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Shaliali

I love the BBC and British mysteries, but my tastes are very eclectic. I live with my husband and menagerie of rescued cats and dogs.

Member Since 2007

207
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 35 reviews
  • 437 ratings
  • 1006 titles in library
  • 80 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
3
FOLLOWERS
8

  • Dracula [Audible Edition]

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Bram Stoker
    • Narrated By Alan Cumming, Tim Curry, Simon Vance, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2393)
    Performance
    (2186)
    Story
    (2212)

    The modern audience hasn't had a chance to truly appreciate the unknowing dread that readers would have felt when reading Bram Stoker's original 1897 manuscript. Most modern productions employ campiness or sound effects to try to bring back that gothic tension, but we've tried something different. By returning to Stoker's original storytelling structure - a series of letters and journal entries voiced by Jonathan Harker, Dr. Van Helsing, and other characters - with an all-star cast of narrators, we've sought to recapture its originally intended horror and power.

    N. Houghton says: "Gothic Horror Never Sounded So Good"
    "A Performance, Not Just a Reading"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would definitely recommend this book because of the incredible performances. I read the book several years ago and liked it, but listening to it...I LOVE it! If you've never read Dracula, this is the version you want; if you have read or listened to Dracula before, you still want THIS version. This is sure to be considered the definitive version of Dracula.


    Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

    Mina Murray was a stand out character. As performed by Katherine Kellgren, Mina was a strong female character who managed to remain feminine. Further, Kellgren voiced the other characters in Mina's narratives very distinctively.


    Who was the most memorable character of Dracula and why?

    I was particularly struck by Renfield's characterization in this version. In the movie versions and even in my own reading, I had envisioned Renfield as a victim. In this version, Renfield is clearly a manipulative madman, quite creepy even before we find him influenced by Dracula. Looking back, I was surprised to see that no single person voiced Renfield because his character was so well-defined and cohesive across different narrators.


    Any additional comments?

    The cast of narrators is like a list of my own favorite narrators. Each one is so good at his or her job that this novel comes to life.

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Doctor Who: Paradox Lost

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By George Mann
    • Narrated By Nicholas Briggs
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (33)
    Performance
    (28)
    Story
    (29)

    The Squall feed on psychic energy. They spread like a plague and if they are not stopped they will strip the Earth clean...'London 1910: an unsuspecting thief finds himself confronted by grey-skinned creatures that are waiting to devour his mind. London 2789: the remains of an ancient android are dredged from the Thames. When reactivated it has a warning that can only be delivered to a man named 'the Doctor'. The Doctor and his friends must solve a mystery that has spanned over a thousand years.

    Shaliali says: "Just Like One of the Best TV Episodes"
    "Just Like One of the Best TV Episodes"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have over twenty Doctor Who novels in my library, and this is easily one of my favorites, even above some narrated by one of the "real" doctors. The narrator here made each character very real, I quickly cared about the new characters as well as my old friends. It had a real sense peril that pervaded the entire novel. It was genuinely creepy in spots and had that edge of your seat suspense that many of the episodes did. One of the things that really put this one over the top for me, though, was how it also had the touching moments without ever being maudlin-- again like the best of the episodes. I could easily have seen this as an episode, in fact.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Doctor Who: The Glamour Chase

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Gary Russell
    • Narrated By Arthur Darvill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (26)
    Performance
    (26)
    Story
    (26)

    An archaeological dig in 1936 unearths relics of another time... And – as the Doctor, Amy and Rory realise – another place. Another planet. But if Enola Porter, noted adventuress, has really found evidence of an alien civilization, how come she isn’t famous? Added to that, since Amy’s been travelling with him for a while, why does she think the Doctor is from Mars? As the ancient spaceship reactivates, the Doctor discovers that nothing and no-one can be trusted.

    Shaliali says: "I Wish I Could Go Back in Time and Avoid This One"
    "I Wish I Could Go Back in Time and Avoid This One"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about Doctor Who: The Glamour Chase?

    I have about twenty Doctor Who novels in my library, many of which got poor reviews from other listeners for one reason or another. While they have varied in quality, I have not found them unlistenable. This one, however, is just a mess. The plot wanders around aimlessly. The characters have no direction, and they don't even seem like themselves. I kept thinking I was missing something; I even went back and re-listened to part of it trying to make it make sense. Then I thought that it might make sense if I just kept going. Finally a little over half way through, I realized I was just throwing good time after bad. It is SO bad that I am going to utilize Audible's generous refund policy and get my credit back on this one.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Gary Russell again?

    Absolutely positively NOT!

    How could he take characters that are already fleshed out and somehow make them different and change their interactions with each other? (And I'm not talking about the imposters; I mean the "real" Amy and Rory.) If he wanted more creative freedom, he should just have started from scratch and not bought into a franchise.


    What about Arthur Darvill’s performance did you like?

    Darvill is the actor who played Rory, which was one of the reasons I chose this book. I've listened to the other books he read, and his characterizations are spot on. Even here, he made characters distinct and tried his hardest, but the different characterizations of Amy and Rory and The Doctor apparently made this book harder for him to read. This book is just so bad that he didn't have much to work with. Even he couldn't get a 5 star rating here.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Incredulity that such a poorly written book ever made it past an editor!


    Any additional comments?

    Seriously, there are plenty of Doctor Who novels. No matter how desperate you are for a house call, stay away from this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Thirteen: Women of the Otherworld, Book 13

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Kelley Armstrong
    • Narrated By Johanna Parker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (311)
    Performance
    (285)
    Story
    (286)

    A war is brewing - the first battle has been waged and Savannah Levine is left standing, albeit battered and bruised. She has rescued her half-brother from supernatural medical testing, but he's fighting to stay alive. The Supernatural Liberation Movement took him hostage, and they have a maniacal plan to expose the supernatural world to the unknowing. Savannah has called upon her inner energy to summon spells with frightening strength - a strength she never knew she had - as she fights to keep her world from shattering.

    Amazon Customer says: "LOVED IT!!"
    "Such a Shame"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    A plot that relied on something other than guts and gore. Now to put this in some context, I have read every single other book, story, and novella written by Kelley Armstrong, so this very negative review is from a big fan. I know she does not shy away from violence, but in this book that was all there was. It's like there were just a few scenes between blood and guts to get from one needlessly PROLONGED scene of graphic violence to the next, like porn that tries to have a story line. I could not even finish this one.


    What character would you cut from Thirteen?

    It's hard to say because the characters were very unimportant in this book: It was all about the violence. The one bright light was Eve. If Armstrong had been able to get away from her fascination with describing eviscerations in detail to develop characters more, the re-corporalized Eve would have been great.


    Any additional comments?

    Just because I have read every other book in the series, I will probably get this one in used paperback so that I can skip through the probable 3/4 of the book that does not involve plot. I seems a shame to end such a fantastic series on such a low note. It's hard to believe Armstrong even wrote this one.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Hounded: The Iron Druid Chronicles, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Kevin Hearne
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10094)
    Performance
    (9014)
    Story
    (8992)

    Atticus O’Sullivan, last of the Druids, lives peacefully in Arizona, running an occult bookshop and shape-shifting in his spare time to hunt with his Irish wolfhound. His neighbors and customers think that this handsome, tattooed Irish dude is about twenty-one years old - when in actuality, he’s twenty-one centuries old. Not to mention: He draws his power from the earth, possesses a sharp wit, and wields an even sharper magical sword known as Fragarach, the Answerer. Unfortunately, a very angry Celtic god wants that sword, and he’s hounded Atticus for centuries....

    Chris says: "Finally, a modern day fantasy that really hits the"
    "Just Fight Scene after Fight Scene"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Kevin Hearne and/or Luke Daniels?

    I would not try another book in this series by this author, but I *might* try a different series. The book was reasonably well written, just boring, boring, boring, one fight after another with little to hold my attention. I never felt like I knew the main character, so I just didn't care about him. Another review compared this to the Harry Dresden series: I did not see it. I confess that I could not finish the book, but for the over half I got through, nothing of substance happened.I would listen to something else narrated by Luke Daniels; his performance is what kept me listening as long as I did.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    I'm listening to a Mad Max mystery by MJ Trow; then I'm about to try my first Jeremy Robinson novel.


    What about Luke Daniels’s performance did you like?

    His voicing of each character was very distinct, and his women's voices were well done.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Yes, Hearne obviously can write; this book just wasn't to my taste: I'm certainly not warning everyone off it. But if you're looking for fleshed out characters, you won't find them here... at least not in the first half. I suppose this book might be suffering from a 1st in series problem. I've seen some series start out with wobbly then take off. I won't be finding out about this one, though, because I just never cared at all about the main character.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Asylum

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By John Harwood
    • Narrated By Rosalyn Landor
    Overall
    (112)
    Performance
    (103)
    Story
    (104)

    Confused and disoriented, Georgina Ferrars awakens in a small room in Tregannon House, a private asylum in a remote corner of England. She has no memory of the past few weeks. The doctor Maynard Straker tells her that she admitted herself under the name Lucy Ashton the day before and then suffered a seizure. When she insists he has mistaken her for someone else, Dr. Straker sends a telegram to her uncle, who replies that Georgina Ferrars is at home with him in London: "Your patient must be an imposter." Suddenly her voluntary confinement becomes involuntary....

    Shaliali says: "Mesmerizing"
    "Mesmerizing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is different from my usual cup of tea, so I hesitated a bit before purchasing it. I was afraid it might be too formulaic to be enjoyable, but this has been one of my favorite audiobooks in some time. First, it is very atmospheric; I was immediately drawn into this world. Harwood created a main character to whom I was immediately drawn. Much of the story is told through flashbacks, but the narrative switches between the present and past so skillfully that transitions are seamless. As I listened, I always had questions that made me find just a few more minutes to listen a little more. The suspense isn't driven by violence and mayhem, but of situations with "something" just a bit off kilter, or the promise of information just around the bend. I don't want to say much about the plot because each new element of the plot reveals something that you've been wondering about. If you read the publisher's summary on the book's page, it gives you a decent enough feel for the book; just know that this story is very well crafted.

    If you're considering this book, go ahead, you won't be disappointed. The writer is talented; Rosalyn Landor does her usual outstanding job; and the overall result is an experience that I am very glad I did not miss.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Red Planet Blues

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Robert J. Sawyer
    • Narrated By Christian Rummel
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (429)
    Performance
    (381)
    Story
    (387)

    Alex Lomax is the one and only private eye working the mean streets of New Klondike, the Martian frontier town that sprang up 40 years ago after Simon Weingarten and Denny O’Reilly discovered fossils on the Red Planet. Back on Earth, where anything can be synthesized, the remains of alien life are the most valuable of all collectibles, so shiploads of desperate treasure hunters stampeded to Mars in the Great Martian Fossil Rush.

    Craig says: "Gumshoe on Mars"
    "Sci-fi Noir"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoy sci-fi, and I like detective novels, so this novel was right up my alley. To top it off, I enjoy Robert Sawyer's writing, and this novel did not disappoint. The ideas in this book were very interesting. I don't want to give too much away, but the idea of consciousness transference is really well-explored in this novel. The mystery is also interesting and the suspense kept me listening when I needed to be doing other things.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Woman Who Died a Lot: A Thursday Next Novel, Book 7

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Jasper Fforde
    • Narrated By Emily Gray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (331)
    Performance
    (292)
    Story
    (296)

    Jasper Fforde's delightfully zany Thursday Next series shows no signs of slowing down with its seventh entry, The Woman Who Died a Lot. Despite being semihappily semi-retired from SpecOps, Thursday accepts the head librarian position at the Swindon library. But soon threats from a supreme Deity, a mnemonomorph, and the nefarious Goliath corporation press Thursday back into active duty.

    Lenny says: "Great continuation of the Thursday Next series"
    "Catching Up With Old Friends"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I would only recommend this book for those who are already dedicated to the series. It was more like catching up with old friends than anything else. Fforde did not let us into the book world this time, and that has always been one of my favorite parts, and Thursday was the only character who really did anything of interest.


    Which character – as performed by Emily Gray – was your favorite?

    As always Emily Gray did a spectacular job on all the characters in this series.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Most Definitely! Even though it is a weak offering in the series (not the weak-est), it would still make a terrifically fun movie!


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Midnight Riot: Peter Grant, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Ben Aaronovitch
    • Narrated By Kobna Holdbrook-Smith
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1267)
    Performance
    (1155)
    Story
    (1153)

    Probationary constable Peter Grant dreams of being a detective in London's Metropolitan Police. Too bad his superior plans to assign him to the Case Progression Unit, where the biggest threat he'll face is a paper cut. But Peter's prospects change in the aftermath of a puzzling murder, when he gains exclusive information from an eyewitness who happens to be a ghost. Peter's ability to speak with the lingering dead brings him to the attention of Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale....

    Nancy J says: "I LOVE this Book!"
    "Truly Unique Series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    So many genre novels just seem to be slightly different versions of each other that it is a delight when a truly different novel comes along. While I could certainly detect some influences for this series, Aaronovitch has created a world that does not feel like every other wizard/detective/urban fantasy novel that has come along in recent years. Although I like many of them, I enjoy reading something distinctive, and Midnight Riot is quite different in the characters and the way Aaronovitch has incorporated magic into his world. I especially like the main character Peter Grant. I took one star off story because a few elements seemed forced, and I felt that a few things just came out of nowhere (and not by magic). Overall, however, this book was excellent and kept me looking for excuses to listen.

    Kobna Holdbrook-Smith was a fabulous choice to narrate this series. He made every character stand out, and performed the book more than simply reading it.

    I hesitated for quite some time before taking the plunge on this novel because of comparisons to Pratchett's Discworld series, which I have never been able to find a way to care about. Apart from the existence of magic, I saw almost no similarities. It was more like a traditional British police procedural with magic and magical creatures thrown in.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • This Book Is Full of Spiders: Seriously, Dude, Don't Touch It

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By David Wong
    • Narrated By Nick Podehl
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (976)
    Performance
    (922)
    Story
    (930)

    Warning: You may have a huge, invisible spider living in your skull. This is not a metaphor. You will dismiss this as ridiculous fearmongering. Dismissing things as ridiculous fearmongering is, in fact, the first symptom of parasitic spider infection - the creature secretes a chemical into the brain to stimulate skepticism, in order to prevent you from seeking a cure. That’s just as well, since the “cure” involves learning what a chain saw tastes like. You can’t feel the spider, because it controls your nerve endings.

    Charles says: "Very Different than John Dies, but Equal"
    "If You're Considering This... Go Ahead!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    My title is really how I feel: If you read the summary or looked at the cover and thought, "I might like this," then go ahead and buy it. You will NOT regret it. Now, it is just as strange as it sounds, but it is also extremely entertaining. I jumped at the opportunity to listen to this book because I enjoyed John Dies at the End (paper, audio, and movie). As always in cases like this, I feared disappointment, but Wong's second book is even stronger than John because it is more tightly plotted. While I would have been hesitant to recommend John to just anyone, this book is more traditional without losing any of the edge or insanity that made John so fun. I was also concerned that the narrator had changed, but Nick Pedehl does an outstanding job, and I really could not choose which narrator I prefer.

    If you like crazy fun, comedy, random insanity, or just hate spiders, I highly recommend this book to you.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Gun Seller

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Hugh Laurie
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (194)
    Performance
    (173)
    Story
    (172)

    Cold-blooded murder just isn't Thomas Lang's cup of tea. Offered a bundle to assassinate an American industrialist, he opts to warn the intended victim instead - a good deed that soon takes a bad turn. Quicker than he can down a shot of his favorite whiskey, Lang is bashing heads with a Buddha statue, matching wits with evil billionaires, and putting his life (among other things) in the hands of a bevy of femme fatales. Up against rogue CIA agents, wannabe terrorists, and an arms dealer looking to make a high-tech killing, Lang's out to save the leggy lady he has come to love...and prevent an international bloodbath to boot.

    connie says: "May he write on!"
    "Needed a Hugh Laurie-like voice"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Gun Seller to be better than the print version?

    Most definitely NOT!

    I ordered this book as an import from the UK before it was even available in the US because I enjoy the wit of Hugh Laurie. When I read it, I heard his self-effacing, Bertie Wooster-esque voice as the main character. I realize it was too much to hope for to have him as the narrator, but Simon Prebble was all wrong for this part. Prebble, who is one of my all time favorite narrators, is just too formal, sounded too old and too educated for this character. It didn't ruin the book, but it was definitely a different take on the character than I heard when I read the book for myself.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Well, not exactly... It was just so absurd (intentionally so) that "edge of the seat" suspense was not really realistic, but I was always curious about what was going to happen to the protagonist next.


    What three words best describe Simon Prebble’s performance?

    Stiff... All Wrong


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I laughed out loud several times.


    Any additional comments?

    Buy the print version and imagine Hugh Laurie reading it. But if you're not a reader, this is certainly better than not enjoying this book at all.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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