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Alcairha

White Plains, NY United States | Member Since 2004

91
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 37 reviews
  • 194 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 95 purchased in 2014
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6

  • Chasing Darkness: An Elvis Cole - Joe Pike Novel, Book 12

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Robert Crais
    • Narrated By James Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (414)
    Performance
    (164)
    Story
    (164)

    It's fire season, and the hills of Los Angeles are burning. As the residents of Laurel Canyon are being evacuated from their homes, Police and Fire Department personnel find the corpse of a recluse who apparently committed suicide. Clutched in his lap is a photo album containing photographs of seven young women who have been murdered.

    J says: "Elvis & Pike Ride Again"
    "compelling thriller, but letdown at end"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've listened to a few of the Elvis Cole novels and I pretty much like them all. They get me hooked quickly and I can't stop listening to find out what's going to happen next.Plenty of twists and turns to keep the story interesting. I love the characters, although I'd have liked to see more of Joe Pike. My main beef with this one is that the end unraveled pretty suddenly and left me unsatisfied. Too many loose ends for my taste, too little build up. Some very spooky scenes went nowhere. The narrator was terrific. I didn't care too much for the "authentic" sound of the phone conversations.

    0 of 0 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
    (4)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    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.

    Alcairha says: "Promising start degenerates into boring drivel"
    "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
  • Shibumi

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Trevanian
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (699)
    Performance
    (260)
    Story
    (268)

    Nicholai Hel, born in the ravages of World War I China to an aristocratic Russian mother and a mysterious German father, raised in the spiritual gardens of a Japanese Go Master, survives the destruction of Hiroshima to emerge as the world's most artful lover and its most accomplished and highly paid assassin. Genius, mystic, master of language and culture, Hel's secret is his determination to attain a rare kind of personal excellence, a state of effortless perfection: shibumi.

    David says: "Only a Russian could be this shibumi"
    "Uneven book, brilliant in parts"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a very uneven book. In parts it was utterly thrilling and fascinating, but other sections slowed to a crawl. I loved the first parts describing Nicolai Hel’s childhood and background - couldn’t stop listening. And I found the description of WWII from the point of view of the Japanese interesting, in spite of the anti-American sentiments expressed repeatedly, since these were directed against the corrupt politicians and the unthinking masses of consumers rather than against individual people themselves. There was a lengthy middle section, which was rather tedious, with an (for me) endless description of a caving expedition, which brought the plot to a grinding halt. I would have preferred more description of how Hel ended up with his chateau and his concubine to the lengthy and detailed depiction of dangerous caving. At this point I was also getting very tired of how every character has to constantly expound “bon mots” about other cultures. Then, for the last section, the story really picks up again. I loved the end, which was again suspenseful and overall satisfying. The narration was very good for the most part, although the narrator had difficulty with Arab accents. The other accents were highly convincing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dawn of Night: Forgotten Realms: Erevis Cale Trilogy, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Paul S. Kemp
    • Narrated By John Pruden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (20)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (17)

    The shadows recede from a lost temple in a forgotten wilderness. The sun rises on a new calling for a man as loyal as he is mysterious. The day's beginning finds Erevis Cale holding in his steady hands more power than he dared hope for - and more responsibility than he ever imagined. For now, he will have to put his trust in a god served by theives and born of chaos.

    Alcairha says: "Sequel doesn't deliver"
    "Sequel doesn't deliver"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    In spite of very uneven writing and the continuous, excessively testosterone laden interchanges, the first book of the Erevis Cale series had enough of a mystery and character development to make me want to read the second book. What a mistake!! The sequel filled in some of the background story, but in more of a “tell” not “show” kind of way, and it had none of the mystery of the first book, only constant obsession with killing the Slaadi and endless, tedious, bloody descriptions of what the characters were going to do to each other when they got ahold of each other. I gave up after the first few chapters, when I realized my mind was wandering and I was forcing myself to listen. Too bad, the first book could have used a good editor, but it had promise. The narration was too slow and a bit ponderous for my taste, but otherwise good enough.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Treatment

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Mo Hayder
    • Narrated By Damien Goodwin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (47)
    Performance
    (44)
    Story
    (44)

    In a quiet residential area in London, a couple is discovered bound and imprisoned in their own home. Savagely battered and severely dehydrated, the worst revelation is yet to come: their eight-year-old son has been abducted. But when the body is found and forensic evidence turns the case on its head, revealing disturbing parallels to events in Detective Caffery's own past, Caffery realizes he's dealing with much more sinister forces than he'd anticipated - and finds it increasingly difficult to maintain his distance.

    Alcairha says: "INTENSE MASTERPIECE"
    "INTENSE MASTERPIECE"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is one of the most intense books I've ever read-or I should say listened to (I switched back-and-forth). The story is so horrifying that you want to stop, but you can't. It feels kind of like falling off a cliff. The plot and characters draw you in almost immediately and after that you have no choice but to continue to the end. The story, like every single Mo Hayder book I've ever read, is not for the faint of heart. It contains graphic and riveting descriptions of pedophilia and the torture of families held hostage by a schizophrenic. Mo Hayder has Stephen King's knack for portraying disturbed and crazed psyches in a highly realistic and believable way, so that it really gets under your skin. One minute you hate them, one minute you feel sorry for them, and the next you wish you could wake them up to what's really going on. And that's not just the criminals. Jack Caffery Is back, more tortured and obsessed than ever with solving the riddle of what happened to his younger brother. The reader will find out, although as you can guess, it is not a warm fluffy story. The depiction of the intense psychic anguish experienced by families after their ordeal is over is also extremely realistic. It reminds me of "Sophie's Choice" in its intensity. I won't easily forget this book, nor will I ever feel quite safe again in my comfortable middle-class existence. I think this book is a masterpiece, but be prepared for what you're in for, before you start reading!
    Narration was quite good- not my favorite though. Loved the accents.

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

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Rhys Bowen
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    Overall
    (2211)
    Performance
    (1896)
    Story
    (1884)

    The Queen of England has concocted a plan in which penniless aristocrat Lady Georgie is to entertain a Bavarian princess and conveniently place her in the playboy prince's path, in the hopes that he might finally marry.

    But queens never take money into account. Georgie has very little, which is why she moonlights as a maid-in-disguise.

    Coffee Lover says: "More Royal Fun!"
    "Perfect book to put you in a good mood"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about A Royal Pain?

    I absolutely loved the descriptions of the characters- they were witty, engaging, humorous and above all they felt alive. The heroine was an unconventional independent thinker with remarkable courage and solid moral values, so that you really found yourself rooting for her. Meanwhile the depiction of the trials and tribulations of the impoverished British aristocracy was absolutely hilarious. The mystery was not very deep. I think most readers will figure it out well before the heroine, but it's hardly the point of the book. So if you want an engaging, highly entertaining depiction of the 1930's British upper crust wrapped in a very light mystery, well then, start reading...


    What other book might you compare A Royal Pain to and why?

    for some odd reason the book reminded me of the Bridget Jones novels, perhaps because of an equally sympathetic, self-deprecating heroine, surrounded by many unsuitable and one suitable lover and struggling to make the right choices. The Bridget Jones novels also made me laugh out loud, just like this book


    Have you listened to any of Katherine Kellgren’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I am fairly picky and easily annoyed when it comes to narrators. Having said that, in my opinion Katherine Kellgren is an outstanding narrator in every way. I have loved every single one of her performances. She is without question one of my favorite narrators!!


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Not sure about the tag line, but I would be first in line to see it! I'd love to see Emma Stone as Georgiana...


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Snow White Must Die

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Nele Neuhaus
    • Narrated By Robert Fass
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1191)
    Performance
    (1034)
    Story
    (1029)

    On a rainy November day, police detectives Pia Kirchhoff and Oliver von Bodenstein are summoned to a mysterious traffic accident: a woman has fallen from a pedestrian bridge onto a car driving underneath. According to a witness, the woman may have been pushed. The investigation leads Pia and Oliver to a small village, and the home of the victim, Rita Cramer. On a September evening eleven years earlier, two seventeen-year-old girls vanished from the village without a trace.

    C. Vincent says: "Great narrator, unbelievable, never-ending story"
    "Terrific mystery & study of German small town life"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I absolutely loved this novel by Nele Neuhaus, which was as much a character study of the worst of small town life in Germany as it was a mystery story. Lots of engaging characters and interesting plot twists combined with good writing and atmospheric descriptions of the scenery and homes. I think it's not much of a spoiler to say that you know from the beginning that Tobias must have been framed, but listening to it all unravel kept me hooked to the very last minute of the highly satisfying conclusion. I grew up in Germany and can say that the scenes and descriptions are very authentic. The translation was well done and the narration was outstanding. Highly recommended!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Daybreak

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Viktor Arnar Ingolfsson
    • Narrated By Benjamin L. Darcie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (25)
    Performance
    (24)
    Story
    (24)

    Several goose hunters are found shot dead in rural Iceland, and detectives Gunnar Maríuson and Birkir Hinriksson are assigned to the case. Lead after lead goes cold before a mysterious letter arrives at the Reykjavik police department that reads, “My nature is to kill. I hunt men and never let go.” Gunnar and Birkir set a trap for the one they call “the Gander.” But the killer sends them on a deadly wild-goose chase, as lives hang in the balance.

    Alcairha says: "Murdered goose hunters? Really??"
    "Murdered goose hunters? Really??"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    When I first read the synopsis of this book, I thought to myself that life must be really dull in Iceland, if murdering goose hunters is their idea of entertainment. But, since I still haven't gotten over the death of Stieg Larsson, I thought I'd give this book a try, and I'm very glad I did. It had enough twists and turns to keep me guessing to the very end. The story was fast-paced, well-written and full of believable intriguing characters, each with their background story. I liked the characters enough that I wish the author had written a second book with the same ones, particularly the same police officers, but unfortunately each of his books is a standalone. Narration was very good, not overdone, so that I could immerse myself in the story. Overall highly recommended

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Boy in the Suitcase: A Nina Borg Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Lene Kaaberbøl (author and translator), Agnete Friis
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (471)
    Performance
    (416)
    Story
    (415)

    Nina Borg, a Red Cross nurse, wife, and mother of two, is trying to live a quiet life. The last thing her husband wants is for her to go running off on another dangerous mission to help illegal refugees. But when Nina's estranged friend, Karin, leaves her a key to a public locker in the Copenhagen train station, and begs her to take care of its contents, Nina gets suckered into her most dangerous case yet.

    Avid Reader and Listener says: "Fantastic thriller!"
    "A story that lives up to its eye-catching title!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Sometimes books have a really eye-catching title, but the story is a disappointment. Not so here - for me this book had it all, suspense, atmosphere, superb writing, believable characters and outstanding narration. The book was full of tortured characters doing their best to resolve their hopeless dilemmas, but only getting themselves deeper into quicksand. I loved all the different points of view, which made the story richer and more fascinating than if it had been all told from one person's angle. The author had just the right mix of atmosphere/description and action for my taste, enough to make the story come to life, but not overwhelming the reader or listener with details. I can't wait to find more audiobooks by this author, who will hopefully be paired with the same superb narrator!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Flatey Enigma

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Viktor Arnar Ingolfsson
    • Narrated By Jeff Crawford, Kate Rudd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (17)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (13)

    Ketilsey Island, 1960. Near this deserted island off the western coast of Iceland, the dawning of spring brings with it new life for the local wildlife. But for the decaying body discovered by three seal hunters, winter is a matter of permanence. After it is found to be a Danish cryptographer missing for months, the ensuing investigation uncovers a mysterious link between him and a medieval manuscript known as the Book of Flatey. Before long another body is found on Flatey, another tiny island off the western coast.

    Susan says: "A good Icelandic read"
    "Icelandic snoozer"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved one of the author's other books, "Daybreak", which was atmospheric and highly suspenseful, so this book came as somewhat of a disappointment. While it was certainly atmospheric, I found it rather lacking in action and suspense. The characters and scenery are wonderful, including an absolutely outstanding depiction of Asperger's syndrome in one character. I loved the (for me) colorful names and the rich descriptions of surroundings and people. The characters were interesting and believable. Unfortunately, for endlessly long sections of the story, all of these wonderful characters did absolutely nothing. There is some action in the beginning, although it doesn't really draw you in because not enough is known about the murdered person. The police interminably interview people, but only find dead ends. Then at the end, the story suddenly speeds to its conclusion, leaving me overall unsatisfied. I had to force myself to keep listening in the middle and, while I thought the way the story unraveled was interesting and believable in some way, it all happened much too quickly.

    The best parts for me were the interspersed sections of the Flatey Saga, which were like an Icelandic version of Game of Thrones, with lots of beheadings and betrayals. But these sections were short and disjointed, and not enough to make up for the rest of it.

    If you like the "No 1 ladies detective agency" with lots of atmosphere and not much action, then this book is for you - just skip the gory Flatey saga parts. On the other hand, if you are looking for "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo", then go for "Daybreak" or "The boy in the suitcase".

    The narrators were very good - no issues there.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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