Call anytime(888) 283-5051
 

You no longer follow Alison

You will no longer see updates from this user when they write new reviews, or suggestions based on their library or recommendations.

You can re-follow a user if you change your mind.

OK

You now follow Alison

You will receive updates from this user when they write new reviews, or suggestions based on their library or recommendations.

You can unfollow a user if you change your mind.

OK

Alison

Brinston, ONTARIO, Canada | Member Since 2013

47
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 54 reviews
  • 54 ratings
  • 175 titles in library
  • 50 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
1

  • Farthing: Small Change, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Jo Walton
    • Narrated By John Keating, Bianca Amato
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (196)
    Performance
    (162)
    Story
    (169)

    One summer weekend in 1949 - but not our 1949 - the well-connected "Farthing set", a group of upper-crust English families, enjoy a country retreat. Lucy is a minor daughter in one of those families; her parents were both leading figures in the group that overthrew Churchill and negotiated peace with Herr Hitler eight years before....

    Nancy J says: "It Couldn't Happen Here, Right? RIGHT?"
    "great premise but unfullfilling"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book had a great premise, the alternate history was well thought out and the politics were believable without being too complicated to follow. The mystery aspect was interesting although not as mysterious as the author might like it to have been. I had two problems with the book. The first was how it was told part in first person and part in third person, it just didn't really work for me. More importantly, the book ended rather abruptly and left me really unfulfilled. I know that in real life everything doesn't wrap up all nice and tidy, but these are books. I took a peak at the review for the next book, and it doesn't seem to pick up on the same story. The ending was disappointing. Other than that it was great.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Thirteenth Child

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Patricia C. Wrede
    • Narrated By Amanda Ronconi
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (794)
    Performance
    (721)
    Story
    (725)

    Eff was born a thirteenth child. Her twin brother, Lan, is the seventh son of a seventh son. This means he's supposed to possess amazing talent - and she's supposed to bring only bad things to her family and her town. Undeterred, her family moves to the frontier, where her father will be a professor of magic at a school perilously close to the magical divide that separates settlers from the beasts of the wild. With wit and wonder, Patricia Wrede creates an alternate history of westward expansion that will delight fans of both J. K. Rowling and Laura Ingalls Wilder.

    Erin - Audible says: "History, Magic, Teens, & Not An Inkling of Romance"
    "so boring I hardly made it through"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book sounded from the synopsis and the rave reviews like it was going to be so great, but partway through, I caught myself continuously checking the 'time remaining', first to see if I could figure out if/when actual plot might happen and eventually to see how much longer I was going to have to suffer. Basically, the book drags on and on without any change whatsoever to any of the characters (main or otherwise) or any important plot.

    I suppose it's trying to be a coming-of-age story about Eff, but as a character she doesn't grow at all. From the start of the novel (where she's the world's most precocious five year old...I mean really, has the author met many five year olds??) to the end (Eff is 18 then), neither her inner dialogue or her actions nor her interactions with others change in any way shape or form. Sure it's sort of about her getting over being a 13th child, but since she's the only one who gives a hoot about that fact after the first few chapters, it's hard to see it as a major influence in her life. Maybe if the bullying and whatnot had continued when they moved west, I could see it more, but it's mostly abandoned through the book.

    My other major problem with the book was the author's cavalier attitude towards background. There were a lot of weird historical changes that were completely unnecessary to the plot (like changing it from North America to North Columbia) and weren't explained in terms of including magic into history. Whenever I see this sort of thing in books, it just makes me think that the author was too lazy to do proper research and so just changed a few things in order to claim that any rational historical criticism can't apply. Frankly, I hadn't reviewed the plot summary before I started the book and for the first few chapters I had no idea if it was taking place in 1800 or 1950.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Alchemy of Stone

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Ekaterina Sedia
    • Narrated By Eileen Stevens
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (40)
    Performance
    (29)
    Story
    (30)

    Mattie, an intelligent automaton skilled in the use of alchemy, finds herself caught in the middle of a conflict between gargoyles, the Mechanics, and the Alchemists. With the old order quickly giving way to the new, Mattie discovers powerful and dangerous secrets - secrets that can completely alter the balance of power in the city of Ayona. This doesn't sit well with Loharri, the Mechanic who created Mattie and still has the key to her heart - literally.

    Janice Budd says: "Steam Punk with a fizzle"
    "just not quite there"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book seemed to have lots of things going for it. Interesting premise, variety of different and intriguing characters, individual problems and civil unrest, a mix of fantasy and steam punk. But for some reason I still didn't really like it. I still have trouble pinpointing exactly what I didn't like.

    Maybe it was that the political background wasn't really explained that fully, and so it's hard to get emotionally invested in the conflict which drives the main plot. Lots of books I find get too wrapped up in explaining the intricate political and social system that they've created, so much so that it swamps the plot. But this one could definitely have had more context.

    Or, maybe it's that while almost all the characters have interesting back-stories they just don't seem to interact naturally. The conversations and interactions seem forced and stilted. Characters do things for reasons I don't understand. So, between not caring about the civil war and not understanding why the characters do what they do, it's sort of hard to care about what happens at all.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Monument 14

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Emmy Laybourne
    • Narrated By Todd Haberkorn
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (109)
    Performance
    (101)
    Story
    (102)

    In Emmy Laybourne’s action-packed debut novel, six high school kids (some popular, some not), two eighth graders (one a tech genius), and six little kids trapped together in a chain superstore build a refuge for themselves inside. While outside, a series of escalating disasters, beginning with a monster hailstorm and ending with a chemical weapons spill, seems to be tearing the world - as they know it - apart.

    colleen says: "Nice book"
    "modern-day Lord of the Flies (kind of)"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Once this book got going, I quite enjoyed it. The plot moves quickly and the characters are realistic enough. There are fourteen of them, but for the most part it isn't hard to keep track of who exactly is who (except some of the little kids, but it doesn't matter much). It's easy to draw parallels to Lord of the Flies, but it is a rather telling statement about people these days (not just kids) that they struggle to survive in a vast super store with food and supplies but without the internet. It just wouldn't have been realistic to say that these kids could have made it in the wilderness.

    Anyway, I was looking forward to giving this book a higher review, but then it ended. Just kind of ended in the middle of things. It sort of set itself up for an ending that would have done enough wrapping up without drawing it out or making it too 'happy ending' but then for some reason it doesn't. It almost seemed to me that the author maybe decided to write a sequel and so changed the ending to allow for that? In any case, the ending disappointed me, but not so much I wouldn't recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Glass Houses: Morganville Vampires, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Rachel Caine
    • Narrated By Cynthia Holloway
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (891)
    Performance
    (587)
    Story
    (593)

    Morganville, Texas, is a small college town filled with quirky characters. But when the sun goes down, the bad come out. Because in Morganville, there is an evil that lurks in the darkest shadows---one that will spill out into the bright light of day.

    Justin says: "Be Aware.."
    "nonsensical teenage blech"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Alright, I buy these cheep teen paranormal romance novels when they go on sale, and I never go into them with high hopes. Yet they continue to disappoint. Putting aside the overall concept of the town run by vampires, it's just another bland series of events culminating in a predictable crisis brought on by the characters' own stupidity. Really, when you have a prodigy genius (who was accepted to Harvard, MIT, etc) as your main character, you kind of expect her to be a little bit brighter. I mean, at one point she suspects there might be vampires in the library, so breaks into the locked room, and then is SO surprised that there are vampires in there and doesn't know how to get away... Anyway, if you're looking for a teenage paranormal romance novel which features an odd group of friends who are combating supernatural forces without any parental supervision (and one of them is actually a ghost), then go read Maggie Steifvater's "The Raven Boys". It's about a million times better than this sorry excuse for a book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Uneasy Lies the Crown: A Novel of Owain Glyndwr

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By N. Gemini Sasson
    • Narrated By Kyle McCarley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (21)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (18)

    This is the story of Owain Glyndwr, the last Welsh Prince of Wales. In the year 1399, Welsh nobleman Owain Glyndwr is living out a peaceful gentleman's life in the Dee Valley of Wales with his wife Margaret and their eleven children. But when Henry of Bolingbroke usurps the throne of England from his cousin Richard II, that tranquility is forever shattered. What starts as a feud with a neighboring English lord over a strip of land evolves into something greater - a fight for the very independence of Wales.

    Alison says: "dramatized history lesson"
    "dramatized history lesson"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had high hopes for this book, it's in an era I love and Glyndwr is such a neat historical figure. It wasn't that this book was bad, so much as not really a novel. It follow the entire life and career for Glyndwr (and many of the other important figures associated with him) in the book by means of single chapter long snippets. Sometimes there's years and half a kingdom distance between the snippets, sometimes they follow more like novel chapters. Anyway, because it jumps around characters and covers so much of the man's life, I found it hard to really get a sense of character. The author tried to put in the character development and emotional conflicts, but it just didn't work for me. The narrator did a good job, but lots of the dialogue was spoken significantly quieter than the narrative bits, making listening kind of difficult.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lexicon

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Max Barry
    • Narrated By Heather Corrigan, Zach Appelman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (606)
    Performance
    (546)
    Story
    (553)

    At an exclusive school somewhere outside of Arlington, Virginia, students aren't taught history, geography, or mathematics - at least not in the usual ways. Instead, they are taught to persuade. Here the art of coercion has been raised to a science. Students harness the hidden power of language to manipulate the mind and learn to break down individuals by psychographic markers in order to take control of their thoughts. The very best will graduate as "poets": adept wielders of language who belong to a nameless organization that is as influential as it is secretive.

    Tango says: "Fasten your seat belt..."
    "great premise + twisty plot = amazing!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Valcor. Vartex. Mannik. Wissik. Buy this book.

    Ok, it won't work on you, but what if, if you knew the right words, you could persuade anyone to do anything. That's the premise here. Specially trained Poets can manipulate just about anyone. But when a single word is discovered that could potentially destroy civilization, withstanding 'compromise' becomes the most important thing.

    I wasn't sure what to expect when I bought this book, I had optimism but so many books let me down. This wasn't one. Right from the get-go, this book gets you hooked and just keeps running. Usually, I can see where a book is going pretty early on, but this one just kept changing things up. Every time you think you have a handle on what's going to happen, everything changes. Good guys might be bad guys. Bad guys might be good guys, or they might be super evil guys. Barry keeps you guessing. It was great!

    Don't let the trite "she falls in love" in the plot synopsis make you think that this books is a fluffy thing about romance. It's more about Emily's consistent lack of ability to follow the rules. Sure love is one of those things, but I think the synopsis rather overstates it. This book is about so much more!

    As some of the other reviews have pointed out, the female narrator's Australian accent is a bit sad, but I try not to get too hung up on that kind of thing if the rest is quality.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Affinity Bridge: A Newbury & Hobbes Investigation

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By George Mann
    • Narrated By Simon Taylor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (79)
    Performance
    (49)
    Story
    (51)

    Welcome to the bizarre and dangerous world of Victorian London, a city teetering on the edge of revolution. Its people are ushering in a new era of technology, dazzled each day by unfamiliar inventions. Airships soar in the skies over the city, while ground trains rumble through the streets and clockwork automatons are programmed to carry out menial tasks in the offices of lawyers, policemen, and journalists.

    Doug says: "nowhere near as bad as reviewed"
    "typical steampunk"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was recommended to me by a friend, and it was definitely an enjoyable listen but doesn't really break any new ground. There's enough steampunk out there now that it uses all the cliches that we have come to expect: clever detective with adorable sidekick, Queen Victoria, allies at Scotland yard, dirigibles, killer automata, two seemingly different mysteries which are actually related, etc. etc. I'd say it's got more plot than say Gail Carriger but is less intense than Mark Hodder. I also liked the characters in this book better than the "Ministry of Peculiar Occurences" novels, although I'd say they are otherwise on a similar level. Actually, I recently read The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man by Hodder and it was interesting to see how Hodder and Mann handled the same elements: automata and zombies. The narrator was good, although his female voices were a little too high and over exaggerated sometimes. There were also a number of editing slip-ups, where the narrator stops suddenly, does some rather hilarious vocal exercises then carries on. Bottom line: standard steamed fare

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Hominids: The Neanderthal Parallax, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Robert J. Sawyer
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis, Robert J. Sawyer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1203)
    Performance
    (552)
    Story
    (557)

    Neanderthals have developed a radically different civilization on a parallel Earth. A Neanderthal physicist, Ponter Boddit, accidentally passes from his universe into a Canadian underground research facility. Fortunately, a team of human scientists, including expert paleo-anthropologist Mary Vaughan, promptly identifies and warmly receives Ponter. Solving the language problem and much else is a mini-computer, called a Companion, implanted in the brain of every Neanderthal. But it can't help his fellow scientist back in his world, Adikor Huld, when the authorities charge Adikor with his murder.

    Scott says: "Scicen Fiction Can Be Literature"
    "intriguing concept but really slow"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Explaining the parallel universe concept and outsider criticism of society seemed to be far more important to the author of this book than actual plot was. The assortment of characters were kind of interesting enough to get you through, but the whole thing left me wishing that there was more to the novel. It kind of reminded me of Brave New World, where the author has spent so much intellectual time on the backdrop that they don't have any effort left for making the characters do things. The only conflict in the novel which seems to have anything hanging on its outcome is the trial in the Neanderthal universe, and even that is so bogged down by repetition and talk of social order that it looses any weight.

    As always, Jonathan Davis is the world's greatest narrator. The novel seems determined to highlight Canada's multiculturalism, so there are tons of accents, which Davis does admirably. Ok, I won't lie, his French Canadian accent maybe leaves something to be desired, but he's so great at everything else that I'm not going to hold it against him.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Living Dead in Dallas: Sookie Stackhouse Southern Vampire Mystery #2

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Charlaine Harris
    • Narrated By Johanna Parker
    Overall
    (4481)
    Performance
    (2351)
    Story
    (2355)

    After an unfortunate incident, Sookie finds herself beholden to a group of Louisiana vampires. So she agrees to travel to Dallas with her undead boyfriend Bill and track down a missing vamp, but only if the vampires promise to let local humans go unharmed.

    Jessica says: "enjoyed it but was not in love with it"
    "two novellas for the price of one"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was somewhat less enjoyable than the first one in the series, but it was still a good listen. There are basically two plots in the book, what happens in Dallas and what happens with the murder in BonTemps. I guess since there wasn't really enough plot in either to make a single book, they got kind of jammed together into one book. They're both in there, but neither really has much to do with the other.

    I would have given the story four stars, but the Dallas section of the plot kind of pissed me off in spots. For a psychic and a bunch of old, supposedly clever vampires the Sookie crew really makes some stupid decisions. You would think they know better. But, what are you going to go? :)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Etiquette & Espionage: Finishing School, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Gail Carriger
    • Narrated By Moira Quirk
    Overall
    (1180)
    Performance
    (1085)
    Story
    (1092)

    Fourteen-year old Sophronia is the bane of her mother's existence. More interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper etiquette at tea - and god forbid anyone see her atrocious curtsy - Mrs. Temminnick is desperate her daughter become a proper lady. She enrolls Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.

    But little do Sophronia or her mother know that this is a school where ingenious young girls learn to finish all right - but it's a different kind of finishing.

    Lynne Phelps says: "Fans of the Parasol Protectorate, Rejoice!"
    "fun but all style and not enough substance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Like most (probably) I got this because I enjoy Carriger's Parasol Protectorate books. If you liked those books, you'll probably like this. It's an adorable kind of book. If you haven't read her adult books, I don't know what you'll think of this book. There is a lot about the England this book takes place in that isn't really explained (aka not explained at all), like any background whatsoever with regards to the supernatural.

    I couldn't give the plot more stars for two reasons. Firstly, the book really doesn't have much of a plot. Things just sort of happen as it becomes necessary for characters to do things rather than just exist. It's definitely more about meeting beloved characters that we know well as adults and setting the scene for future books than it is about the 'mystery' or whatever you'd like to label the plot here. Now, if you don't think too hard about anything and just happily go with the flow, then this lack of plot won't bother you. Just have low expectations.

    My second issue is with the intended audience. I imagine most readers will be (as mentioned) adults who liked her other books. But it's definitely intended for a young adult audience....or so it sort of seems. Now, Sephronia is young for most young adult heroines, and there isn't any romance whatsoever (which is just fine, the girl is 14!). That's all fine and well, but given what else is out there for teen readers, this book will probably come across as rather tame. Younger teens might like it, but vocabulary might be a concern for tweens.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.