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Alcairha

Brooklyn, NY | Member Since 2014

103
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 46 reviews
  • 214 ratings
  • 1231 titles in library
  • 81 purchased in 2015
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FOLLOWERS
6

  • Canticle: The Psalms of Isaak, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Ken Scholes
    • Narrated By Scott Brick, William Dufris, Eliza Foss, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (109)
    Performance
    (60)
    Story
    (62)

    It is nine months after the end of Lamentation. Many noble allies have come to the Ninefold Forest for a Feast in honor of General Rudolfo's first-born child. Jin Li Tam, his wife and mother of his heir, lies in childbed. As the feast begins, the doors of the hall fly open and invisible assassins begin attacking. All of Rudolfo's noble guests are slain, including Hanric, the Marsh Queen's Shadow. And on the Keeper's Gate, which guards the Named Lands from the Churning Waste, a strange figure appears.

    James says: "Encore, Encore"
    "Huge disppointment!"
    Overall

    I loved the first book, which was full of original characters, fascinating plot lines and a richly developed world, but this book is tedious in the extreme. The plot lurches forwards in scenes of blood and gore, followed by endless repetitive ruminations of the characters about their situation (he was filled with dread, he wondered how the world had changed ad nauseam) and minutely detailed descriptions of the most minor actions - rather as if instead of writing "he had breakfast", you would write, "and he regarded the fork considering its aspect. He lifted his arm and reached towards the fork. He felt its solid weight in his hand....and so on for another 10 pages. As in the previous book, the writing is beautifully detailed and the similes are brilliant, but there are far too many repetitions of "it was Wymer maze", "he pondered this Rufelo box". I realized I was forcing myself to listen to it and finally gave up at a scene of explicit torture. Where was the editor of this book? Bound and gagged in the basement? Mesmerized by a Rufelo box?

    5 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Voice of the Violin: An Inspector Montalbano Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Andrea Camilleri, Stephen Sartarelli
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (132)
    Performance
    (69)
    Story
    (70)

    Montalbano's gruesome discovery of a lovely, naked young woman suffocated in her bed immediately sets him on a search for her killer. Among the suspects are her aging husband, a famous doctor; a shy admirer, now disappeared; an antiques-dealing lover from Bologna; and the victim's friend Anna.

    Teatime2 says: "The best Inspector Montalbano yet"
    "Engaging characters and atmosphere, banal mystery"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The story had engaging characters and great atmosphere. Prepare to get very hungry when you hear the vivid descriptions of the food! I rather liked the scruffy, recalcitrant inspector and I loved the convoluted politics of the Italian police force. The mystery itself was rather banal. And devoid of surprises. I also didn't care for the narrator's choppy style.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Vacaciones al sol [Vacations in the Sun]: Lola Lago, detective

    • UNABRIDGED (41 mins)
    • By Lourdes Miquel, Neus Sans
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (6)

    Lola Lago va a pasar unos días en Tossa de Mar, en la Costa Brava. Durante el viaje conoce a Magnus Nilsson, un sueco que ha sido víctima de una estafa immobiliaria internacional. Lola le ofrece su ayuda para encontrar a los estafadores.La responsable de una agencia de detectives privados tendrá que hacer frente no solo a los casos que se le presentan, sino también a las dificultades de ser mujer en un mundo reservado tradicionalmente a los hombres.

    Sarah says: "Great way to learn Spanish"
    "Perfect for learning Spanish"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was looking for audiobooks with simple Spanish language and was listening to children's books, but this is better. The story is reasonably entertaining and well read. I was able to follow along quite well. I'm an intermediate Spanish speaker, still struggling with the grammar

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dragon Rose: Tales of the Latter Kingdoms

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Christine Pope
    • Narrated By Valerie Gilbert
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (25)
    Performance
    (23)
    Story
    (24)

    The shadow of the cursed Dragon Lord has hung over the town of Lirinsholme for centuries, and no one ever knows when the Dragon will claim his next doomed bride. Rhianne Menyon has dreams of being a painter, but her world changes forever when a single moment of sacrifice brings her to Black's Keep as the Dragon's latest bride. As she attempts to adjust to her new life - and to know something of the monster who is now her husband - she begins to see that the curse is far crueler than she first believed.

    Alcairha says: "Beautiful writing, sloooooow story"
    "Beautiful writing, sloooooow story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Absolutely beautiful writing, but the slow pacing of the story coupled with the even slower pacing of the narration lends itself better to reading than to an audiobook. There is a very gradual buildup of suspense, which suddenly gives way to the highly predictable happy end, leaving me feeling a bit cheated.i would recommend the book for lovers of atmospheric, light gothic romances, but don't expect any big surprises or twists and turns.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Cobra: Cobra Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Timothy Zahn
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki
    Overall
    (164)
    Performance
    (114)
    Story
    (116)

    The colony world Adirondack and Silvern fell to the Troft forces almost without a struggle. Outnumbered and on the defensive, Earth made a desperate decision. It would attack the aliens not from space, but on the ground - with forces the Trofts did not even suspect. Thus were created the cobras, a guerrilla force whose weapons were surgically implanted, invisible to the unsuspecting eye, yet undeniably deadly.

    Dennis says: "Not Bad!"
    "Great military and political sci fi story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Highly enjoyable exploration of military and political complications of colonizing a distal planet and engaging in warfare with cyberonically augmented soldiers. I particularly loved this schizophrenic (but very realistic) reaction of the civilian population to the soldiers once the war was over, and of the soldiers' feelings of frustration with their inability to return to their former lives. The story was exciting and a great mixture of suspense and background story, and the characters were highly engaging and realistically portrayed. The narration was excellent. Highly recommended, can't wait to listen to the sequels!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • How to Listen to and Understand Opera

    • ORIGINAL (24 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Robert Greenberg
    Overall
    (127)
    Performance
    (108)
    Story
    (106)

    To watch any opera lover listen to a favorite work, eyes clenched tight in concentration and passion, often betraying a tear, is to be almost envious. What must it be like, you might think, to love a piece of music so much?And now one of music's most gifted teachers is offering you the opportunity to answer that very question, in a spellbinding series of 32 lectures that will introduce you to the transcendentally beautiful performing art that has enthralled audiences for more than 400 years.

    Shannon says: "Learning and loving it"
    "Outstanding review of opera through the ages"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Professor Greenberg has tremendous depth of knowledge and understanding of classical music and opera, which he makes more interesting by placing it in context with the historical and political events of the time. What could be dry and boring is made tremendously entertaining by Professor Greenberg's great sense of humor, the intermingled personal anecdotes about the composers and performers, and of course the music itself. Perhaps my only criticism is that I would've preferred more Verdi and less Monteverdi, but that is a very minor issue. My understanding and enjoyment of opera has been increased considerably by listening to these lectures. I can't recommend it highly enough, both to the novice and the connoisseur !

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Great Masters: Mozart - His Life and Music

    • ORIGINAL (6 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Robert Greenberg
    Overall
    (92)
    Performance
    (84)
    Story
    (80)

    Even from the perspective of time, it is nearly impossible to grasp the full contribution made to music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in his brief and glorious life. He composed his first symphony at the age of 8 and reached full artistic maturity by the time he was only 20. And when he died at the age of 35, he left a legacy of more than 600 works of brilliance - symphonies, chamber music, operas, and more - most composed during an incredibly productive 20-year period.

    Amazon Customer says: "More Great Listening!"
    "Superb narration of the life and music of Mozart"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Mozart is one of my all time favorite composers. I already knew the basic facts of his life, but this audiobook made everything so much more clear and introduced me to aspects of his music that I hadn't understood. The narrator/lecturer is very well informed and is a most entertaining speaker. Mozart's music is interspersed between sections of the narrative. Highly recommended to novices and Mozart aficionados alike!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Queen of Hearts

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Rhys Bowen
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1276)
    Performance
    (1155)
    Story
    (1155)

    Lady Georgiana Rannoch, 35th in line for the British throne, knows how to play the part of an almost royal - but now she's off to Hollywood, where she must reprise her role as sleuth or risk starring in an all-too-convincing death scene...

    Calliope says: "Good but not her best"
    "formulaic and predictable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed this series with amateur detective Georgiana Rannoch so far, but Rhys Bowen has run out of creative ideas for her cast of characters. The storyline has become utterly boring and predictable. I used to feel sorry for Georgiana, the plucky heroine surrounded by a cast of shallow and self-serving family and friends, but at some point you have to wonder why she continues to maintain relationships with these people. Her narcissistic mother, who spends the time she isn't with her numerous lovers putting her daughter down or abandoning her. Her would-be lover, Darcy, who vanishes as soon as the relationship shows signs of getting going and reappears as soon as she is getting on with her life. Her "friend", Belinda, who is the definition of self-serving and shallow, and finally her maid, Queenie, who abuses her kindness and destroys her belongings. Each character behaved entirely the same way they had in every previous novel. There wasn't a single moment of suspense in this story. Only Katherine Kellgren's superb narration (and the fact that the book is pretty short) kept me going. Save your credit for something better.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Emperor's Blades: Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Brian Staveley
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    Overall
    (2072)
    Performance
    (1913)
    Story
    (1919)

    In The Emperor's Blades by Brian Staveley, the emperor of Annur is dead, slain by enemies unknown. His daughter and two sons, scattered across the world, do what they must to stay alive and unmask the assassins. But each of them also has a life-path on which their father set them, destinies entangled with both ancient enemies and inscrutable gods.

    GLENNO says: "Doesn't compare with other fantasy books"
    "WOW finally a book that CAN compete with George RR"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Absolutely fabulous start to a new series! I keep reading how this book and that book is the "new" Game of Thrones, so I was highly skeptical about yet another fantasy book purporting to be in the same class as a book of George RR. However, for once the hype was true. This book has incredible depth of world building, complete with religions, social classes, geography, philosophy, etc. - a world you could lose yourself in. I loved the maxims of the Shin (The first step in winning a sword fight is not to lose...). The characters all have complexity and conflicts that ring true and stay with you. They undergo changes, which are believable. I have to admit that I was a bit turned off by the unbelievable cruelty with which they treated Kaden and also Valyn in the beginning, but it all turned out to be for a worthwhile cause. The story is highly suspenseful with terrific pacing. I can't recommend this book highly enough - it ranks up there with my absolute favorites. Can't wait for part 2!!! The narration by Simon Vance was wonderful, like all of his books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Darker Shade of Sweden

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By John-Henri Holmberg
    • Narrated By Carol Monda, Scott Brick, Adam Grupper, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (201)
    Performance
    (170)
    Story
    (173)

    Ever since Stieg Larsson shone a light on the brilliance of Swedish crime writing with his acclaimed and best-selling Millennium trilogy, listeners around the world have sought out and devoured the crime fiction of his countrymen (and women), many of whom have proved to be some of the greatest masters of the genre. In this landmark and unique publication, Sweden's most distinguished and best-loved crime writers have contributed stories to an anthology that promises to thrill even the most jaded mystery listener.

    Cindy says: "Not enough stories"
    "Very uneven collection with some gems (see below)"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    1. Tove Alsterdahl: Reunion
    Meandering, atmospheric tale of a group of school friends reuniting as middle aged women. Can't quite decide if it's a ghost-story or a murder mystery. 3*
    2. Ralph and Silla Borland: He liked his Hair
    Incomprehensible story with minimal plotline that was a serial killer story?
    Vampire novel? Werewolf novel? Not helped by the glacial pace of the narration. Thank God this was a short story! 1*
    3. Aka Edvardson: Never in real Life
    Terrific story of a couple's summer vacation turning out not to be quite what it looks like… 5*
    4. inger Freemansson: In our darkened house
    Excellent nugget about a woman's revenge on her former coworkers. 4*
    5. Eva Gabrielson: Paul's last summer
    Slight tale of a premature tombstone. 2*
    6. Ana Johnsson: The Ring
    Bullied child uses "The Ring" to give him courage and gets more than he bargained for. 4*
    7. Asa Larsson: The Mail Run
    Standard story of murder, misdirection and suspect wrongly accused/convicted by prejudice, but well told in a frontier mining town with medieval morals 4*
    8. Stieg Larsson: Brain Power
    Cautionary tale with the theme of "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few" taken to an extreme. Interesting idea, but you can see that the writer was young and immature since the characters are poorly developed. 3*
    9. Henning Mankshall and Hagen Nesser: an unlikely meeting
    Plotless story of two Swedish crime writers and their fictitious inspectors meeting on Christmas Eve. 1*
    10. Magnus Montellius: An Alibi for Señor Venegas
    Excellent tale of small time, petty politician manipulated into a false murder confession. 5*
    11. Dag Orland: Something in his Eyes
    Terrific morally ambiguous story of a repressive father and a daughter's fall from a balcony. Was it murder or was it suicide? 5*
    12. Maryland Persson Jolito: Day and Night my Keeper Be
    Strong character study, but depressing tale of a missing child. *4
    13. May Huval and Per Walu: The Multimillionaire
    Silly, pointless story about the start of the career of a minor con artist, who became a millionaire. It's beyond me what this story is doing in this collection since it contains neither murder nor mystery. It certainly wouldn't convince me to read the novels of the authors, who are reportedly Sweden's most famous and enduring crime writing couple. 1*
    14. Sara Stridsberg: Diary Braun
    A major disappointment after all the positive reviews. The story seems to consist mostly of endless descriptions of how she is getting rid of her jewelry and clothing while preparing for death 2*
    15. Johann Theoren: Revenge of the Virgin
    Skeletons in a rowboat. not much to it. Meh. 2*
    16. Veronica von Schenck - Eitreia. an author to keep track of. Unfortunately, her books are only available in Swedish. Terrific story of an art dealer turned art fraud expert. I would love to read more of this author’s stories. 5*
    17. Katerina Wenstahm:Too Late Shall the Sinner Awaken. Outstanding short story featuring a lesbian detective, Charlotta Lund, who is told the solution to an unsolved murder of a teenage boy that happened 25 years ago. 5*

    I particularly loved the intros to each of the stories, which gave background information on the writers. I will try to read some of the novels by these writers, if they are available in English, since I generally prefer novels to short stories.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Sartious Mage: The Rhythm of Rivalry, Book 1.5

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By B. T. Narro
    • Narrated By Nigel Patterson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    At just seventeen years old, Jek Trayden's power with Sartious Energy could be the greatest in the world, but that power comes at a price - a darkness within him that attacks while he sleeps, producing nightmares so real they leave him bruised and bloody. With the attacks worsening, Jek can't refuse an opportunity to end his nightmares for good when the King promises him a cure in exchange for a task.

    Rick says: "Loved it.Great character development. Didn't stop "
    "Promising start degenerates into boring drivel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The book gets off to a promising start. I liked the character of Jek and his anger at being cheated by the evil King. His escape from the castle was exciting with the promise of more action and character development to come. Unfortunately, then the princess enters the scene and after that the story grinds to a complete halt. Plot is replaced by juvenile bickering between Jek and the Princess. Jek alternates between admiring her breasts, and her hair, and her eyes, and her soft skin (are you bored yet? I was), etc etc, while the Princess showers him with scorn and anger and admonishments not to fall in love with her - excellent advice in my opinion. He ties her up and gets her filthy, then releases her when she promises to help him, then ties her up when she breaks her promise, then releases her etc etc etc. At that point I admit I gave up. Too bad, this could have been at least a decent story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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