The characters and their relationships are richly developed and even lovable, despite some horrific actions; the surrounding culture (whether Addis Ababa, New York, or Ethiopians in Boston) plays a very important and fascinating role in the story; some of what I believe are realities of life in Ethiopia and other parts of Africa are eye-opening/gut-wrenching; and most of all, it is incredibly well-written. There are several different threads, which all are easy to follow and end up tied up neatly (but not too neatly).
The cherry on top is the fact that the narrator is fantastic.
This is the first Neil Gaiman book I read. Frankly, I found it difficult to understand what exactly I'd be reading from the description, and primarily was persuaded to download it per the reviews.
I wish I had realized that the 10th anniversary edition meant there were 12,000 additional words added (that the author thought should be in, but the editors had cut before publishing it originally). The last thing this novel needed was more words!
I like sci-fi/fantasy/thriller books, as well as mythology of various sources, and this gives you a little bit of all of that. It's a nice survey of "gods" from diverse cultures and also a little travelogue of the United States through the eyes of someone who does not live in the U.S.
When there's action, the story moves really well, but there are plenty of parts of the story that drag.
In the end, I thought this book was just so-so. The story is big on good/clever ideas but not superbly written. The full cast aspect was nice but uneven (some narrators were better than others). I'm glad to have experienced a Gaiman book after hearing so much about them, but I don't think they're for me.
This is the second Collins/Burke mystery I listened to (Collins the defense attorney, Burke the priest, based in Halifax, Nova Scotia).
This book introduces the reader to Burke's family (which unfortunately means this takes place primarily in New York City, and not in Nova Scotia, which might have provided a little of the Canadian flavor I was hoping to get), and focuses on the life of his father in Ireland and his involvement with the IRA. The references to life in Ireland 50+ years ago plus the presence of the IRA in New York City are the most interesting part of the story.
It's awfully convenient that Monty Collins, a Canadian defense lawyer, just happens to be in New York on vacation the entire several weeks it takes Burke and his family to get to the bottom of the mystery, which relates to his father's past. It also seems almost silly what a huge role Collins plays in solving a crime that is simultaneously being worked on by the NYPD. As with the first book, the relationship between Collins and his ex-wife, Collins and his children, Collins and Burke's whole family, etc. is practically idyllic (and not very believable).
One benefit of not very complex relationships is that it makes this a very easy read -- don't have to think too hard, nor do the emotional heartstrings get pulled enough to be a distraction.
Narrator isn't great, but is serviceable.
Not sure I'll listen to another one, not before testing out some other mystery series anyway.
I came across this book on my hunt for good mystery series. It was given good (4+ stars) reviews by two people I follow on Audible.
I was hopeful that this would include some local color (it takes place in Halifax, which I've never visited), but alas, the focus was primarily on developing the characters. The defense attorney Collins and the accused priest Burke are the primary characters, and while they are pretty entertaining (Burke in particular, probably because of the Irish accent), and despite the fact that their lives are turned upside down when Burke is accused of murder, their dialogue and relationships with others are just a little too easy and convenient, a little too perfect.
The mystery/whodunit part dragged a little bit, but that didn't matter so much as it took second seat to getting to know Collins and Burke. I felt I knew them just well enough by the end to warrant downloading Book 2 in the series.
I didn't love the narrator, but what saved him from ruining the experience for me was that so much of the dialogue came from Burke and so was delivered in a passable Irish brogue (for whatever reason, to me, audiobooks in English/Irish/Scottish accents just sound better!).
I read the description of this book and it sounded too light and fluffy for me, so I didn't download it ... until a friend of mine whose taste in books is like mine highly recommended it. It was an enjoyable listen. It's a fast-paced, entertaining story about a likable sociopath, the people who fall for her, and the unusually clever and twisted way she toys with the life of her husband. Nineteen hours is a pretty long book, but it is written and organized in such a way that it doesn't seem long. The narrators are excellent because they really bring the characters to life. Not my favorite book, but I liked it more than I thought I would, so you might too!
I wanted to like the main character, Harry Dresden, and the story, especially given that this book was highly rated when I came across it, and the concept of a modern-day wizard detective (as Dresden is) holds good entertainment potential for me.
However, from his heavy sighs to sharp intakes of breath to sounds of his mouth opening and closing to mumbling, the narrator made listening to this story a torturous experience for me. I struggled to finish and was relieved when the book was over. (I could have stopped midway and returned it, but I really wanted to give the story a chance despite the flaws in the delivery.)
I chose this book because I was hoping to get wrapped up in a new mystery series and this is the first book. Maybe I'd consider another if there is a different narrator; however, at this point, I'm planning to try my luck elsewhere.
I loved this. The story is great, the characters are charming, and I could listen to the narrator all day long.
I came across this book because I have read all of the Bartimaeus books by Mr Stroud and enjoyed those, and Goodreads sent me an email telling me about "new releases by authors I've read", including this one.
I liked this even better than the Bartimaeus books because it seems more universally appealing. As with those, there's still some magic involved here, but it's fairly subtle, and you get more of the "human side" of things. Plus, it's a mystery with enough plot twists that you spend good time on the edge of your seat.
This is likely intended for a young-ish audience as the protagonists are teenagers. Yet, I'm a 37-year-old whose children are far too young for books of this ilk, and I absolutely loved it. To enjoy it, you don't have to believe in magic, but you do need to like hearing stories in which the characters display some degree of supernatural power.
The narrator makes it incredibly enjoyable to listen to, capably bringing the characters to life.
Mr Stroud, please hurry up and write another; and Ms Raison, please insist upon narrating it.
The main character, Dave Robicheaux, is a really tough guy who also has a heart, flaws, and brains. In his capacity as a detective with the New Orleans PD, he throws himself into danger and comes out with just scratches. This mystery, involving corrupt cops, mafiosi, and Dave's family, maintains a nice pace (there are a few exceptions, where you zone out because there's some sort of meaningless musing about, for example, a landscape) and has some great New Orleans flavor. The narrator does a nice job with various accents, making it easy to keep the characters straight and reinforcing the fact that it takes place down South (at least for me, who has never been to New Orleans and so my impression comes from TV).
I chose this because I was hoping to find another cannot-put-it-down series, and it seemed highly rated on Audible. While I may read another one at some point, I didn't find the characters and/or story compelling enough to want to dive into the next one right away (as I have done with other mystery series, such as the Longmire series by Craig Johnson). A good listen, but not a great one.
Kudos to Ms Penny for an excellent book. From the dual mystery to the intrigue in the life of the main character, the detective Inspector Gamache, the story builds and builds, making it very hard to put down. I usually listen only on my commute, but with this book, I found myself pulling out my headphones and "reading" before going to sleep as well.
It's worth noting that I came to this book because I have read all of the other books in this series, which is based on the charming, yet flawed, Gamache, as well as the villagers living in Three Pines (a place Gamache visits both for business and pleasure). However, this story stands on its own and could be a place for readers unfamiliar with Ms Penny to begin. The primary downside of starting with this one is that you learn the conclusion of a storyline that provides a cliffhanger in a few of the other books earlier in the series.
After eight other books giving voice to these characters, the narrator is flawless, delivering a convincing performance and doing the accents besides (it takes place in Montreal and other parts of Quebec, so there is a nice blend of French and English).
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.