Maybe it's just me, but I just could not get into this book, and I ended up returning it. I really wanted to like it. The cover looks amazing, the storyline is right up my alley. But after 40 minutes into it, I was still confused over who some of the characters were, and what exactly happened. Not to mention it was moving at a snail's pace. My rule is that if it doesn't grab me in the first several chapters, it's just not worth my time. The first opening scene/discussion made up those 40 minutes, and it was still in the same scene when I turned it off. It just hadn't progressed very much, and was WAAAAY too slow. I hate giving negative reviews, but feel I must for a book I returned. I do hope others think differently about this novel and give it a chance.
The story is a compelling one, and is extremely exciting. Anyone who loves "doomer fiction" will love this. Unfortunately, the audio narration is tough. The book is filled with the main character's thoughts. The narrator reads those thoughts low under his breath, at about half the volume of the rest of the narration, almost mumbling. I play my audiobooks on a speaker, not with earbuds. I started off replaying those parts and turning up the volume to hear it, and then turning it back down when the regular narration got loud again. But that got cumbersome and annoying, so I just left it at one volume and basically missed hearing half the book. I don't like the author's style for that reason, nor the narrator's. But the story is one that you have to listen to -- it's that gripping. I just recommend reading it, rather than listening to it, if you have a hard time hearing audio.
I have this in hardcover -- I bought it and read it when it first came out. I loved the story just as much as then, but wasn't thrilled with the narrator. I envisioned 30 year old Katie with a younger, perkier, more innocent sounding voice. While C.J. Critt does a great job, her voice just sounds far too old and too refined, like some glamorous movie star from the 40s or something. It just didn't fit the character. Therefore, I didn't like the audio as much.
The premise is super exciting -- Alpha Centauri goes super nova and creates an EMP, blowing up and leaving the earth in darkness as a result. The result? Dull, dull, dull. Not only is the storyline agonizing slow with very little action, but the narrator made it even worse. He reads the narration just fine, but whenever he gets to the dialog parts, every character sounds like a weird, disconnected robot (especially the women). And the accents were atrocious. I tried... really, I forced myself to make it past the half-way point, but I realized I'm just wasting precious time that I could be listening to something else. It's a shame. It's such an awesome premise, which is why I'm giving the story two stars instead of one. Maybe someone else will like it better.
I loved this! It was a fun story. Faith, a good-hearted former stripper inherits a hockey team from her late rich husband. Ty Savage, the team captain, isn't happy about it. The friction, tension and attraction between the two eventually leads to true love. This was an easy listen, and the humor and character profiles were great. I don't know why, but I could not stop picturing Cameron Diaz and Channing Tatum in these roles, which made it even that much more fun. It would make a great movie someday... (grin).
For fans of Jude Deveraux, this is a classic. It's one of the best time travel/romances out there. I read this many years ago, and was delighted to see it in audio. I just wasn't all that fond of the male narrator. He did a pretty good job, but there's just something about a male narrator trying to pull off a crying woman's voice that just makes it sound... well, whiny and cheesy.
But despite that, I listened to the story practically straight through. I had forgotten the awesome ending! I just loved it. Entertaining and endearing.
Now, hopefully Remembrance (my favorite Deveraux's time-travel romance novel) will come out in unabridged audio. I'd hope for that story, the publisher will chose a woman to narrate. It just makes it that much more believable. Justine Eyre would be great for that story!
I'll continue to wait for more vintage Deveraux...
I actually loved this book! It's my first Sylvia Day -- I wanted to avoid the whole "50 Shades" cliche and similar writers. But this was actually really good! I'm a huge fan of Justine Eyre, and think that she was magnificent as always. For listeners who don't typically purchase historical fiction based in England and who are used to more modern US-based characters, I could see how her voice would be a distraction. But I've listened to many titles that she's narrated, and she's one of the best out there. I chose this book because Justine was narrating. The performance and story did not disappoint!
I absolutely LOVED this book! Both storylines were captivating, and Justine Eyre did a magnificent job, as always. I almost listened to it all the way straight through (interrupted only by a necessary night's sleep). The ending was satisfying, and I'm recommending it to everyone. SO fun for any Jane Austen fan!
I've been waiting for this book to come out, as Kate Morton is one of my faves. Although I must admit, even though I was waiting for this release, I refused to buy it in print or e-book format because I wanted Caroline Lee to tell me the story. She's one of my faves, too. I wasn't disappointed. I believe this is the best Kate Morton novel to date. I was enthralled every bit of the way through, listening with such fervor with the hopes that each mystery would be revealed. The ending was superb and caught me totally by surprise. I loved it!
The toughest part about this book is that it had to end. This beautiful and haunting story of romance, family secrets, war-time mysteries, genealogy, old trunks and houses and ephemera that tells snippets of a story that had unraveled in secrecy was so satisfying that I had to hop on right away to give my review. I love that this tale is over 19 hours long -- it made me really feel as if I was getting my credit's worth. Yet listening to Lee's easy and engaging reading style didn't make it a burden at all. Easily one of my best purchases of the year (and I purchase a lot). I definitely recommend!
The only caveat I would give to someone new to Kate Morton is to stick with it. The beginning can be a bit slow, and a few parts in between are a little draggy. There was so much cigarette smoking that I almost gave in and bought a pack myself to cave into the subliminal peer pressure (after many years of having quit). But it's worth it. Stay with it, and you won't be disappointed!
I really, really wanted to love this book. It started out completely captivating. What could be more exciting than finding a seemingly divine secret passageway behind an old painting in an inner city Chigaoan church? I was hooked! But then the story got strange and took on a sort of Alice in Wonderland theme. I gave up listening when the giant talking bird that sounded like the dog from the Taco Bell commercial had everyone climb on his back for a ride. I'm sure it had a nice ending, but I just couldn't finish it.
So I bought this book as a recommendation from a friend. Prior to this, I didn't know who Francis Chan was. I absolutely loved this book -- it changed my life, and challenged me/pushed me in a way that I desperately needed. In fact, I loved it so much that I'm listening to it again. This book also prompted me to go online and look up sermons and videos by Pastor Chan.
Wow, though. The reading? That was tough. I really wish he would've used a professional narrator. Before I knew who he was (when I first began listening to it), I thought, "This guy sounds like a serious, quiet, introverted high school student who had to get up and read a report in front of a class." But then I saw the videos of Pastor Chan's sermons, and he was like an entirely different person! He was dynamic and animated and exuberant in his speech. Maybe he's just not that great of a reader, or maybe he was off of his game. I don't know. I can understand now how his devoted followers would've wanted him doing the reading, but I felt it took away from the impact of the book. And it made it tough to get through, even though the message was extremely compelling.
I hope the books keep coming! I will buy them. I do hope, though, that he either hires a reading coach or allows the publisher to choose an appropriate narrator.
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