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Gash

Avid reader/listener.

ratings
99
REVIEWS
33
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
3
HELPFUL VOTES
40

  • False Colours

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Georgette Heyer
    • Narrated By Phyllida Nash
    Overall
    (219)
    Performance
    (192)
    Story
    (194)

    The honourable Christopher Fancot, on leave from the Diplomatic Service in the summer of 1817, is startled to find his entrancing but incorrigibly extravagant mother on the brink of financial and social ruin - and more than alarmed that his identical twin, Evelyn, Earl of Denville, has disappeared without trace. Christopher, or Kit, the respectable brother, is forced into an outrageous masquerade by his wayward family's tangled affairs. But in the face of Evelyn's continued absence, even Kit's ingenuity is stretched to the limit.

    Carol says: "Wow! A great listen!"
    "A rather Woodhouseian Heyer and a great reader!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Phyllida Nash is my favorite reader for Georgette Heyer books. Heyer builds her stories with sparkling dialog, and Nash is spot on with all voices. As with many Heyer book's this one relies on situational comedy, and Nash has unfailingly perfect timing in her reading that makes the most of the comedy. I had read this book in print, and I will say that Nash's performance makes it even better.

    As the story unfolds, I was reminded of Shakespeare's comedies and some Wooster/Jeeves misunderstandings, but even when Heyer's characters are silly, she draws them with so much affection, they don't come off as completely ridiculous.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • First Grave on the Right: Charley Davidson, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Darynda Jones
    • Narrated By Lorelei King
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4081)
    Performance
    (3361)
    Story
    (3355)

    A smashing, award-winning debut novel that introduces Charley Davidson: part-time private investigator and full-time Grim Reaper. Charley sees dead people. That’s right, she sees dead people. And it’s her job to convince them to “go into the light”. But when these very dead people have died under less than ideal circumstances (i.e. murder), sometimes they want Charley to bring the bad guys to justice. Complicating matters are the intensely hot dreams she’s been having about an Entity who has been following her all her life...and it turns out he might not be dead after all.

    Ducky says: "GREAT 1ST BOOK IN A NEW-TO-ME, KEEPER SERIES!"
    "Perfect author to reader partnership"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Wise cracks need great timing and attitude and Ms King has both in plenty, so she brings Charley and all the wonderful side characters to life. It seems like it will be a fun series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lady of Ashes: Lady of Ashes, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Christine Trent
    • Narrated By Polly Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (125)
    Performance
    (117)
    Story
    (119)

    Only a woman with an iron backbone could succeed as an undertaker in Victorian London, but Violet Morgan takes great pride in her trade. While her husband, Graham, is preoccupied with elevating their station in society, Violet is cultivating a sterling reputation for Morgan Undertaking. She is empathetic, well-versed in funeral fashions, and comfortable with death's role in life - until its chilling rattle comes knocking on her own front door.

    Sara says: "A Most Unusual Book!"
    "16 hours of uneven storytelling"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Ms. Trent would have been better served to develop her characters a bit more rather than to cover quite as much scope. The book was interesting enough for me to have finished it, but I grew increasingly impatient for it to end. It was a primer on Victorian burial practices (interesting) and relations between England and the US during the civil war (could have been interesting). It included a portrait of Queen Victoria when she lost Albert (annoying), a description of a rail disaster (the most emotive part of the book), and a mystery and romance.

    Unfortunately the tensions that make for a good mystery and/or romance were lost in the surrounding events and lack of character development. I understand that Victorians didn't express themselves very freely, but in novels we are usually allowed inside the protagonists' hearts and minds. In this book the main character seemed more of a cardboard cut out than a woman. Perhaps if Polly Lee had been more of a performer, she could have breathed a bit more life into Violet Morgan, but all-in-all I thought she did an adequate job of reading 16 hours of uneven storytelling. I'm guessing not even the best performers could have enlivened Violet.

    I won't read another in the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Gates: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 1 min)
    • By John Connolly
    • Narrated By Jonathan Cake
    Overall
    (241)
    Performance
    (189)
    Story
    (192)

    Young Samuel Johnson and his dachshund, Boswell, are trying to show initiative by trick-or-treating a full three days before Halloween which is how they come to witness strange goings-on at 666 Crowley Road. The Abernathys don't mean any harm by their flirtation with the underworld, but when they unknowingly call forth Satan himself, they create a gap in the universe.

    Amazon Customer says: "Paging Tim Burton"
    "Physics meets Metaphysics in a Roald Dahl style"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you liked Good Omens (one of my favorite all-time books and audio books) and you loved Roald Dahl books as a kid, you'll enjoy this book. It is a lot of fun. Jonathan Cake does an excellent job of bringing the book to life with a good range of voices and great comic timing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • My Lady Notorious: Malloren Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Jo Beverley
    • Narrated By Alison Larkin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (100)
    Performance
    (94)
    Story
    (94)

    Desperate to help her widowed sister and baby escape a deadly pursuer, Lady Chastity Ware dresses as a highwayman and captures the first coach to travel down the road. Coming face-to-face with its occupant, the arrogant aristocrat Cyn Malloren, she orders him to drive her to a remote cottage. Little does Chastity realize that after long months of recovering from his war wounds, the handsome Cyn is looking for adventure, and being abducted by a cocky highwayman - obviously a lovely woman in disguise - is even more than he had hoped for.

    Stephen says: "At Last!"
    "If you prefer Grimm to Andersen, you'll like this"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Let me begin with a disclaimer. In my opinion contemporary historical romance is basically the adult version of children's fairy tales and adventure stories - enjoyable fantasies that include sex and desire. As such the unsavory elements in the good vs evil struggle have to be carefully manged for me to enjoy the book. I prefer a mystery and some danger surrounding the romance, because it creates the crucible in which the characters develop and react to each other. But I don't want to read about genuine violence against women within this context.

    This book skirts the edge of my comfort zone with the situations and experiences that threaten the primary female character. And although she is resilient and determined, she is too often victimized and rescued by outside forces for my comfort. I prefer books where the female character uses intelligence and wit to save herself. That said, if you prefer the darker tales from the brothers Grimm to the lighter ones of Hans Christian Andersen, then by all means try this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Cousin Kate

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Georgette Heyer
    • Narrated By Jilly Bond
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (74)
    Performance
    (71)
    Story
    (72)

    When young and beautiful governess Kate Malvern finds herself unemployed, she is taken in by Minerva Broome, the aunt she has never met, and whisked away to the majestic country home of Staplewood. However, things are not as they seem: strange things start to happen in the manor and Staplewood soon turns from an inviting stately house to a cold and gloomy mansion with a dreadful secret!

    Leslie says: "Classic Heyer, narrator falls short"
    "Heyer's attempt at gothic horror romance."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Not the usual Heyer. A sad tale and a bit tedious, but Jilly Bond's performance is wonderful.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Sara Gran
    • Narrated By Carol Monda
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (429)
    Performance
    (361)
    Story
    (360)

    Claire DeWitt is not your average private investigator. She has brilliant skills of deduction and is an ace at discovering evidence. But Claire also uses her dreams, omens, and mind-expanding herbs to help her solve mysteries, and relies on Détection—the only book published by the great and mysterious French detective Jacques Silette before his death.

    A. D. Mcrae says: "Mostly Disappointed but it was Quick"
    "Bleak investigation in post-Katrina wasteland"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    "No happy ending" is said over and over again throughout this book, but there is a little: some redemption, a bit of clarity, a couple of rescues, and even hope for the future.

    But there's too much desolation and ubiquitous drug and alcohol use for me, so I probably won't read the subsequent books. Sara Gran obviously loves her deeply flawed characters. The affection with which she portrays them helps ameliorate their barren circumstances and bleak outlook, and Carol Monda's reading does much to humanize all the characters. A lot of the dialog is in the vernacular and Monda's pacing speaks beautifully for each of the voices. For me, the most moving thing about the book was the picture pieced together of post-Katrina New Orleans and the survivors.

    Claire DeWitt is a tough character to like, though by the end of the book I found her more sympathetic. The constant drug and alcohol use in the book prevented me from seeing her as the brilliant intuitive detective that I believe is Gran's intention. I'm a recovering alcoholic, so I'll never be able to view any chronic excessive drug user as a brilliant mind, nor do I see it as palliative for heart-sick or wounded souls. I thought Gran's use of drug induced visions and dreams to provide essential clues for DeWitt to follow was just a facile and lazy way to propel the story forward.

    Also I found Gran's metaphysics more annoying than illuminating. Her mysticism when writing about the nature of 'mystery' felt overdone. The idea that a book about detection is a "code for a secret plan" that is a "channeled message" was too fanciful in the otherwise gritty story. I thought the metaphysical treatment actually trivialized the wisdom in the various quotes from Silette's book.

    If you like bleak environments, troubled protagonists, and murky detection, you may enjoy this book. It does have a lot to say about the city of New Orleans and The Storm.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Modern Witch: A Modern Witch, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Debora Geary
    • Narrated By Martha Harmon Pardee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1037)
    Performance
    (936)
    Story
    (958)

    Lauren is downtown Chicago's youngest elite realtor. She's also a witch. She must be - the fetching spell for Witches' Chat isn't supposed to make mistakes. So says the woman who coded the spell, at least. The tall, dark, and handsome guy sent to assess her is a witch too (and no, that doesn't end the way you might think). What he finds in Lauren will change lives, mess with a perfectly good career, and require lots of ice cream therapy.

    ShySusan says: "Perfect antidote for vampire & zombie overdoses"
    "Magic without charm, mystery, or whimsey."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is an odd academic sort of book, but without any history or facts - just one author's primer on what she imagines the craft of witches might be like: the types and sources of magical power, the means of identifying abilities, the heredity (or not) of power, and the training of the craft that shapes the magic. It isn't a magical world, just a world in which magic exists in witches. There's no wonder or whimsey, not much of a plot-line, no mystery, no danger, and everyone in the book is really (really) nice. They are too nice to be multi-dimensional people, but not exactly the Stepford Wives either - just simplistic. Even all the kids are so well behaved that I expect it must take a magic village to raise children without any dysfunction or rebellion. The little bit of romance is referred to but never actually felt. No emotions clutter up this book.

    I spent the entire book coasting through the pleasantries waiting for something to actually happen. Since one of the repeated admonitions in the book is: "An untrained witch is a dangerous witch" one would expect at least a blip along the smooth flat-line of the story.

    It seems unfair to rate Pardee's reading abilities with this book, but I expect it is her reading that accounts for anything that enlivens the story. Her skill is probably most evident in the fact that the characters were identifiable from each other, even though it must difficult to distinguish characters when they are uniformly undemonstrative.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Shadow of Night

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Deborah Harkness
    • Narrated By Jennifer Ikeda
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6909)
    Performance
    (6201)
    Story
    (6204)

    Now, picking up from A Discovery of Witches' cliff-hanger ending, Shadow of Night plunges Diana Bishop and Matthew Clairmont into Elizabethan London, a world of spies, subterfuge, and a coterie of Matthew's old friends, the mysterious School of Night that includes Christopher Marlowe and Walter Raleigh. Here, Diana must locate a witch to tutor her in magic, Matthew is forced to confront a past he thought he had put to rest, and the mystery of Ashmole 782 deepens. Deborah Harkness has crafted a gripping journey through a world of alchemy, time travel, and magical discoveries.

    Hallie says: "Even better than A Discovery of Witches"
    "Fantasy Historical Romance with genetics, Book 2"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed this book as much as the first in the series. I loved the detail about Elizabethan England, found the additional characters specific to this book engaging, and thought the magic more compelling in this non-modern setting. However, I do think the book would have benefited from a bit of editing. But Jennifer Ikeda's excellent performance as the reader of this trilogy easily carried me past any knots slowing the flow of the story.

    I found it interesting that the primary female character, Diana Bishop, comes into her own in this environment where women had far less freedom than modern women have, while the primary male character, Matthew Clairmont, had some regression issues to deal with as he resumed a previously held role in the world. And of course, time-travel allows us to meet long dead fathers, both of whom are quite wonderful in different ways.

    I like the way Harkness handled the implications of time travel, especially the glimpses she provides of the modern day family tracking Diana and Matthew through a spattering of anomalous artifacts showing up in the modern world.

    All-in-all I thought it a good 'middle book' and eagerly await the last book in the All Souls trilogy.

    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
    (10761)
    Performance
    (8157)
    Story
    (8206)

    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"
    "Genetics meets Fantasy Romance, Book 1"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Having read the other reviews, I have to say 1) yes this is primarily romantic fiction, 2) yes it is a sort of "Twilight" for adults since it is pg-13 and not a true 'bodice ripper' type of romance, and 3) yes the first book is a set up for the rest of the series so there is no completed mystery in this book. Yet I found it entertaining, have read both books in the series, and am eagerly awaiting the third on my pre-order list to see how she pulls everything together. I only hope Harkness's complete vision is as interesting as her set-up has promised.

    I like her characters and there is enough 'action' and mystery in the story to keep it moving and engaging. But then I am a Romance reader, love vampire fiction, and find the addition of genetics interesting. The reader is quite good, which is critically important to my enjoyment of an audio book. If a reader is poor, I'll continue any series I start in print rather than listen to a poor reader.

    If you are strictly a sci-fi/fantasy reader, skip this series. It will frustrate you. If you like historical romance, continue on - the next book takes you to Elizabethan England.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Dead Witch Walking

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Kim Harrison
    • Narrated By Marguerite Gavin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3362)
    Performance
    (2411)
    Story
    (2419)

    Rachel Morgan is a runner with the Inderland Runner Services, apprehending law-breakers throughout Cincinnati. She's also a witch, one of the many Inderlanders who revealed themselves after a genetically engineered virus wiped out 50 percent of humanity. Witches, warlocks, vampires, werewolves: the creatures of dreams and nightmares have lived beside humans for centuries, hiding their powers. But now they've stopped hiding, and nothing will be the same.

    Patti says: "wildly entertaining"
    "Welcome to the Hollows. Strap in for the ride!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This series is my favorite fantasy series, and this is the first book in the series. I first read it in print, now I'm listening to it in audible format. A great premise, completely engaging characters, snappy dialog, mystery, danger, and a great reader. What's not to like!?! And the witch Rachel Morgan (like my favorite wizard, Harry Dresden) has that wonderful trait: a very good heart, so trying to do the right thing in impossible situations always sinks her deeper and deeper in trouble.

    The series is a total of 13 books, the last of which is to be released in September of this year, plus one book of short stories. Those of us who want to move into the Hollows eagerly await the final installment, but we will be sorry to see it end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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