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L. Stapleton

Los Angeles | Member Since 2002

22
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 15 reviews
  • 110 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 32 purchased in 2014
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  • Beastly

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Alex Flinn
    • Narrated By Chris Patton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (316)
    Performance
    (201)
    Story
    (211)

    "A beast. Not quite wolf or bear, gorilla or dog but a horrible new creature who walks upright – a creature with fangs and claws and hair springing from every pore. I am a monster. You think I’m talking fairy tales? No way. The place is New York City. The time is now. It’s no deformity, no disease. And I’ll stay this way forever – ruined – unless I can break the spell...."

    Amazon Customer says: "Chris Patton did a wonderful job"
    "Barely readible"
    Overall

    This books takes a lovely fairy tale ("Beauty and the Beast") and makes it mindless, trite, and boring. Granted, this is a book for teenagers - which is unfortunate because by following the original fairy tale story line, the author is unable to keep his hero from becoming a creepy stalker kidnapper. Granted, the character was never sympathetic, but if I had teenagers, I would certainly want to talk to them about what was wrong with this story.
    Basically, I say skip it.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Arrows of the Queen

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Mercedes Lackey
    • Narrated By Carole Edie Smith
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (411)
    Performance
    (215)
    Story
    (223)

    Talia has always known that she isn't suited for the life her elders have chosen for her. As part of a small, conservative community, she's never been allowed beyond the boundaries of her father's lands. Her only window to the outside world has been the few books she's been allowed to read, but this only fuels her desire to know more.

    Amazon Customer says: "Highly Recommend"
    "Good story, poor choice of narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a well-written and developed story. I've never read any of the other Valdemar books and I had no trouble becoming engrossed in the setting and characters.

    The narrator is talented but her strong New York/New Jersey accent is jarring as the voice of a young girl in a fantasy setting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Blood Wager: Blood Destiny, #1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Connie Suttle
    • Narrated By Traci Odom
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (449)
    Performance
    (414)
    Story
    (414)

    Lissa's life as a vampire begins on the day her husband is removed from life support. Turned by rogues who wager her life, Lissa is running from her maker who is determined to kill her, hunted by the Council who has branded her a rogue and blackmailed by werewolves, who utilize her newly developed talents for their own gain.

    Robin in Vermont says: "A compelling read!"
    "Not really"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you're looking for a new female, vampire, action hero, this is NOT the book for you. While it begins well enough, there are elements of the story (what little story there is) that are hazy and some that are just pointless. Why does the big, bad male vampire force her to shower in front of him? Was this supposed to be sexy? It wasn't. Why does she start to report to the big, bad male vampire when she actually has seniority? Why does she run errands for her male co-workers on her day off?

    You are probably beginning to get the picture. The author does some lip-service in attempt to establish the heroine as a strong, independent woman but she then turns herself into a den mother for her male co-workers.

    I didn't even finish the book. It was too lame to bother with.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Never Kiss a Rake

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Anne Stuart
    • Narrated By Xe Sands
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (188)
    Performance
    (172)
    Story
    (170)

    Bryony Russell and her two sisters are left destitute by the disgrace and unexpected death of their father, a wealthy shipping magnate. He left a cryptic note, and Bryony is determined to find the real villain and clear her father’s name. In disguise as a servant, Bryony infiltrates the home her of father’s business partner to find proof of his guilt...or innocence. It’s not just clues that Bryony finds, but temptation too.... Adrian Bruton, Earl of Kilmartyn, immediately suspects there is something not quite right about his new housekeeper.

    Harry_ATL says: "Excellent performance!"
    "More erotica than historical romance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The author has a relatively good story-line but it gets lost in tedious seduction scenes. I tried to fast forward through these since after the first one or two they were just interminable but, well, they are interminable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Discovery of Witches

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Deborah Harkness
    • Narrated By Jennifer Ikeda
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9221)
    Performance
    (6742)
    Story
    (6783)

    Deep in the stacks of Oxford's Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library.

    Tim says: "True Blood PG13"
    "Vampire Harlequin Romance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had this book on my wishlist for ages. It was recommended based on other purchases and it was very highly rated, yet I had reservations based on the description. I really should have listened to my gut on this one. I'm not sure what others are hearing but I heard one of the silliest, most trite stories I have ever not finished. The vampire/love interest/hero is moody, misogynistic, controlling, and needlessly mysterious. The heroine is a slightly better character and is just neurotic and socially inept enough to be believable as an academic but she spends all her time waiting to be ravished and then wanting to be turned into a vampire.

    In any case, I gave up half-way through.

    Perhaps a more accurate description would be "Twilight for (Sort-of) Grown-ups".

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Beautiful Creatures: Beautiful Creatures, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl
    • Narrated By Kevin T. Collins
    Overall
    (3220)
    Performance
    (2709)
    Story
    (2723)

    Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

    FanB14 says: "Adequate for Adults"
    "If you're over 16 years old, skip this one."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    While I really liked the music, sound effects and poetry worked into this audio performance, the book itself has so many huge fails that it flops.

    The storyline is creative and pretty effectively creates a realistically teenage first-love obsessive romance. The setting in the the post civil war south is very good, one of the best elements of the story. The narrator does a passable job with a southern accent. Unfortunately, this is only part of a novel; I guess we are now so well conditioned to expect a sequel that authors not longer feel compelled to tell a complete story.

    Aside from the general high school histrionics that the authors so expertly capture, the book fails because of their inability to create a story with any depth or value. All of the characters, whether evil or good, behave reprehensibly throughout the story (with the exception of the two main characters who are witless, lovesick teenagers).

    There are two examples of side story-lines that the authors could have exploited to create a more engaging and valuable tale: in the first, the witch-hunting townsfolk have dragged our heroine into a administrative meeting to (gasp) kick her out of school. Of course, in reality, treating a 16 year old as they do in this story would get them all fired and the school district sued. Rather than calling for her guardian, our hapless and not-to-bright heroine submits to the juvenile abuse of the townspeople. When her guardian does show up, unexpectedly, I had high hopes that he would slap these people down. However, instead of responding logically to their accusations that he had no right to be there, he lowers himself to their level and "resolves" the situation by blackmailing all of them into letting Lena continue at school. This is after the authors have established that he owns most of the town, is incredibly wealthy and educated, and is a member of the oldest founding family. All of which, in addition to his legal guardianship of the 16 year old heroine, gave the authors numerous opportunities to create a mature resolution to the situation. They didn't.

    The second major storyline fail occurs when they finally reveal that the hero's father is suffering from graphomania I thought, oh good they can develop that into an interesting life lesson for the boy. But no. Instead, the father goes undiagnosed, receives no psychiatric help from his caretaker, his son, or the community and the moment is lost. This led me to believe that the authors were not actually aware that they were describing a serious mental illness.

    In any case, if you are looking for a book with substance, this is not it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Life Skills

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Katie Fforde
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (61)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (19)

    Suddenly released from her engagement and out of work, Julia Fairfax is looking for a new direction in life. When a classified ad catches her eye, she embarks on a hilarious trip through the English canals in a rickety hotel boat. Along the way, she encounters hard-to-please guests, an unsettling ex-boyfriend, and the challenges of cooking in a tiny galley with rattling crockery.

    L. Stapleton says: "Why does this get good ratings?"
    "Why does this get good ratings?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I purchased this book because of the high ratings and because the summary sounded interesting. Unfortunately, it is so bad I never even finished listening to it.

    The main character is not only uninteresting, she is annoying. We are asked to believe that a successful, intelligent career women will become totally incompetent once she loses her job. She is being sued by her former employer but rather than deal with it she allows herself to be bullied by her brother, her former boss, and her ex-boyfriend. She is a boring, limp doormat and I couldn't bring myself to hear anything more about her.

    The young woman the main character goes to work for is at least interesting and mildly entertaining. Sadly, the book drags along without enough happening with either character to be readible.

    All in all, I highly recommend skipping this book.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Driving Mr. Dead

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Molly Harper
    • Narrated By Amanda Ronconi
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3495)
    Performance
    (3178)
    Story
    (3175)

    Miranda Puckett has failed at every job she’s ever had. Her mother just wants her to come home, join the family law firm, and settle down with Jason, the perfect lawyer boyfriend. But when Jason turns out to be a lying cheater, Miranda seizes on a job that gets her out of town: long-distance vampire transportation. Her first assignment is to drive vampire Collin Sutherland from Washington to sleepy Half Moon Hollow without incident—no small feat for a woman whom trouble seems to follow like a faithful hound dog!

    Ducky says: "Molly Harper can't write fast enough for me!!!!"
    "Very mediocre"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I bought this book based on the extremely high average review (4.4) and because I really enjoyed "How to Flirt With a Naked Werewolf". Sadly, it doesn't measure up.

    The female character's tendency toward hysteria was annoying. The story also felt underdeveloped, although this may have been because I have not read other "Half Moon Hollow" books by this author so I don't know the back story. In any case, it seemed thin and lacking in believable characters (or as much as characters can be believable in a vampire story). The heroine's accident prone personality was cute and funny but her relationship with all of the other players, particularly her mother and fiance, was trite and unconvincing.

    In my opinion, this book is filler - an attempt by the author to milk her storyline for all it is worth.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Soon I Will Be Invincible: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Austin Grossman
    • Narrated By Coleen Marlo, Paul Boehmer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (952)
    Performance
    (460)
    Story
    (460)

    Doctor Impossible, evil genius and diabolical scientist, has tried to take over the world in every way imaginable, but this time is going to be different. He'll have to contend with Fatale, however, a rookie superhero on her first day with the Champions, the world's most famous superteam. She's a patchwork woman of skin and chrome, a gleaming technological marvel built for the next generation of warfare.

    Brad says: "Now that I have you at my mercy. . ."
    "Snooooore..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    ... oh wait, was I listening to an audiobook? Because it was so boring and LONG WINDED I completely tuned it out. Why did this book get such good reviews? Funny? I think I was amused once.

    The idea is pretty good - evil genius and noobie superhero. I like it. It should be right up my alley, I am a nerd who reads comic books. Nope. The problem is with the evil genius. He has these long, boring, rambling descriptions of what he is thinking. And I found that I just couldn't care.

    The narration for Dr. Impossible is excellent but no one could make all of that boring back story interesting. The narration for the female superhero was terrible. Stilted, with strange an inexplicable changes of emphasis and accent. One second she is reading in a normal voice and then she shifts from a drag-queen to some kind of Mae West accent - and these shifts have no apparent relationship to the book.

    Oh well.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Doomsday Book

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Connie Willis
    • Narrated By Jenny Sterlin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2030)
    Performance
    (1351)
    Story
    (1370)

    For Oxford student Kivrin, traveling back to the 14th century is more than the culmination of her studies - it's the chance for a wonderful adventure. For Dunworthy, her mentor, it is cause for intense worry about the thousands of things that could go wrong.

    Owl says: "Timely, beautiful, terrible and haunting"
    "Grim, depressing, and far too long"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am a Connie Wills fan. The Bellweather is one of my favorite books so I was really looking forward to this one. Unfortunately, the Doomsday Book is nowhere near as good a novel as her others.

    The real problem is the length - it is not that I don't like a long saga, but about 1/3 of this book could have been edited out without loosing ANY of the story. There is a character who remain unconscious for hundreds of pages while the reader - and the rest of the characters wait to hear vital information from him - while nothing else happens in the story. There is a really well developed bad guy character that you will love to hate, who basically disappears from the story without receiving his comeuppance. Then there is the endless description of illness and death.

    I am sorry Connie Wills - you may have done some fabulous historical research for this book, your characters may be well developed and your story original - but I would rather die quickly of the plague than wade through three volumes of this novel.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Don't Look Down

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Jennifer Crusie, Bob Mayer
    • Narrated By Patrick G. Lawlor, Renee Raudman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (190)
    Performance
    (71)
    Story
    (73)

    Lucy Armstrong is a director of television commercials who's just been recruited to finish a four-day action-movie shoot. But she arrives on the set to discover that the directing staff has quit, the makeup artist is suicidal, the stars are egomaniacs, the stunt director is her ex-husband, and the lead actor has just acquired as an adviser a Green Beret who has the aggravating habit of always being right.

    S says: "Recommend for Cruisie fans"
    "Killed by the narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love Jennie Crusie but I do have to admit that this is not her best novel. I think that it is the first co-written with Bob Mayer and the story is a bit thin. Mayer may have made the Army Ranger character more believable but they needed an additional consultant to make the movie shoot setting work. That was TOTALLY unrealistic.

    The real problem with this audiobook however is the narration. It is done by two people - Patrick Lawlor for the male voices and Rene Raudman for the female. Raudman is great. Her voice suited the main character and her reading really did something for the story. Lawlor was terrible. His reading was stilted and his voice (kind of nasally) was TOTALLY wrong for the macho main character. He sounded like he was reading a children's book. To make things worse, there is something seriously wrong with the sound mixing. Lawlor always sounds like he is sitting in a closet while reading and the two voices don't sync up - it sounds as if they read their parts separately and they were then spliced together.

    In any case, if you like Jennie Crusie, skip this as an audiobook and pick up the paperback.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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