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Avonelle

White Plains, NY, United States | Member Since 2010

ratings
41
REVIEWS
12
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
6

  • Thorn Queen: Dark Swan, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Richelle Mead
    • Narrated By Jennifer Van Dyck
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (572)
    Performance
    (367)
    Story
    (368)

    Eugenie Markham is a shaman for hire, paid to bind and banish creatures from the Otherworld. But after her last battle, she s also become queen of the Thorn Land. It's hardly an envious life, not with her kingdom in tatters, her love life in chaos, and Eugenie eager to avoid the prophecy about her firstborn destroying mankind. And now young girls are disappearing from the Otherworld, and no one--except Eugenie--seems willing to find out why.

    Dharma says: "Absolute power corrupts absolutely"
    "Great Light Fantasy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really enjoy the Dark Swan series overall. Eugenie will frustrate the heck out of you, but a heroine that isn't always right is a refreshing perspective.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Vision of Murder: Psychic Eye Mysteries, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Victoria Laurie
    • Narrated By Elizabeth Michaels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (560)
    Performance
    (427)
    Story
    (427)

    Professional psychic Abby Cooper has invested in a fixer-upper, hoping to make a killing in the real estate market. But a killing of another kind puts her plans awry, as the ghost of a murdered woman and some troublesome poltergeists lead her into a mystery that stretches all the way back to World War II.

    Yuriko says: "Mystery solving couple"
    "Terrible Dynamic, Surprisingly Petty"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I want so very much to love this series. It's so close to good, but the ways it fails are really spectacular to me.

    One - why write in a couple dynamic if they're going to be petty and awful towards each other? Abby is downright snotty about helping Dutch out, and then he's just dreadful towards her. It's uncomfortable. The author doesn't seem to like these two as a couple.

    It's the author's prerogative to write whatever dynamic she wants, but it's my prerogative not to listen. I'm done with the series once I finish this book.

    Two - the treatment of TJ, the single gay character in the book, was small-minded and awful. If your punchline is a person, and the person is funny because he's gay, you've missed a mark somewhere.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Morgue Drawer Four: Morgue Drawer, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Jutta Profijt
    • Narrated By MacLeod Andrews
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (169)
    Performance
    (145)
    Story
    (143)

    Shy, but scrupulous, he is happy working as a coroner in the Cologne morgue - until one of his usually taciturn “clients” starts talking to him. It seems the ghost of a recently deceased (and surprisingly chatty) small-time car thief named Pascha is lingering near his lifeless body in drawer number four of Martin’s morgue. He remains for one reason: his accidental death was actually murder. Pascha isn’t too keen on the good doctor, considering the tidy manner in which his body was dissected upon the autopsy table.

    Avonelle says: "Deeply strange. very enjoyable"
    "Deeply strange. very enjoyable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    We found this book to be quirky, adorable and quite enjoyable. I think it's worth your time, though expect a very idiosyncratic little story.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Troubled Waters: Elemental Blessings, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Sharon Shinn
    • Narrated By Jennifer Van Dyck
    Overall
    (500)
    Performance
    (349)
    Story
    (354)

    Zoe Ardelay receives astonishing and unwelcome news: she has been chosen to become the king's fifth wife. Forced to go to the royal city, she manages to slip away and hide on the shores of the mighty river. It's there that Zoe realizes she is a coru prime, ruled by the elemental sign of water. She must return to the palace, not as an unwilling bride for the king, but a woman with power in her own right.

    Katherine says: "Really pleasant"
    "Ends in Cliffhanger. Sequel not Out Yet."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    One - this book ends in almost a cliffhanger; there's no resolution.
    Two - at the end, it gets suddenly a little creepy and a little dark, and needs a trigger warning.*
    Three - from the author's website, it looks like it's book one in a series. Book 2 is due out in hard cover sometime next month.

    With all of that out of the way, I loved this world. I loved the protagonist, I loved that it's a fantasy world that's absolutely NOT elves and orcs. I appreciated the language and the plot twists, even though I called them fairly early.

    adding some space for trigger warnings, which are also a lot spoiler:
    .
    .
    .
    .

    *You'll probably catch on through the scenes with the visiting dignitaries that one of the king's daughters is being pawed at by members of a court described as "debauched". For a brief, sickening, awful few minutes, it seems that a Princess is being traded in marriage to a child molesting viceroy. I almost stopped listening. child trafficking, complicit family members, etc. I stopped reading game of thrones, because I don't need that stuff in my fiction, right? But the heroine literally jumps in and stops the proceedings, at the risk of her position at court, and the story is redeemed. Mostly. I still don't know that I feel the need to waft child rape and molestation through my otherwise enjoyable fantasy stories - "realism" aside.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Fault in Our Stars

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By John Green
    • Narrated By Kate Rudd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10560)
    Performance
    (9698)
    Story
    (9747)

    Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten. Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning-author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.

    FanB14 says: "Sad Premise, Fantastic Story"
    "Heartbreaking and beautiful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a lovely, heartbreaking, awkward book - perfect for the story it tells. It's worth hanging in and listening to the interview with the author at the end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Discovery of Witches

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Deborah Harkness
    • Narrated By Jennifer Ikeda
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9500)
    Performance
    (7002)
    Story
    (7045)

    Deep in the stacks of Oxford's Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library.

    Tim says: "True Blood PG13"
    "So good I immediately bought the next book!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love the characters, the reader, the pacing. Deborah Harkness writes with the clarity of somebody who knows a city and loves it; the campus of Oxford is as much a character in the story as Diana or Matthew. The story is witchy and full of vampires without being cliche or trite.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Night Circus

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Erin Morgenstern
    • Narrated By Jim Dale
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6288)
    Performance
    (5588)
    Story
    (5584)

    The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

    Pamela says: "The circus of your dreams"
    "Evocative, engaging and satisfying"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It took me a little while to catch on to the time shifts - pay attention to those. Once the rhythm and cadence of the story catches you, it's easy to see the characters in their world. I listen to very few books a second time, and would seriously consider relistening to Night Circus.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Botany of Desire

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Michael Pollan
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1486)
    Performance
    (760)
    Story
    (762)

    Every schoolchild learns about the mutually beneficial dance of honeybees and flowers: The bee collects nectar and pollen to make honey and, in the process, spreads the flowers' genes far and wide. In The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan ingeniously demonstrates how people and domesticated plants have formed a similarly reciprocal relationship.

    Teddy says: "If you have an open mind... Give it a listen"
    "I've talked about this book at every party"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you're a history, sociology or anthropology nerd, this book is a fun, light listen, in the vein of the $64 Dollar Tomato. I think the first section, on the evolution of the modern apple, is the most fascinating of the book.

    I'm a big fan of Scott Brick's narration - he's easily one of my favorite male narrators.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: The Millennium Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Stieg Larsson
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (23148)
    Performance
    (9785)
    Story
    (9856)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: How do you one-up a book that’s already a global literary phenomenon? Hire Simon Vance to (flawlessly) interpret the loves, lives, and murders of Sweden’s cold and secret-filled world. A spellbinding amalgam of murder mystery, family saga, love story, and financial intrigue. It's about the disappearance 40 years ago of Harriet Vanger, a young scion of one of the wealthiest families in Sweden.

    Pamela Murphy says: "COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN"
    "Surprisingly engaging"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I avoided all spoilers. I had no idea what the story was about, or who the major players were - just that there was a strong female lead.

    This story isn't quite a thriller - there's too much politics for that. But it was a pleasant, engaging set of intertwined plots. And the narrator was pretty much perfect for the part.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Industrial Magic: Women of the Otherworld, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Kelley Armstrong
    • Narrated By Laural Merlington
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (413)
    Performance
    (236)
    Story
    (245)

    In the aftermath of her mother's murder, Paige Winterbourne broke with the elite, ultraconservative American Coven of Witches. Now her goal is to start a new coven for a new generation. But while Paige pitches her vision to uptight 30-something witches in business suits, a more urgent matter commands her attention. Someone is murdering the teenage offspring of the underworld's most influential cabals - a circle of families that makes the mob look like amateurs.

    T. D. Bell says: "good book"
    "Love This Series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    We've enjoyed everything we've heard from Kelley Armstrong. Her characters are interesting and quirky, and we look forward to future releases.

    Not all "brain candy" books are paced right to be engaging as audiobooks - either they move too fast and you end up feeling like the main characters are skating through their lives, or too slowly and you get distracted by your own thoughts instead of listening to them. Kelley Armstrong's books "work" in this format.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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