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Mariya

Rockaway, NJ, United States | Member Since 2010

180
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 17 reviews
  • 182 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 46 purchased in 2014
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  • Monster Hunter International

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Larry Correia
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5918)
    Performance
    (5175)
    Story
    (5176)

    Five days after Owen Zastava Pitt pushed his insufferable boss out of a 14th story window, he woke up in the hospital with a scarred face, an unbelievable memory, and a job offer. It turns out that monsters are real. All the things from myth, legend, and B-movies are out there, waiting in the shadows. Some of them are evil, and some are just hungry. Monster Hunter International is the premier eradication company in the business. And now Owen is their newest recruit.

    Konstantin says: "Suprizingly entertaining"
    "Killin’s my business and business is fine"
    Overall

    This audiobook has monsters of impossible, mind-bending proportions. The main villain, the “Cursed One,” is not just a mwahaha villain – we also get inside his head through his memories in Owen’s ghost-guided dream/nightmares that recall C.O.’s journey from a “mean son-of-a-bitch” conquistador to one very megalomaniacal, unearthly, tentacled, flesh-wriggling being who is intent of stopping time itself. I think I’m in love with Owen Z. Pitt, who’s inherently epic, but it’s hard to let the listener know how epic Owen is through first-person narration without it sounding over-the-top or silly. Like when a master vampire tells Owen he has the strongest will of any mortal she’s ever met, or when one guys says to the other that he shouldn’t mess with Owen because he has “one hundred pounds of muscle” on him. Or worse yet, when Julie reads his file and we find out Owen’s a marksman/genius. This book is cliché in the best way possible. It's like 1 part monsterish gore, 1 part comedy, and 1 part all sorts of artillery. It's like Hot Fuzz.

    Oliver Wyman is great. This is the first time I heard him read, and his style is perfect for Monster Hunter International. He has a rather macho tone with just a bit of immaturity, and again, the term “epic” comes to mind to describe his style. His reading of female voices didn’t make me burst out laughing, which is what usually happens when I listen to male narrators read girls’ voices. The only thing that jarred me was how seriously Oliver Wyman took those vocal direction. I usually comment on whether narrators do a good or bad job at distinguishing internal monologue with external speak when audiobooks are in first-person, like this one. The listener has no problem with distinguishing the two in Monster Hunter International, because Oliver Wyman reads the directions in a rather calm soft voice, while reading the actual words with the proper emphasis, instead of splitting the two.

    65 of 74 people found this review helpful
  • Third Grave Dead Ahead

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Darynda Jones
    • Narrated By Lorelei King
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1568)
    Performance
    (1417)
    Story
    (1424)

    Paranormal private eye. Grim reaper extraordinaire. Whatever. Charley Davidson is back in Darynda Jones' Third Grave Dead Ahead! And she’s drinking copious amounts of caffeine to stay awake because, every time she closes her eyes, she sees him: Reyes Farrow, the parthuman, part-supermodel son of Satan. Yes, she did imprison him for all eternity, but come on.

    Stephanie says: "Best book yet."
    "The Best of Three Worlds"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Courtesy of Lost Art Audiobook Review

    Charley Davidson is one funny, witty, pain-in-the-butt Albuquerque PI. She used to be a consultant to her police detective dad, and is now a consultant to her police detective uncle. But there’s more the Charley than “Danger” and “Will Robinson” – her tits. She’s also a grim reaper. Not the DeadLike Me type either, but the kind chosen from birth, can speak every language known to man, see the dead and let them pass through her, and remember everything from birth kind. That’s a hard burden for a girl who’s just trying to make rent and avoid getting killed while doing it.

    Just like in First Grave on the Right and Second Grave on the Left, this third book in the series blends great comedic style, scorching, blistering sex, and serious drama. At the end of the last book, Charley bound Reyes to his corporeal form. He is mad and he is taking his anger out on Charley by intruding into her life day and night. In the meantime, Charley is hired by a man to find his wife, except she’s sure that he killed his wife, or at least believes he killed her. This book has more twists than a Chubby Checker song. It also has a painful development in Charley’s relationship with her father, and a promising new friendship between Charley and a local biker gang.

    I’m not going to lie. The only two reasons I purchased the Charley Davidson series were because: (1) it fit the paranormal/urban fantasy mystery genre; and (2) Lorelei King narrated it. As usual, she doesn’t disappoint. If you’re familiar with Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series, you know how well Ms. King pulls of snarky, and there’s plenty of snark in these books. She gives great cop voice, and there are a ton of cops in this book. Lorelei King even does a good biker gang…wait, that sounded wrong. You know what I mean. In one of the books, she even clucks like a chicken. The things a narrator does for her art.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Second Grave on the Left: Charley Davidson, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Darynda Jones
    • Narrated By Lorelei King
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1791)
    Performance
    (1587)
    Story
    (1578)

    When Charley is rudely awakened in the middle of the night by her best friend who tells her to get dressed quickly and tosses clothes out of the closet at her, she can’t help but wonder what Cookie’s up to. Leather scrunch boots with a floral miniskirt? Together? Seriously? Cookie explains that a friend of hers named Mimi disappeared five days earlier and that she just got a text from her setting up a meet at a coffee shop downtown....

    Connie says: "LOVE LOVE LOVE these books!"
    "Taking the Grim out of Grim Reaper"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Courtesy of Lost Art Audiobook Review

    Charley Davidson is one funny, witty, pain-in-the-butt Albuquerque PI. She used to be a consultant to her police detective dad, and is now a consultant to her police detective uncle. But there’s more the Charley than “Danger” and “Will Robinson” – her tits. She’s also a grim reaper. Not the DeadLike Me type either, but the kind chosen from birth, can speak every language known to man, see the dead and let them pass through her, and remember everything from birth kind. That’s a hard burden for a girl who’s just trying to make rent and avoid getting killed while doing it.

    Like First Grave on the Right, this second book in the series is a stellar read, and again, Ms. Jones dresses up a serious theme in humor to make it more palatable. Here, Charley has to find a missing wife and solve the cold case of a teenage who disappeared without a trace over a decade ago. Ms. Jones pulls no punches there. And then there’s Reyes. Charley needs to find him to keep him alive, but he doesn’t want to be found. He’d rather let his body die, even if that brings about the end of the world. What’s a Grim Reaper to do? I loved this audiobook, but then again, I’m a sucker for bad boys. Son of Satan – how much more bad can a boy get?

    I’m not going to lie. The only two reasons I purchased the Charley Davidson series were because: (1) it fit the paranormal/urban fantasy mystery genre; and (2) Lorelei King narrated it. As usual, she doesn’t disappoint. If you’re familiar with Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series, you know how well Ms. King pulls of snarky, and there’s plenty of snark in these books. She gives great cop voice, and there are a ton of cops in this book. Lorelei King even does a good biker gang…wait, that sounded wrong. You know what I mean. In one of the books, she even clucks like a chicken. The things a narrator does for her art.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • First Grave on the Right: Charley Davidson, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Darynda Jones
    • Narrated By Lorelei King
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2948)
    Performance
    (2340)
    Story
    (2329)

    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.

    Lulu says: "Very, Very Funny Book, Suffered from My Bad Timing"
    "Not your mom’s chick lit"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about First Grave on the Right?

    Charley Davidson is one funny, witty, pain-in-the-butt Albuquerque PI. She used to be a consultant to her police detective dad, and is now a consultant to her police detective uncle. But there’s more the Charley than “Danger” and “Will Robinson” – her tits. She’s also a grim reaper. Not the Dead Like Me type either, but the kind chosen from birth, can speak every language known to man, see the dead and let them pass through her, and remember everything from birth kind. That’s a hard burden for a girl who’s just trying to make rent and avoid getting killed while doing it.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of First Grave on the Right?

    Let’s talk about the elephant in the room – or rather on the cover. The cover art screams silly chick lit, but as the old adage goes, don’t judge this audiobook by the paint on the model’s toes. This book is so much more. The beginning is quirky, fun, and entertaining, and because of that humor, the story builds on you without you realizing it. The listener’s sense of Charley’s complicated relationship with her family, especially her evil step-mother, starts out light and fluffy and ends with shocking depth. Her interest in Reyes starts out seeming superficial before becoming a desperate need. Somewhere between the laughs, the serious themes of child abuse, domestic violence, etc., sneak up on you. An overall great listen.


    Which character – as performed by Lorelei King – was your favorite?

    I’m not going to lie. The only two reasons I purchased the Charley Davidson series were because: (1) it fit the paranormal/urban fantasy mystery genre; and (2) Lorelei King narrated it. As usual, she doesn’t disappoint. If you’re familiar with Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series, you know how well Ms. King pulls of snarky, and there’s plenty of snark in these books. She gives great cop voice, and there are a ton of cops in this book. Lorelei King even does a good biker gang…wait, that sounded wrong. You know what I mean. In one of the books, she even clucks like a chicken. The things a narrator does for her art.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Audacious: Kris Longknife, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Mike Shepherd
    • Narrated By Dina Pearlman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (367)
    Performance
    (235)
    Story
    (237)

    You can't keep a good woman down - Kris Longknife returns. Once again, Kris finds herself caught in the crosshairs of unknown enemies who want her dead. Factions, both legitimate and underground, vie for control of the planet New Eden. And someone is taking advantage of the chaos to unleash a personal vendetta against Kris.

    Wayland says: "Best so far"
    "Ode to the first two Amendments"
    Overall

    Courtesy of Lost Art Audiobook Review

    Audacious can be read as a cautionary tale for any society that considers itself evolved and safe simply because it is technologically advanced. The major conflict of New Eden, without a doubt, is its lack of suffrage for all citizens, but the reason why living on New Eden is unsafe boils down to a lack of the first two amendments. There is a lack of free press, and the powerful pay dearly to keep the media ignorant of any crimes. The second is the right to firearms. New Eden is a “safe” society, where no one, not even the military, should have deadly weapons. The problem is that in New Eden, like in most of our cities, those who operate outside the law already have weapons, leaving the law abiding vulnerable.

    Audacious goes back to the wonderful military feel of the original Mutineer. There is an inspiring scene where Kris is invited by the marines to jog with them in the morning, but after she is detained by local authorities, a bunch of marines, including one who is injured, join to stand by her. Kris realizes at that moment that, even though she’s Navy, she has been adopted by Corps. Kris’s spine straightens when she realizes that they’re willing to die for her and, in return, she’s willing to die for them. I also enjoyed the scene toward the end of the audiobook when after rendering honors to fallen Marines, Kris and her men leave New Eden to a futuristic rendition of the Marine Corps Hymn.

    This audiobook also gives us a lot more on Abby. We meet her mother, sister, and niece, and get to see the neighborhood on New Eden where she grew up. It explains a lot about her motivation and character, and she even gets a possible love interest in this audiobook.

    On Narration:
    Dina Pearlman’s reading of Audacious reminded me of her reading of Deserter. She was back to a faster pace, the authoritative tone, and the solemnity necessary for war and battle. I miss her Tommy accent, but there were no Irish or Lorna Dune people.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Art of Seducing a Naked Werewolf

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Molly Harper
    • Narrated By Amanda Ronconi
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2745)
    Performance
    (2208)
    Story
    (2210)

    Generations of werewolves have been secretly residing in a secluded valley a stones throw from Grundy, Alaska. So when a snooping Outsider comes to Grundy to investigate rumors of lycanthropic shenanigans in the area, the valleys pack alpha, Maggie Graham, resolves to chase him away, even if doing so takes a quick bite on the butt. What a pity that researcher Nick Thatcher turns out to be so drool-worthy, and that his kisses make Maggie want to sit up and beg.

    Amazon Customer says: "MOLLY HARPER IS A HOOT!!!!!!"
    "True Comedic Pack Mysteries"
    Overall

    Courtesy of Lost Art Audiobook Review

    Molly Harper’s writing is snarky, funny, witty, and a joy to sit back and listen to. I was a bit worried about the book being from Maggie’s point of view as Maggie comes off as a rather flat hard-ass character in How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf, but fifteen minutes into the audiobook, I knew I was not going to be disappointed. This book paces better than How to Flirt. We understand the main conflict immediately, and Nick enters Maggie's life almost from the first part of the audiobook. And then there’s Nick himself – a tall, sexy, educated, blond-haired, blue-eyed, bearded Viking look alike (mentally, I pictured Jax Teller from Sons of Anarchy, but with glasses). A multimillionaire, self-hating Trekkie with family issues of his own, and a passion for werewolves.

    Another thing this book had on How to Flirt is a few good mysteries, which is not something I expect from this author – she’s hilarious, so I read for the comedy (and there’s plenty) but not for the twists and turns. This audiobook contains at least two “Oh!” moments - when the audiobook presents enough suspects with enough motives that you don’t see it coming, but there is also enough foreshadowing specific to the perpetrator that you kind of should have. The result is that when the book lets the cat out of the bag, you actually, audibly, say “Oh!”

    On Narration:
    All of Molly Harper’s audiobooks, including this one, are narrated by Amanda Roncini. Her voice is perfect for the part. It’s bratty, snarky, and bit tom-boyish even. It’s not just that she reads the story with great snark. She knows how to read comedy, how to carry punch lines so they hit home.

    14 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • Rosemary and Rue: An October Daye Novel, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Seanan McGuire
    • Narrated By Mary Robinette Kowal
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (641)
    Performance
    (481)
    Story
    (487)

    The world of Faerie never disappeared: it merely went into hiding, continuing to exist parallel to our own. Secrecy is the key to Faerie’s survival—but no secret can be kept forever, and when the fae and mortal worlds collide, changelings are born. Half-human, half-fae, outsiders from birth, these second-class children of Faerie spend their lives fighting for the respect of their immortal relations.

    Ginger says: "Missed Matched Pair"
    "Love you more than fairytales"
    Overall

    The structure of Rosemary and Rue is very formulaic. Overall, the audiobook presents a great mythical journey set in a modern-day fairy tale. You get gripped from the first of Toby’s mishaps. Although, I truly connected with Toby on the second part of the audiobook, after the awesome car scene over the Golden Gate Bridge. I loved the fantastic elements in Rosemary and Rue, such as the kelpie, a large black horse with glowing red eyes that just happens to smell like the sea. The rose goblin, a kitty cat covered with rose thrones that rattles them when it gets upset, is adorable. It’s also nice to see a few more tales, tiger stripes, and fox ears on characters outside of anime. However, I had this terrible feeling of sadness throughout the audiobook. It seems like the universe is out to kick Toby when she’s down. Even the title itself is a terribly sad reference in the book that you only understand at the very end.

    On Narration:
    Mary Robinette Kowal reading was very appropriate for the character. The narrative voice is light and young-sounding, but with enough of an edge to pass for what I would consider the voice of a half-fairy, tiny, light, bounty-hunting kickass woman. My only criticism is that some of her more interesting or intricate accents, for Tybalt and Lilly, for example, require her to slow down her reading and enunciate very carefully, which does drag out certain parts.

    11 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • Men of the Otherworld

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Kelley Armstrong
    • Narrated By Charles Leggett
    Overall
    (496)
    Performance
    (228)
    Story
    (230)

    As Clayton grows from a wild child to a clever teen who tests his mentor at every turn, he must learn not only to control his animal instincts but to navigate Pack politics - including showing his brutal archnemesis who the real Alpha is.

    Amazon Customer says: "Excellent backstory, but not a prequel"
    "Domestication of Wolves to Men"
    Overall

    Courtesy of Lost Art Audiobook Review

    This audiobook is read by Charles Leggett. I haven’t listened to his narration before, but he’s very competent with the voices, which are almost exclusively male in this collection. His Cajun accent seems alright, but I’m not very familiar with the way it’s supposed to sound. His general reading is sincere and believable. My only criticism is that I had a hard time between the external and internal dialogue from Clayton’s point of view. For example, when Jeremy takes Clayton to the airport, Clayton recognizes a plane, but I did not realize he said it out loud until Jeremy responded. Kind of makes you wonder how much of the internal dialogue was really internal.

    There are three parts to this collection. The first starts with a third-person narration of how Malcolm met Jeremy’s mother, which is a rather brutal story but interesting. The best part of the collection was definitely the second – Clayton’s story told from his point of view. As hard it as it is to empathize with Malcolm is how smooth it is to slip into Clayton’s story. The third part is Jeremy’s discovery of his mother’s people. Even though the cover of the collection hints at sex, and man-on-man at that, this is actually the only section that has it, and really only hints at it between Jeremy and Jaime, which is nice, but not quiet as explosive as Clayton and Elena’s relationship in the series. This is actually the part I missed most about the collection – not the sex, but the relationship between Clayton and Elena from Clayton’s perspective. If you’re familiar with the series, Clayton turned Elena basically against her will. The more we know of Clayton throughout the series, including in this collection, the less that particular moment makes sense. I was hoping to get that moment from Clayton’s perspective, but that’s not in the story.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Defiant: Kris Longknife, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Mike Shepherd
    • Narrated By Dina Pearlman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (436)
    Performance
    (274)
    Story
    (278)

    Born into a family of wealth and political power, Kris Longknife turned her back on high society and followed a different family tradition by joining the Marines. But now she finds herself relieved of duty. She's gotten in the way of someone's agenda - to bring down her father, the Prime Minister of Wardhaven.

    Mariya says: "How many of them can we make die?"
    "How many of them can we make die?"
    Overall

    Courtesy of Lost Art Audiobook Review

    Defiant starts out like Down Periscope. The Navy promotes Kris to command an experimental ship full of misfits no one else wants. Things change when Kris is arrested. Mike Shepherd describes the arrest with so much feeling and emphasis, I expected the trial to be a focal point. This changes when Kris is sent on a diplomatic mission to a planet Hikila (planet Hawaii), which turns into a hostage/terrorist situation. Sadly, very little of the book is spent on Kris’s rehabilitation from the arrest. About 8 hours into the book, Kris returns from Hikila and maybe five minutes of the audiobook are dedicated to a summary recounting of how while she was away a few people from Olympia talked to the media and charges were dropped. I would have loved to hear this part in detail. Instead, we have Tom and Penny’s wedding leading right into the major conflict of the book: the invasion. Disjointedness aside, the invasion was great. Mike Shepherd uses that third-person narration to present us with the enemy sans-Kris, making him more realistic and the conflict more suspenseful. Around 5 hours to the end of the book, I had a feeling in the pit of my stomach you get when you are a few hours away from giving a big speech. About 4 hours to the end of the book, I could not stop listening. I stay up until 2 a.m., on a Tuesday night, to finish.

    On Narration:
    While I liked Dina Pearlman’s reading of the first two books, I had issues this one. Her reading after they land on Hikila slows down and becomes over-emphasized which makes it sound insincere. That aside, what really killed it for me was her reading of “the March of Cambreadth.” Mike Shepherd dedicates about 2 hours integrating that song to the fight. He quotes all the lyrics, and gives it a fake history. Kris and her crew screaming along to it. They even shoot on the song’s command! And Dina Pearlman reads the lyrics with the cadence you use when playing “patty cake” with a toddler.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Deserter: Kris Longknife, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Mike Shepherd
    • Narrated By Dina Pearlman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (490)
    Performance
    (313)
    Story
    (313)

    Kris Longknife had no choice about growing up rich and pampered. When she did have a choice, she joined the Marines. But now, a friend needs help halfway across the galaxy - and with a military heritage coursing through her blood, it's time for Kris Longknife to be a hero.

    Mariya says: "Planet Traps & Booby Traps"
    "Planet Traps & Booby Traps"
    Overall

    Courtesy of Lost Art Audiobook Review

    There were parts of the first book, Mutineer, that I thought could have been improved and Deserter addresses everything I found lacking. Nelly, Kris’s personal pet computer, was not fantastic enough (probably a bit less powerful than the newest Android). In Deserter, Nelly gets a major upgrade. Nelly now docks into Kris’s head and talks with Kris mentally. Nelly also starts developing a personality, one of a spoiled Justin Bieber fan. In Mutineer, Kris seemed more a soldier than a 22-year-old chick. In Deserter, with no military-appointed mission to follow, our heroine gets a lot more fem. Thanks to Kris’s new governess, we have some serious wardrobe changes, clothes descriptions, and other womanly upgrades.

    Unlike in Mutineer, there's cohesion with Deserter. The subplots tie to together smoothly, and dip back to Mutineer, making the story flow easily from Kris arriving like a princess on Turantic via a Titanic-like luxury cruise ship to her going incognito as a limping Arabic boy. She seamlessly goes from a whore, to a maid, to a pregnant girl in a burqa. I also felt that Mutineer lacked the politicking I expected from a prime minister’s daughter. There’s so much of it in Deserter: the royal “we,” the dressing up, the appearances. Oh, and finally, things get sexier as well as more sophisticated. There’s tension, there’s flirting – no sex, but it’s not really needed. Also, I love the more-developed supporting character, like Abigail, the Q to Kris’s Bond. Hence the booby traps – actual falsies that turn into bombs!

    On Narration:
    I’ve previously mentioned how much I liked Dina Pearlman’s reading of the Mutineer, where she did a great job with internal dialogue versus external dialogue. This becomes more important in Deserter since Nelly and Kris now talk both externally and in Kris’s mind. On a textbook, that’s easy to figure out. In an audiobook, it’s all Dina Pearlman’s skill.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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