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Lessa

ratings
36
REVIEWS
11
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
10

  • Steam and Sorcery

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Cindy Spencer Pape
    • Narrated By Helen Stern
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (95)
    Performance
    (77)
    Story
    (78)

    Sir Merrick Hadrian hunts monsters, both human and supernatural. A Knight of the Order of the Round Table, his use of magick and the technologies of steam power have made him both respected and feared. But his considerable skills are useless in the face of his greatest challenge, guardianship of five unusual children. At a loss, Merrick enlists the aid of a governess....

    Lessa says: "overall a very light, enjoyable read"
    "overall a very light, enjoyable read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Disclaimer - the author is primarily a romance writer, so there's some predictability here, the occasional mild ick factor, and several explicit sex scenes. But overall a very light, enjoyable read with characters to care about.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Strange Case of Finley Jayne: The Steampunk Chronicles: The Prequel

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Kady Cross
    • Narrated By Tavia Gilbert
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (31)
    Performance
    (30)
    Story
    (30)

    Finley Jayne knows she's not "normal". Normal girls don't lose time, or have something inside them that makes them capable of remarkably violent things. Her behavior has already cost her one job, so when she's offered the lofty position of companion to Phoebe, a debutante recently engaged to Lord Vincent, she accepts, despite having no experience. Lord Vincent is a man of science with his automatons and inventions, but Finley is suspicious of his motives where Phoebe is concerned.

    Lessa says: "Enjoyable, but didn't wow me."
    "Enjoyable, but didn't wow me."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This is a short story which is a prequel introduction to a series. I found it enjoyable. Finley was an interesting and pretty likeable character, but I found the plot a bit silly. As far as "Steampunk", I'm not sure I would quite classify it as such. There are automatons, etc. But the Victorian atmosphere was very thin. I may read the next (officially first) book in this series, but was not inspired to want to do so right away.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Twisted Tale of Stormy Gale

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Christine Bell
    • Narrated By Helen Stern
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (23)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (20)

    "I'm a time pirate - born in 1810, now a 21st-century woman. I travel through time trying to right wrongs without disrupting the fragile balance between what is and what can never be. That's why it's vital that I go to 1836 and find the man who conned my brother out of his Time Travel Mechanism as quickly as possible. If the technology falls into the wrong hands, it could change the world as we know it."

    Ashley says: "Short but fun!"
    "romance wrapped in a bit of sci-fi"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Readers should be aware, this is a romance wrapped in a bit of sci-fi time travel. With that in mind, and even though I would have preferred the story had been longer, fleshing out Stormy's time travel back story, I found it very enjoyable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Supernatural Devices: A Steampunk Scarlett Novel, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Kailin Gow
    • Narrated By Candice Moll
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (21)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (20)

    Scarlett is a sensible 17-year-old young lady - or so everyone thinks - but there is definitely more to her. The daughter of famous English Egyptologists and archeologists Theodore and Gemma Seely, she is prone to adventure and all the world has to offer. It is the 1890s, and she has just received a letter from one of her parents' dearest friends, a certain detective who lives on Baker Street, who needs her help on a most bizarre case.

    Thomas says: "good book terrible quality"
    "A passable romance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I listened to the audio version, and I confess I fell asleep during the last portion only to wake right before the end. So, this is based upon me missing a bit near the end.

    I also confess I do not enjoy stories that are mainly romances, most especially those of the current fad of teen hearthrob vampire romance variety.

    So, your mileage may vary.

    I did not expect this story to be great literature or the next blockbuster. I did have hopes for a fun and entertaining story, with hopefully likeable characters.

    It partially delivered. It is disappointing though, because I think it had the potential to be so much better.

    All the main characters are described as gorgeous - repeatedly. When a new character is introduced he/she is (surprise, surprise) gorgeous. And the characters talk to each other about how gorgeous the other is, repeatedly. This was, for me, the most annoying and distracting issue with this story. I felt I was being hit over the head, repeatedly, with the CLUE to expect a romance. With characters that were not only all unrealistically and uninterestingly attractive, but that they also lacked skillful and witty banter.

    The inclusion of Sherlock Holmes is unfortunately simply a plot device, and after the needed scene he is never heard from again (although I may have missed a reappearance if it occurred in the portion I slept through). As pointed out by other reviewers, this story really is not Steampunk, and does seem to be intentional inclusion of many popular YA themes. Vampires - check. Romantic triangle - check. Steampunk - missed the mark.

    The writing also gave me the impression of an inexperienced author, who still lacked a bit of polish, finesse and subtlety. I was surprised when I discovered this is not the author's first novel.

    For those who want to read about a plucky and beautiful heroine, with potential romance with several gorgeous male options, with some danger and vampires thrown in, this might be a enjoyable diversion. But for Steampunk, Adventure and even Holmesian take offs I can think of better options.

    Try Airborn, Enola Holmes, The Beekeeper's Apprentice, Good Morning, Irene. Lloyd Alexander's Vesper Holly series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 11-22-63: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Craig Wasson
    Overall
    (16064)
    Performance
    (14221)
    Story
    (14169)

    On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas, President Kennedy died, and the world changed. What if you could change it back? In this brilliantly conceived tour de force, Stephen King - who has absorbed the social, political, and popular culture of his generation more imaginatively and thoroughly than any other writer - takes listeners on an incredible journey into the past and the possibility of altering it.

    Kelly says: "I Owe Stephen King An Apology"
    "King at his best"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I could have done without the blatant political commentary peppered throughout this story, but overall I really enjoyed it.
    There are some gruesome bits, but this is not a horror novel. I stopped reading King years ago because his stories got so icky and odd, but here he's again at his best.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Winifred Watson
    • Narrated By Frances McDormand
    Overall
    (1093)
    Performance
    (547)
    Story
    (545)

    Miss Pettigrew is a down-on-her-luck, middle-aged governess sent by her employment agency to work for a nightclub singer rather than a household of unruly children. Over a period of 24 hours, as she becomes caught up in the life of Delysia LaFloss, her own life is changed - forever. This charming, funny, light-hearted 1938 novel was a bestseller on its first appearance. Read by Academy Award winning actress Frances McDormand, who stars in the 2008 film as Miss Pettigrew.

    Holly C. Salley says: "Adorable"
    "An enjoyable read with likable characters."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Miss Pettigrew is part Mary Poppins, part Pygmalion/Cinderella. An enjoyable read with likable characters.

    I saw the movie first, not realizing it was based on a book. The movie was one of those rare movies inspired by a book - it actually did justice to the story and was also quite fun.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Foundation: Valdemar: Collegium Chronicles, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Mercedes Lackey
    • Narrated By Nick Podehl
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (421)
    Performance
    (251)
    Story
    (256)

    In this chronicle of the early history of Valdemar, Mercedes Lackey's best-selling world, a 13 year-old orphan named Magpie escapes a life of slavery in the gem mines when he is chosen by one of the magical Companion horses of Valdemar to be trained as a Herald. Thrust into the center of a legend in the making, Magpie discovers talents he never knew he had - and witnesses the founding of the great Heralds' Collegium.

    Wyonia says: "great for kids"
    "Yeah! More Valdemar!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I am thrilled there's a new set of stories in the Valdemar series. Can't wait till the next installment.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Airborn

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Kenneth Oppel
    • Narrated By David Kelly
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (157)
    Performance
    (60)
    Story
    (61)

    Matt Cruse is a cabin boy on the Aurora, a huge airship that sails hundreds of feet above the ocean. One night he meets a dying balloonist who speaks of beautiful creatures drifting through the skies. It is only after Matt meets the balloonist's granddaughter that he realizes that the man's ravings may, in fact, have been true, and that the creatures are completely real and utterly mysterious.

    Linda Maepa says: "A rollicking adventure the family* can enjoy"
    "One of my favorite audio "reads""
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Airborn is about a cabin boy on an passenger air ship. It takes place in an alternate history of our world - so it may be classified as fantasy, but it is not really a fantasy story - it's an adventure story. Has an 1800's or maybe Edwardian feel. It might appear to be more of a "boy book", but there is a main character who is a girl, so there's someone girls can relate to, and a bit of wholesome romance. I wouldn't assume girls wouldn't like this one.

    There's also a bit of a mystery. The protagonist, 15 year old Matt, is likable, responsible, honest and the story is well written.

    For parents - There wasn't anything in it to give parents pause - except for a few deaths in the battles with the pirates - a couple good guys, a few bad guys, but although there were sad deaths (the good guys) nothing was too graphic. No bad language, a couple chaste kisses. I think this would be a great book to read to kids that were not old enough to read it themselves. Pretty G rated. I'd only hesitate with very young children because of the deaths, and the pirates may be scary for them.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Wildwood Dancing

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Juliet Marillier
    • Narrated By Kim Mai Guest
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (101)
    Performance
    (51)
    Story
    (51)

    High in the Transylvanian woods, at the castle Piscul Draculi, live five daughters and their doting father. It's an idyllic life for Jena, the second eldest, who spends her time exploring the mysterious forest with her constant companion, a most unusual frog. But best by far is the castle's hidden portal, known only to the sisters. Every Full Moon, they alone can pass through it into the enchanted world of the Other Kingdom. There they dance through the night with the fey creatures of this magical realm.

    Lessa says: "romantic fantasy with a bit of a dark twist"
    "romantic fantasy with a bit of a dark twist"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I enjoyed this book, but I had a couple of issues with it. I listened to the audio version, and the narrator did an excellent job. The story just dragged for me for awhile in the 2nd half, but I really did care about what happened to the characters, particularly the main character Jena and her endearing pet frog. So I stuck it out and I'm glad I did. The other issue I had was that although Jena had some strength and a mind of her own there were times when she was indecisive, too passive, slow to figure things out that should have been fairly obvious, and it caused the romantic angst, as well as the frustration and uncertainty of their problems, to drag on to the point that it was almost unbearable. I prefer female protagonists with a bit more spunk than Jenna had when things got tough. I kept wanting to shout at her to do "such and so" already! And several times was tempted to skip ahead, but didn't. If it weren't for that I would have given it four stars.

    Overall an enjoyable read for a romantic fantasy with a bit of a dark twist. Teen and tween girls who like romance and fairy tales should like this one, and it's clean enough for particular parents.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • To Say Nothing of the Dog: Or How We Found the Bishop's Bird Stump at Last

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Connie Willis
    • Narrated By Steven Crossley
    Overall
    (1708)
    Performance
    (945)
    Story
    (947)

    In this Hugo-winner from Connie Willis, when too many jumps back to 1940 leave 21st century Oxford history student Ned Henry exhausted, a relaxing trip to Victorian England seems the perfect solution. But complexities like recalcitrant rowboats, missing cats, and love at first sight make Ned's holiday anything but restful - to say nothing of the way hideous pieces of Victorian art can jeopardize the entire course of history.

    Amazon Customer says: "Sci-fi Comdey of Manners"
    "A delicious and fun romp"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    2nd after "The Doomsday Book", but a separate story - do not need to read "The Doomsday Book" first. A lighter read, fun story involving time-travel. One of the few books I try to get all my friends to read because I enjoyed it so much.

    I've read this book twice, and now just finished listening to the audio version. I love this story. It has time-travel, Victorian England, London during the Nazi air raid, literary references, historical references, humor, romance, a bit of mystery, a dog, a cat, a comedy of errors, what more could a person want?

    The story-telling is delicious. Ned - the character who narrates the story - has a dry, witty sense of humor and a lot of heart. His comments had me quite often chuckling at his jokes. The Victorian era, viewed through the eyes of 21st century time-traveling historians, pokes fun at some of it's silliness but Ned and Verity treat those they meet, including the dog and the cat, with good-humor and affection. Ned's interaction with the pets, particularly the dog Cyril, is touching, talking to him humorously as though he were nearly a person.

    Ned and Verity together, attempting to correct a temporal incongruity, are delightful. But this story never gets sappy or sentimental. There is no "ick" factor here.

    Every time I join these characters in their story I thoroughly enjoy my time spent with them. I wish there had been further stories of their adventures. This book is definitely on my list of all time favorites.

    The narrator of the audio version, Steven Crossley, did the job to near perfection.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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