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Meg

ratings
26
REVIEWS
7
FOLLOWING
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FOLLOWERS
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HELPFUL VOTES
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  • Bloodfire Quest: The Dark Legacy of Shannara, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Terry Brooks
    • Narrated By Rosalyn Landor
    Overall
    (246)
    Performance
    (225)
    Story
    (222)

    The quest for the long-lost Elfstones has drawn the leader of the Druid order and her followers into the hellish dimension known as the Forbidding, where the most dangerous creatures banished from the Four Lands are imprisoned. Now the hunt for the powerful talismans that can save their world has become a series of great challenges: a desperate search for kidnapped comrades, a relentless battle against unspeakable predators, and a grim race to escape the Forbidding alive. But though freedom is closer than they know, it may come at a terrifying price.

    Brenda says: "Best of Terry Brooks!"
    "Improved over the first"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Bloodfire Quest the most enjoyable?

    The narrator. Rosalyn Landor has such a wide range of voices and manages them extraordinarily well. She especially does a fine job with the male voices.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Terry Brooks again?

    Yes, the final book in the series.


    Have you listened to any of Rosalyn Landor’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Yes, the first book in the series. However, now I will go looking for other stories narrated by Rosalyn Landor.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    With the exception of my appreciation of the narrator, my reaction was mostly one of disappointment. The first book in the series managed to show a world where sexism was absent. This second immediately disappointed by having extreme sexism suddenly appear in a society where there was none before. Then it went away again. The book was consistently inconsistent in this way (there, then not), leaving the impression that those details were not well thought through. They weren't so much what I would call "plot twists" as a maze of undeveloped dead ends. I found myself asking "why start this new story line if it just ends abruptly without apparent purpose or adding to the plot?"

    There was less "borrowing" of concepts from other stories... Most notably, lizards with mind links, like Star Trek Next Gen Borg ("what one knows, they all know, what one sees, they all see").

    Finally, the love relationships, in both the first two in this series, are consistently strained, awkward and ill at ease, describing romance novelestic intimacy that allows for only one of two limited love options: suddenly realize true love for someone with whom they'd previously shared few words or pine unrequited for endless years.


    Any additional comments?

    When the author takes the time to develop character dialogue, it's really entertaining and intriguing. But there's relatively little dialogue and a glut of description.

    I will buy the final book in the series, to see where the hodgepodge of plots end and further appreciate the skills of Rosalyn Landor.

    Personal note: I bought three stories and absorbed them in days. That's got to say something. I'm having a hard time balancing the dissonance of sitting here in the comfort of my living room, making casual scathing comments about years of the author's hard work. It feels so callous. My opinion means so little, I know. If there wasn't a solid story underneath the jilting plot, absent dialogue, and liberal borrowing I'd have nothing to complain about. The story shines through a canopy of distractions. Thank you, Terry Brooks, for your writing, and for your efforts.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Orphan Train: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Christina Baker Kline
    • Narrated By Jessica Almasy, Suzanne Toren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4268)
    Performance
    (3805)
    Story
    (3808)

    Penobscot Indian Molly Ayer is close to "aging out" out of the foster care system. A community-service position helping an elderly woman clean out her home is the only thing keeping Molly out of juvie and worse.... As she helps Vivian sort through her possessions and memories, Molly learns that she and Vivian aren’t as different as they seem to be. A young Irish immigrant orphaned in New York City, Vivian was put on a train to the Midwest with hundreds of other children whose destinies would be determined by luck and chance.

    Kathi says: "Moving story of sharing and transformation."
    "Skillful intergenerational weaving"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Orphan Train to be better than the print version?


    Who was the most memorable character of Orphan Train and why?


    Any additional comments?

    The entire story rose and pitched like a small ship in a great thunderstorm. Raw and descriptive, heartfelt and gripping. I enjoyed the story and the narrators' skillful talents. Thank you!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Wards of Faerie: The Dark Legacy of Shannara

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Terry Brooks
    • Narrated By Rosalyn Landor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (370)
    Performance
    (328)
    Story
    (330)

    When the world was young, and its name was Faerie, the power of magic ruled - and the Elfstones warded the race of Elves and their lands, keeping evil at bay. But when an Elven girl fell hopelessly in love with a Darkling boy of the Void, he carried away more than her heart. Thousands of years later, tumultuous times are upon the world now known as the Four Lands. Users of magic are in conflict with proponents of science. Elves have distanced their society from the other races. The Druid order is threatened.

    Paul says: "Call It A Comeback!"
    "Mishmash, but entertaining"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about Wards of Faerie? What did you like least?

    Best:

    1. The author's depiction of a non gender-biased society, people are valued for their skills and not their gender. Inherent sexism is given no space in this book.

    2. Dialogue, when it's developed. In fact, the dialogue, when it heralded originality, i.e. wasn't overtly borrowing from other authors, was the very best part.

    3. Direct connections between the fallibility of the character's judgements and the outcomes of their futures. Everyone makes errors in judgement. As a reader, this allowed me to better identify with the character development. Killing off characters due to their own ego indulgence or faulty judgement was strangely validating, especially in comparison to other stories that refuse to allow characters to experience the consequences of faulty/immoral decisions.

    Least:

    1. Liberal borrowing of concepts/passages from other book series was thinly veiled: e.g. The Hobbit... Blend of faerie species on quest to dark land, led by powerful magic person, to recover stolen powerful magic treasure that will save the land; Star Trek/Dune/Harry Potter...think Volcan mind meld ala BeniJeserat mind probe ala Dumbledor memory threads; Star Wars... undisciplined, young son(s) with extraordinary skills and passion for flying machines, desperate to assist widowed mother, possessing special magical skills -wishsong aka "the Force"; King Killer Chronicles... Tempi warrior; Clan of the Cave Bear..."the Mogur used to have a name, long since forgotten, now he is just called The Mogur" and in this story, "the Speakman used to have a name, long since forgotten, now he is just called the Speakman;" Darkover... forbidden crystals that power flying machines skimming over the land (also StarTrek dilithium crystals, and more), Harry Potter/Darkover... Order of magic, prejudice against species and attempt to annihilate/genocide, etc., etc, etc,...

    2. Rush to character development: too much telling/description, too little showing/dialogue. As a reader, it's always more enriching for me to assess the characters through dialogue so I can draw my own conclusions, rather than be told what to think about the character, especially without supporting evidence.

    3. The chaotic, undeveloped entrance of myriad new characters. Plot twists and complexity are one thing, ADD plot twists are another.

    4. Abruptness. Everywhere.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Terry Brooks again?

    Yes. Despite the liberal borrowing, there was enough reconfiguration of used ideas and sprinkles of originality that I feel the need to finish the series.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    No. I've seen all those movies. Give me something entirely new.


    Any additional comments?

    The narrator's vocal abilities were fun. Nice job.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Testament of Mary

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Colm Toibin
    • Narrated By Meryl Streep
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (355)
    Performance
    (329)
    Story
    (320)

    Meryl Streep’s performance of Colm Tóibín's acclaimed portrait of Mary is hailed by the New York Times Book Review as “an ideal audiobook,” presenting the three-time Academy Award-winner in “yet another great role.” Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, Colm Tóibín's The Testament of Mary presents Mary as a solitary older woman still seeking to understand the events that become the narrative of the New Testament and the foundation of Christianity. In the ancient town of Ephesus, Mary lives alone, years after her son's crucifixion. She has no interest in collaborating with the authors of the Gospel. They are her keepers, providing her with food and shelter and visiting her regularly. She does not agree that her son is the Son of God; nor that his death was "worth it"; nor that the "group of misfits he gathered around him, men who could not look a woman in the eye," were holy disciples. This woman who we know from centuries of paintings and scripture as the docile, loving, silent, long-suffering, obedient, worshipful mother of Christ becomes a tragic heroine with the relentless eloquence of Electra or Medea or Antigone, in a portrait so vivid and convincing that our image of Mary will be forever transformed.

    ana says: "from a non believer..."
    "For open minds who like to think"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    The Testament of Mary offers an unapologetic perspective that requires thoughtful insight on the listener's part. The mother of the human Jesus, in times of political upheaval and oppression, offers her thoughts and opinions. They are secret thoughts that would inconvenience society, the powers that be, and the powers that want to be. It is a darker story of an already dark story. I appreciated the non-committal nature and query offered by this story. It's one of those stories that one can ponder over for months.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Testament of Mary?

    When Mary dared to take a stand and speak out.


    What about Meryl Streep’s performance did you like?

    Everything, it was Meryl Streep, after all. Meryl Streep captured the nuances of human expression with well placed, sighs, pauses, tone of voice and character that only Meryl can.


    Any additional comments?

    A must for any theology, political science, or gender studies course.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • A Tale for the Time Being

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Ruth Ozeki
    • Narrated By Ruth Ozeki
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (516)
    Performance
    (460)
    Story
    (460)

    In Tokyo, 16-year-old Nao has decided there's only one escape from her aching loneliness and her classmates' bullying. But before she ends it all, Nao first plans to document the life of her great grandmother, a Buddhist nun who's lived more than a century. A diary is Nao's only solace - and will touch lives in ways she can scarcely imagine. Across the Pacific, we meet Ruth, a novelist living on a remote island who discovers a collection of artifacts washed ashore in a Hello Kitty lunchbox - possibly debris from the devastating 2011 tsunami.

    Karen says: "Engaging story beautifully read"
    "Stick with it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    If you are at all interested in the complexity of human and family relationships, Japanese American intercultural issues, or environmental issues, this book successfully manages to weave all these topics into a wonderful mosaic of life and love and what's truly important. The author successfully moves between a bright 16 year old perspective to adult woman, to pride filled man, to wizened crone with seeming ease. Give it a little time to get used to the changing perspectives and you won't be able to put it down for long.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Land of Painted Caves: Earth's Children, Book 6

    • UNABRIDGED (34 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Jean M. Auel
    • Narrated By Sandra Burr
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1264)
    Performance
    (769)
    Story
    (782)

    Ayla, one of the most remarkable and beloved heroines in contemporary fiction, continues to explore the world and the people around her with curiosity, insight, and, above all, courage. As the story opens, Ayla, Jondalar, and their infant daughter, Jonayla, are living with the Zelandonii in the Ninth Cave - a shelter of stone. Ayla has been chosen as an acolyte and has embarked on the arduous task of training to become a spiritual leader.

    phillip says: "Be careful what you wish for!"
    "redundant"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    If the author had removed the incessant word for word repetitions of virtually all the highlights of all the other books in the series and omitted the endless repeats of said repetitions, the book would probably have been 30 minutes long. They ruined the story and did not add to it at all. By the time a 5th book is written, only the true fans remain, so ad nauseum repetitions are a disservice to the reader. By now, I can recite the Mother's song and the history word for word myself I heard it so many times (at least 10). Really? What was the point except to fill up pages?


    Has The Land of Painted Caves turned you off from other books in this genre?

    no - just turned me off from this author.


    Which character – as performed by Sandra Burr – was your favorite?

    All of them. She did a great job narrating. I can only imagine how tired she got of repeating the same thing over and over and over.


    What character would you cut from The Land of Painted Caves?

    Merona - too predictable and shallow, poor character development.


    Any additional comments?

    Making Jondolar suddenly stupid, shallow, and conniving in the last book - when he'd never shown the inclination toward either shallowness or infidelity - was a huge deviation from character. Listening to this book was a chore in comparison to Book 1. Each book became more and more diluted with word for word repetitions of previous books. I would not recommend reading past Book 3 of Earth's Children series. Or, just read Book 5 and you'll get the whole 5 stories summarized (repeatedly!) in 1 book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Getting Unstuck: Breaking Your Habitual Patterns and Encountering Naked Reality

    • ORIGINAL (3 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Pema Chodron
    • Narrated By Pema Chodron
    Overall
    (872)
    Performance
    (308)
    Story
    (297)

    On Getting Unstuck, Pema Chodron introduces a rare Tibetan teaching she received from her teacher, Dzigar Kontrul Rinpoche, and one that has become critical to her practice. Here, she unveils the mystery of an ineffable quality; a "pre-emotional" feeling that arises in us, brings us discomfort, and causes us to react by escaping the discomfort, often with harmful habits. With Getting Unstuck, she offers us a first look at "both the itch and the scratch": what Tibetan Buddhists call shenpa.

    J. Becker says: "Don't Need A Crowbar"
    "Must read for all human beings"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Getting Unstuck to be better than the print version?

    Pema's gentle humor and delightfully natural manner lend depth to the teachings.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Getting Unstuck?

    Pema discusses how life progress and growth is never very smooth and is always a struggle when she says "our progress is 5 steps forward, 5 steps back, 5 steps forward 4 and 1/2 steps back." This attitude of the whole book allows for us to be both flawed and hopeful as we grow.


    What about Pema Chodron’s performance did you like?

    Everything! Her understated sense of humor and the way she laughs at herself is so refreshing. Her humbleness and wisdom go hand and hand and it's simply amazing to listen to her words flow so smoothly carrying you along with the story.


    What did you learn from Getting Unstuck that you would use in your daily life?

    That it's okay to be flawed and that while progress is slow, just the act of recognizing failure is, in itself, progress.


    Any additional comments?

    Very good book for anyone working to recover from addiction or has been effected by another person's addictive behaviors. Also good for human beings in general.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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