This series sounds good and the reviews are high, but it's just not holding my interest. I'm not sure why, but it doesn't to keep focus on the main plot line and gets bogged down with other smaller escapades.
Narrator is very talented, but she seems to be content with just a mediocre performance. She will often pause, then add the rest of the sentence on like it's an afterthought. Sometimes she rushes into the next paragraph when a tiny pause would have made the topic change a little clearer.
I'm going to try one more book and hope...
STORY (western) - I have totally loved this series -- good writing, well-developed characters, lots of action and a great story line -- but this book was my least favorite. The series is about two brothers (Cody and Buck) who are separated by the Civil War and the murder of their parents by Indians. They are reunited in this book, which is kind of a spoiler but they mention it in the synopsis so I'm not giving away anything new. The reuinion is unexpected and totally awesome, but it's in the beginning of this book, and in my opinion everything that happens after that is anticlimactic. Heartwarming and enjoyable, but kind of just filler stuff.
PERFORMANCE - Mr. Engene is a great narrator. He has so many different cowboy character voices that he could read the phone book and make you feel like you're in the wild, wild west!
OVERALL - I'd recommend this series for family listening, as there's something for everyone to enjoy. Men and kids will enjoy the cowboy action, but I'm an adult female and I loved the story of the two brothers. There's no sex or cursing, and the only violence is Indian raids and cowboy shootouts. You should start with Book 1 and listen in order. Once you become acquainted with the brothers and hear their individual stories, you will want to continue until they're reunited.
STORY (mystery/thriller) - As the summary reveals, ten people are mysteriously invited to a small island. Once there, they are killed one by one, and the remaining guests must try to figure who the killer is and try to stay alive. I thoroughly enjoyed the book, but there are ten main characters you must keep straight so be prepared to listen carefully. I usually listen to books in sessions varying from 15 minutes to 1 1/2 hours which are split up over several days. Sometimes I got a little confused who was who, but that was my own fault for breaking my listening time into such disjointed pieces.
PERFORMANCE - Very good job! Mr. Stevens gives distinguishable voices to most of the ten main characters in this story. It really helps keep straight who is who.
OVERALL - Recommended for anyone who likes murder mysteries -- male, female, young, old. There's obviously murder, but it's described very simply and isn't gross. No cursing, no sex.
P.S. I listened to an Audible freebie called Whodunnit?: Murder on Mystery Island, which is similar but not quite as good (and also kind of gross). Don't know if it's still free, but if you like this book you might try that one as well.
STORY (new adult romance) - I really loved this story. Book 1, "Easy," is Jacqueline's story. This second book is from Lucas' POV. They both cover pretty much the same territory but, since this is told from Lucas' male perspective, it didn't seem repetitive. Lucas has the sexual preoccupation you might expect of a college student, but he's also very sensitive and romantic. First he's obsessed with meeting Jacqueline and then he just wants to love, protect and cherish her. And did I mention he's HOT? (swoon!)
For those who have not heard "Easy," Landon Lucas Maxfield (main character) is emotionally complicated. His happy childhood was interrupted by a horrific event when he was 13, after which time he began going by his middle name and became a partying "bad boy." This book alternates between two timelines - one about Landon, beginning immediately after that event and continuing till high school graduation. The other timeline is told by Lucas, beginning sometime during his senior year in college when he meets Jacqueline. And, yes, by the end of this book you will have answers to all the questions about Lucas that were left unanswered in "Easy."
PERFORMANCE - One of my new favorite narrators. His voice is sexy, sensitive and emotional. He does a great job with the voice of younger Landon, an old man and Landon's country-boy best friend. And when he does the emotional flashback Lucas has of the horrible event, wow! Just wow.
OVERALL - This book contains quite a bit of cursing, especially F-bombs. There's several kissy-feely scenes and some fairly explicit sex scenes as well. There's some fighting between students and also rape. It's Book 2 in the series and can stand alone, but I'd highly recommend you start with Book 1 and hear Jacqueline's story first. Recommended for females of any age who are old enough to deal with the subject matter and have an affinity for bad boys.
STORY (modern fiction) - Yes, the title of the book has the word "detective" in it and the main character is a detective, but this is not your typical detective book. The main character, Precious Ramotswe, is female, self-admittedly very fat, and has no detective training whatsoever. She lives in Botswana and drives a tiny white van (three words which you will hear about 50 times). She just decides to open up a detective business and does it. Throughout the book she is referred to as "Mma Ramotswe," which apparently is some form of title similar to Miss or Madam or Mrs. and is pronounced "Ma."
Anyway, Mma Ramotswe solves probably six or seven mysteries throughout the book. They are all fairly simple problems like following a possible cheating husband or figuring out why a doctor seems to be behaving strangely. She solves these problems with nothing more than a good heart, common sense and some very creative lying. Yes, lying. She drives around in that tiny white van following people, then comes up with some pretty good whoppers to convince them to tell her what she needs to know so she can solve her case. And she always does.
The book is very easy listening. You're not going to get anxious or sad, and your mind can wonder a bit and you won't lose your place. That's not to say it's boring. It's well written with nice descriptions of African landscape and villages. It's just easy, entertaining and a nice little escape to Africa!
PERFORMANCE - Ms. Lecat has a lovely voice. I don't know if her accent is authentic African, but it convinced me. She also performs some nice male characters, one with a convincing Indian accent as well. Sometimes I could kind of her her lips opening and closing which was a little distracting, but she did a great job overall.
OVERALL - Very clean book with no sex, cursing or violence. I think it would appeal mostly to adult females, but I suppose guys and teenagers could also find it enjoyable. This is Book 1 of the series, so there is more character development and family history than I would expect in later books. The story can stand alone.
STORY (detective) - In this story Quinn (who is normally a "cleaner" for government ops) is involved personally with the case. People he loves and cares about are killed and injured, and he has to figure out who and why and make things right. The detective work is interesting and I found the book thoroughly enjoyable.
PERFORMANCE - I always love Scott Brick, and he delivers again with The Enraged.
OVERALL (actual rating 4.5) - Recommended for men and women of all ages. Be prepared for a fast-moving story with action, violence and a little bit of cursing. I've been skipping around in this series (Book 5, then 4.1 and now this Book 7). Each book stands alone, but I do feel like I'm missing some good character/relationship development by not going in order. I'd recommend starting with Book 4.1, which as far as I can tell should be Book 1 because it explains how Jake the cop turns into Quinn the cleaner.
STORY (personal memoir) - Heard great things about the movie, so had to at least listen to the book. As you can see from the title, this story is about a four-year-old boy, Colton Burpo, who goes to the hospital, has a near-death experience, goes to heaven and comes back. I really wanted to love this story and hoped it would lay to rest some burning questions...but it just didn't. It starts with a great interview with Todd Burpo (dad). Then the story begins by enumerating a lot of the health problems he had been having and how these tested his faith. Then it moves to little Colton's mysterious illness and all the hours the family spent trying to get him cured. Poor Colton really suffered for a couple weeks, and his parents suffered right along with him. After Colton comes home from the hospital, he starts revealing little things that start suggesting that perhaps he had been to heaven. I thoroughly enjoyed and believed the book till somewhere around his fourth or fifth revelation. Then we get to what made the story less believable...
First off, Colton's father is a pastor, so if little Colton says something like, "Hey, Dad, I saw an angel," Pastor Burpo starts comparing what Colton says to something in the Bible that supposedly validates his story. Second, almost everything Colton revealed went like this, "Hey, Dad"... (insert religious fact here) ... "and then he went off to play with his action heroes and left us standing there aghast." Thirdly, it's like nothing is left out, it's too perfect. Colton supposedly saw Jesus and God and John the Baptist and Mary and angels and the devil and golden streets and thrones and blah, blah. Then Colton starts repeating "Jesus loves us all" all the time. Sounds just like reading a religious pamphlet. It would have been much more believable had his dad not been a pastor with so much to gain by preaching every chance he got and if everything weren't tied up with a perfect little Bible bow.
I'll sum up by saying that Pastor Burpo sounds like a genuinely nice guy and I am not calling him a liar. I'm just saying this story was not 100% believable when heard with MY ears and processed through MY brain. It was, however, a short, enjoyable listen.
PERFORMANCE - Read by a male who did a pretty good job, especially when portraying young Colton.
OVERALL - I'd recommend this for anyone who might be interested in the subject matter, and you can make up your own mind whether you believe the story or not. It's interesting and entertaining, if nothing else. Probably should be previewed before letting younger children listen, mainly because of all Colton's suffering in the hospital.
STORY (self-help/motivational) - I used to just be a social drinker. Now I look forward to a glass of wine, sometimes two, most days after work. I've gained weight and feel guilty that I'm probably harming my health. I've made efforts to stop drinking during the week at home, but that bottle of wine always finds a way to jump off the shelf and into my shopping cart. If it doesn't, I just steal a couple beers from my hubby's weekend stash. NOT GOOD!!
This book is motivational, but it also has lots of scientific information. You will hear how alcohol is an ADDICTIVE DRUG that would not obtain an FDA approval of safety if it were introduced today. It has become socially acceptable, almost necessary. We have been brainwashed by the alcohol industry into thinking it makes us more relaxed, more confident, more fun, more sexy and that we are SUPPOSED TO DRINK at social occasions. You will hear the words in my headline over and over during this book, and you will hear why ALL drinkers are playing Russian roulette with potential addiction. Bottom line is we all need to see it for what it is and stop drinking.
Mr. Beck lays out a multi-prong attack for stopping consumption of this poison. It involves understanding the harm alcohol does to your body and its addictive properties. He suggests ways to change how you look at alcohol (including listening to a recording on his website which reprograms your subconscious mind). He also suggests the reader purchase a few supplements, which makes perfect sense when you understand why you need them. He suggests a few "new age" techniques which he admits may sound far-fetched to more traditional thinkers (myself included), but I plan to at least give them a try. I want to stop gaining weight, sleep better and stop doing harm to my body with this poison.
PERFORMANCE - The writer is a great motivational speaker and does a good job reading his own work. He has a pleasant British accent.
OVERALL - If you regularly consume alcohol and want to learn why you should stop drinking and how to do it, this book just might be what you're looking for.
STORY (scientific memoir) - Working Stiff gives listeners an unusual and exciting glimpse into the world of Medical Examiners, told through the eyes of a young female doctor who is beginning her training in that field. You will hear tales of investigations into all kinds of deaths, from natural causes to drug overdose, murder, suicide, even due to the catastrophe at the World Trade Center on 9/11. Not only do Medical Examiners perform autopsies, but they also must perform their own investigations into crime scenes, ballistics, lab work, etc., before determining the cause of death to be put on death certificates. They also consult with the police and testify in trial. The entire book is totally fascinating...and totally gross.
I am a squeamish person, I'll admit, and I don't like watching violence or my husband's blood-and-guts action shows on TV, but I didn't have any trouble listening to this book. Hearing is not seeing, so I was fine...except once. I was cooking dinner when she launched into a dissertation about maggots, so I quickly turned the book off. That being said, I really loved the science behind her investigations and autopsies. I took a course in medical terminology in college, which helped me understand different procedures and body parts, but I think most listeners will be fine without that additional training.
PERFORMANCE - I really enjoyed Ms. Eby's performance. She has a pleasant, upbeat voice. Some reviewers have criticized her as being too perky and dramatic, but I thought that helped make the whole subject matter more palatable. She also does a really good job of performing men's voices, way better than most attempts by female narrators. She talks at a pretty fast clip, but I was able to understand fine without having to slow it down.
OVERALL - Recommended for men and women, adults only. As I said, I'm pretty wimpy and still was okay with this book, but it's definitely not for the faint of heart. There are graphic descriptions of how dead people are found and how their autopsies are performed. The author drops a few F-words as well.
STORY (true sports documentary) - First off, I'm female and I love high school football. I heard about this incredible story when researching how my own team's winning streak (54 games) stacked up against past streaks. This book is about a great accomplishment, a great coaching program and a great philosophy for kids to learn, but football is meant to be watched, not heard, and there is so much history about the school and details about past and current players that I wanted to quit listening multiple times and just review this as "Could Not Finish." From watching previews, it appears that the movie (which is dramatized) would be much more entertaining than this book, plus it's only two hours. My advice is GO SEE THE MOVIE INSTEAD!!
There are wonderful lessons to be learned, however. One of my favorite quotes by the head coach, Bob Ladouceur, is "Victories are a byproduct of a larger vision." There are so many good lessons in this book that I actually feel guilty giving it a bad review.
PERFORMANCE - Mr. Linton's performance isn't terrible, but I found it pretty irritating. He has a pleasant voice, but he often has a broken rhythm and emphasizes the wrong word in a sentence. Then what really drove me crazy was his pronunciation of the word "self." He says it "salf." Maybe it's just that I'm used to Texas accents but I cringed every time I heard himsalf, yoursalf, mysalf. Scream!
OVERALL - I would only recommend this book to (a) people closely affiliated with this school and its story or (b) opposing coaches or players who might be interested in all the details about what made this football program so dominating. It's a very "clean" book ( no sex or bad language) and It's inspirational, but I'm very, very glad it's over!
STORY (suspense) - I listened to one of the later books in this series and liked it enough to try Book 1, then this Book 2. I must confess that now I'm going to attempt to listen to the whole humongous series in order. Yes, it's that good. It's set somewhere around the year 2050 in New York, so there are some cool futuristic gadgets. Eve Dallas, the main character, is a young police lieutenant who is dedicated to her job. Her romantic interest, Roark, is a sexy billionaire. In each book of the series Eve faces a new crime, and in each book the romance with Roark progresses a little bit more.
This book, Glory in Death, begins with the murder of a famous female attorney. Her throat is cut as she is leaving a bar late at night on the wrong side of town. Why was she there? Had someone she had prosecuted in the past killed her out of revenge? Could it be her ex-husband? The story is fast-paced with great characters. First and foremost, it is about finding the murderer, but the romance between Eve and Roark is sweet and sexy and is a nice filler between the more intense scenes.
PERFORMANCE - Not only is this series well-written, but it's also very well-performed. Susan Ericksen does a wonderful job of distinguishing between characters and portraying their various emotions. Love the robotic voice she gives to the droids!
OVERALL - Great book! Highly recommended for anyone who likes this genre. Probably would appeal more to women since there's romance and the main character is female, but pretty sure guys would enjoy it as well. Eve has a bit of a potty mouth so be prepared for some F words and other expletives, but I wouldn't say it's excessive. The sex scenes are hot but they don't last long and aren't very explicit. The story stands alone and the mystery is solved within this book, but the romance between Eve and Roark continues...
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