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KP

United States | Member Since 2005

ratings
265
REVIEWS
79
FOLLOWING
5
FOLLOWERS
11
HELPFUL VOTES
149

  • The Mark of Athena: The Heroes of Olympus, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Rick Riordan
    • Narrated By Joshua Swanson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1597)
    Performance
    (1439)
    Story
    (1460)

    Annabeth is terrified. Just when she’s about to be reunited with Percy - after six months of being apart, thanks to Hera - it looks like Camp Jupiter is preparing for war. As Annabeth and her friends Jason, Piper, and Leo fly in on the Argo II, she can’t blame the Roman demigods for thinking the ship is a Greek weapon. With its steaming bronze dragon figurehead, Leo’s fantastical creation doesn’t appear friendly. Annabeth hopes that the sight of their praetor Jason on deck will reassure the Romans.

    Jm says: "Felt like an episode of a weekly tv series..."
    "This is My Last Percy Jackson Book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Any Other Name: Walt Longmire, Book 11

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Craig Johnson
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    Overall
    (567)
    Performance
    (520)
    Story
    (516)

    Sheriff Walt Longmire had already rounded up a sizable posse of devoted readers when the A&E television series Longmire sent the Wyoming lawman’s popularity skyrocketing. Now, in Any Other Name, Walt is sinking into high-plains winter discontent when his former boss, Lucian Conally, asks him to take on a mercy case in an adjacent county. Detective Gerald Holman is dead and Lucian wants to know what drove his old friend to take his own life.

    C. Telfair says: "Lost in Fog with Buffalo"
    "Smells Plenty Sweet!"
    Overall
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    "Any Other Name" is the 11th installment in the Walt Longmire mystery series. I got here because I have read the other 10 and really enjoyed most of them.

    If you're planning on reading this as your 11th Longmire too, be aware: #10 was so incredible that it's hard to imagine #11 being anything other than a slight step down.

    That said, this was still a great story. I liked that it takes place in South Dakota instead of Wyoming, which Walt calls home; the scenery, animals (buffalo), and cast of South Dakotan characters added to the entertainment value. I also liked that, when trying to unravel one mystery, Walt finds himself in the middle of another (and of course he is determined to solve them both). Despite the distance from home, Walt involves his trusty sidekicks, Henry Standing Bear and Victoria Moretti, who bring humor and clever repartee (and backup when the going gets tough) to the story.

    I suppose when one reads a series, one assumes the star of it is going to survive (otherwise, how can there be book #12?), so in that sense this books is predictable. However, I did not see the end coming as far as how the mysteries turned out!

    George Guidall was born to narrate this series. I cannot imagine trying to read these books and missing out on his amazing narration.

    One note: I believe Longmire fans are divided into those who find the occasional forays into Native American mysticism/hallucinations entertaining, and those who find it annoying. I'm in the latter group, and so found one of the chapters painful to get through, but thankfully it was limited to that one section.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Sense of an Ending: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Julian Barnes
    • Narrated By Richard Morant
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (762)
    Performance
    (643)
    Story
    (647)

    Tony Webster and his clique first met Adrian Finn at school. Sex-hungry and book-hungry, they would navigate the girl-less sixth form together, trading in affectations, in-jokes, rumor, and wit. Maybe Adrian was a little more serious than the others, certainly more intelligent, but they all swore to stay friends for life. Now Tony is retired. He’s had a career and a single marriage, a calm divorce. He’s certainly never tried to hurt anybody. Memory, though, is imperfect. It can always throw up surprises, as a lawyer’s letter is about to prove.

    Chris Reich says: "Stunning. I'm Guilty. Are You?"
    "Exquisitely Crafted, Exquisitely Narrated"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am so glad this book was a daily deal recently, or else I might never have stumbled across it. This is an exquisitely crafted novel that follows the life of an amusingly self-involved young man, and the seeming chaos that happens around him as he moves through life unremarkably and largely unharmed. Doesn't necessarily sound like much... and yet, I found myself hanging on to every word, and even rewinding to listen again (and, unusually, I bookmarked several great quotes -- I love the Audible app!).

    The writing is simply incredible, with the story (though dreary at times) and philosophical musings the equivalent of the "icing on the cake". Had I read it instead of listened, I might have given it four stars. However, layering on the narrator with his perfect cadence and inflection (and the British accent that automatically makes me like things slightly more) got me to give this five stars.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Black Tower

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Louis Bayard
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (268)
    Performance
    (111)
    Story
    (111)

    Dr. Hector Carpentier leads a very quiet life, until he meets legendary police officer Vidocq, who has used his mastery of disguise and surveillance and his extensive knowledge of the Parisian underworld to capture some of the most notorious and elusive criminals.

    Booksmith says: "Truly Engaging and Clever"
    "Second Half Better Than the First"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This caught my eye because of the narrator (Simon Vance, who is always fantastic), the time period (turn of the century 1800's France), and the genre (classic detective, in this case named Vidocq). The story got off to a slow start, but ultimately was an enjoyable mystery with wonderful doses of historical fiction. If I were rating just the second half, I would give it four stars. Worth a listen!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Water Room: A Peculiar Crimes Unit Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Christopher Fowler
    • Narrated By Tim Goodman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (295)
    Performance
    (149)
    Story
    (142)

    Best-selling author Christopher Fowler has won a widespread following for his senior citizen detectives Arthur Bryant and John May. Here a woman is found drowned in her basement - with nary a drop of water to explain the crime.

    Cholmondeley says: "Baby Boomers Rejoice: This is a book for our time."
    "Not For Me After All"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is the second Peculiar Crimes Unit mystery I've read. While the first was not my favorite, I thought the characters had some endearing qualities, and so gave this one a try. London is once again at the center of the story (this time, its waterways), but in a less interesting way than in the first novel, which was partially set in wartime London. The storylines are at times hard to follow, and I found the dialogue tiresome because it did not reveal new things about the characters (rather, it reiterated what had been learned about them in the first book). The narrator does a fine job with what he's given.

    I just can't get into this series the way I was hoping to (and the way I have with Louise Penny's Gamache mystery series and Craig Johnson's Longmire mystery series). Better luck to other listeners.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Divergent

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Veronica Roth
    • Narrated By Emma Galvin
    Overall
    (15758)
    Performance
    (14261)
    Story
    (14360)

    In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue - Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is - she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

    Grant says: "It's not for me. Loved it anyway."
    "Reasonable Coattail-Rider"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I question whether this book would have had such success if books like Ender's Game, Harry Potter and The Hunger Games hadn't been written first. But, you have to give Ms. Roth some credit, as I am sure there are thousands of authors who have been trying to ride those coattails and have failed. While it doesn't belong in the same league with the great books listed above, this is a fast-paced, entertaining story with a clever premise. The narrator is nicely functional; she does a good job of getting the story out there without intruding.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Fine Balance

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Rohinton Mistry
    • Narrated By John Lee
    Overall
    (565)
    Performance
    (266)
    Story
    (265)

    In the India of the mid-1970s, Indira Gandhi's government has just come to power. It institutionalizes corruption and arbitrary force, most oppressive to the poorest and weakest people under its sway. Against this backdrop, in an unnamed city by the sea, four people struggle to survive. Dina, Maneck, and two tailors, the Untouchables Om and Ishvar, who are sewing in Dina's service, undergo a series of reversals.

    Karen P. Smith says: "Praise for the Narrator as much as the Writer"
    "A Fine Telling"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    "Where humans were concerned, the only emotion that made sense was wonder at their ability to endure, and sorrow for the hopelessness of it all."

    This sentence from the book more or less sums up how I feel after finishing. The setting of the story is India in 1975 (with several brief jaunts to earlier parts of the 20th century to explain characters' backgrounds), and it paints an entertaining, at times amusing, and yet often bleak and disturbing picture of how the political situation in India affects people of different backgrounds (Hindu, Muslim, Sikh), different points of origin (mountains, village, big city) and different socioeconomic statuses. The fact that the reader gets to know the characters so well makes the good times particularly heartwarming, and at times makes it difficult to hear what is happening to them.

    I found the story to be well crafted and nicely paced. There are several characters and story lines that cross when you don't expect it and are easy to follow. The narrator, John Lee, is excellent; I might not have embarked upon the audiobook version of this novel if I had not seen his name in the narrator slot.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Golem and the Jinni: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Helene Wecker
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2368)
    Performance
    (2184)
    Story
    (2184)

    Helene Wecker's dazzling debut novel tells the story of two supernatural creatures who appear mysteriously in 1899 New York. Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life by a strange man who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic. When her master dies at sea on the voyage from Poland, she is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York Harbor. Ahmad is a jinni, a being of fire, born in the ancient Syrian Desert. Trapped in an old copper flask by a Bedouin wizard centuries ago, he is released accidentally by a tinsmith in a Lower Manhattan shop.

    Tango says: "Enchanting Debut Novel - Delicious!"
    "Don't Miss the Wonderfully Woven Tale"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    What a great debut novel! This is the enchanting story about two supernatural creatures and their unlikely paths to regular human lives and, eventually, one another. It takes place in turn of the century 1900's New York. The people and places are equally well-developed and key to the novel. It's a charming story that keeps the reader guessing throughout. I would highly recommend this even if fantasy/magical stories are not typically your thing. While there is a supernatural aspect to this story, it does not overwhelm the fact that this is just a well-written, heartwarming, historically intriguing story.

    The narrator is one of my favorites, and met my already heightened expectations effortlessly.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Full Dark House

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Christopher Fowler
    • Narrated By Tim Goodman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (151)
    Performance
    (124)
    Story
    (128)

    In Full Dark House, Christopher Fowler tells the story of both the first and last case of an unlikely pair of crime fighters - and how along the way they changed the face of detection. A present-day bombing rips through London and claims the life of 80-year-old detective Arthur Bryant. For his partner John May, it means the end of a partnership that lasted over half a century and an eerie echo back to the Blitz of World War II when they first met. Desperately searching for clues, May finds his friend’s notes of their first case....

    Librarian says: "2 English Detective mysteries for the price of 1!!"
    "More Than Just a Mystery"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Cutting for Stone: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Abraham Verghese
    • Narrated By Sunil Malhotra
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4759)
    Performance
    (2167)
    Story
    (2175)

    Marion and Shiva Stone are twin brothers born of a secret union between a beautiful Indian nun and a brash British surgeon at a mission hospital in Addis Ababa. Orphaned by their mother's death in childbirth and their father's disappearance, bound together by a preternatural connection and a shared fascination with medicine, the twins come of age as Ethiopia hovers on the brink of revolution. Yet it will be love, not politics - their passion for the same woman - that will tear them apart.

    Audiophile says: "An Epic Medical Novel"
    "GET IT NOW (n.b.Description Doesn't Do It Justice)"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • American Gods: The Tenth Anniversary Edition (A Full Cast Production)

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman
    • Narrated By Dennis Boutsikaris, Daniel Oreskes, Ron McLarty, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4438)
    Performance
    (3965)
    Story
    (3989)

    First published in 2001, American Gods became an instant classic, an intellectual and artistic benchmark from the multiple-award-winning master of innovative fiction, Neil Gaiman. Now discover the mystery and magic of American Gods in this 10th anniversary edition. Newly updated and expanded with the author's preferred text, this commemorative volume is a true celebration of a modern masterpiece by the one, the only, Neil Gaiman.

    Michael says: "New to Neil"
    "Strong Story, Weak Writing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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