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Bella McGuire

Science fiction, fantasy and mystery listener. Love anything with a good plot.

Canada | Member Since 2014

63
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 45 reviews
  • 46 ratings
  • 128 titles in library
  • 8 purchased in 2015
FOLLOWING
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FOLLOWERS
10

  • Joyland

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Michael Kelly
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3530)
    Performance
    (3257)
    Story
    (3258)

    Set in a small-town North Carolina amusement park in 1973, Joyland tells the story of the summer in which college student Devin Jones comes to work as a carny and confronts the legacy of a vicious murder, the fate of a dying child, and the ways both will change his life forever. Joyland is a brand-new novel and has never previously been published.

    Corey says: "Wow"
    "The sweest and creepiest coming of age story!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Stephen King has penned his first hard crime novel in Joyland, the tale of a serial killer in a amusement park. College student Devin Jones takes a job at a amusement park one summer. It will be a summer he won't forget as he recovers from a broken heart, learns what life is like as a "carny" and tries to solve a murder.

    I'm a big mystery reader. I have a whole bookcase dedicated to the greats and the more recent releases. So when I heard Stephen King was writing a mystery I was intrigued. I have loved everything King has written and I was really interested in seeing if he could pull off a mystery, without it turning into a horror "slash-em" novel. Well let me reassure die hard King fans - he can!!

    For me Joyland was more than just a murder mystery. It was a cold case murder mystery combined with a coming-of-age story that was possibly the sweetest coming-of-age story I've ever read. Well if you take away the creepy-serial killer-at-a-amusement-park thing!

    I really enjoyed the story from Devin's point of view. He is young, in love, and later nurses a broken heart. His year at Joyland was the year that he grew up and learnt so much, and this comes across so clearly in both King's writing and Michael Kelly's narration. It's a story of heartbreak, sorrow and death. It was a story that I am so glad I read, and one I will never forget.

    Joyland is a intriguing mystery and a coming-of-age story all rolled into one. I highly recommend it to both King fans and mystery fans alike. Michael Kelly's narration was fantastic, as he tells of the highs and lows of the summer.

    43 of 49 people found this review helpful
  • Cabin Pressure

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By John Finnemore
    • Narrated By Stephanie Cole, Roger Allam, Benedict Cumberbatch
    Overall
    (602)
    Performance
    (547)
    Story
    (544)

    John Finnemore (Dead Ringers & Mitchell & Webb) has written this brilliant new sitcom starring Stephanie Cole, Roger Allam & Benedict Cumberbatch. Cabin Pressure is set in a small airline business. The flipside of the glamorous world of international airlines.

    Gwynne says: "Fantastic!"
    "Delightful!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Cabin Pressure is a radio play set aboard a chartered plane and it's simply delightful. I admit I did first get this one because of Benedict Cumberbatch, but as I listened I found myself really enjoying what each of the actors brings to this hilarious play.

    It was side-splitting funny as you listen and watch while they get themselves into messes and have to figure out how to get themselves out.

    I listened to this one at work and I had to pause several times to catch my breathe because I was laughing too hard.

    If you like british comedy I highly recommend this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Equal Rites: Discworld #3

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Terry Pratchett
    • Narrated By Celia Imrie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1371)
    Performance
    (665)
    Story
    (673)

    Lisa L. Hilton says: "Lots of fun"
    "Discworld is as great in audio as it is in print!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm a big fan of the Discworld series and I've been reading them for over 15 years. I decided to start re-reading this series late last year, by experiencing it in audio format for the first time. Equal Rites is the second book I've listened on audio and I have to say I'm really enjoying the listening experience.

    As I have read (and re-read and re-read) this story many times I will concentrate on my thoughts on the audiobook. Celia Imrie does a great job of portraying the voices. The witches are some of my favorite characters in the Discworld series. In Equal Rites we get to meet Esk, who is to become the first female wizard (or so she hopes) and the brusque but lovable witch, Granny Weatherwax. They travel to Ankh Morpork to enrol Esk in the Unseen University.

    I loved hearing their journey and listening to the various voices Celia Imrie uses to portray the eclectic characters on the Disc. It was a fun experience and I'm thrilled to see that she narrates Wyrd Sisters, another Discworld story containing the witches.

    Equal Rites was a great re-read. I never get sick of this series and I'm looking forward to experiencing them all again this year.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Scoundrels: Star Wars

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Timothy Zahn
    • Narrated By Marc Thompson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (978)
    Performance
    (922)
    Story
    (924)

    Han Solo should be basking in his moment of glory. After all, the cocky smuggler and captain of the Millennium Falcon just played a key role in the daring raid that destroyed the Death Star and landed the first serious blow to the Empire in its war against the Rebel Alliance. But after losing the reward his heroics earned him, Han's got nothing to celebrate. Especially since he's deep in debt to the ruthless crime lord Jabba the Hutt. There's a bounty on Han's head - and if he can't cough up the credits, he'll surely pay with his hide. The only thing that can save him is a king's ransom. Or maybe a gangster's fortune?

    lawrence says: "I ROLLED MY CHANCE CUBES AND WON ON THIS BOOK!"
    "Ocean's Eleven Meets Star Wars"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm a "new" Star Wars fan that still prefers Episodes IV, V & VI to the prequels. I remember seeing Star Wars as a kid but it wasn't until I was an adult that I re-discovered it, along with a love of science fiction.

    I liked the look of this one, especially since Han Solo and Chewbacca are two of my favorite characters in the original movies. Scoundrels is set after A New Hope and before Empire Strikes Back. Han has survived the adventure of blowing up the Death Star and still on the run from Jabba the Hutt. When he is asks to take part in a great scheme, that will result in a lot of treasure. He puts together a eclectic team to help him, including his friend, Lando.

    As with any adventure a lot goes wrong, and it was interesting to see how it unfolded. It was like the heist to end all heists and it reminded me of a science fiction version of Oceans Eleven, with a unbelievable twist at the end.

    This is the first Star Wars book I've listened to. I previously read other Star Wars books and I really liked the narration. Marc Thompson does a great job, and at times I found it hard to believe that it wasn't Harrison Ford speaking as Han Solo.

    This was a great audiobook for me to dip my toe into Star Wars on audio and I will definitely be back for more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Way of Kings: Book One of The Stormlight Archive

    • UNABRIDGED (45 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Kate Reading, Michael Kramer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (13193)
    Performance
    (10468)
    Story
    (10532)

    Roshar is a world of stone and storms. Uncanny tempests of incredible power sweep across the rocky terrain so frequently that they have shaped ecology and civilization alike. Animals hide in shells, trees pull in branches, and grass retracts into the soilless ground. Cities are built only where the topography offers shelter. It has been centuries since the fall of the ten consecrated orders known as the Knights Radiant, but their Shardblades and Shardplate remain: mystical swords and suits of armor.

    Katy Crumpton says: "Very enjoyable (but a slight warning)"
    "Fabulous Fantasy!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    My first introduction to Brandon Sanderson was with Mistborn. I loved Mistborn an awful lot, and enjoyed the concepts. When Words of Radiance came out, I decided it was time to discover his other series, so I picked up The Way of Kings. It has taken me a while to get through The Way of Kings. It is over 1,250 pages of awesomeness and my own life has been busy. I would have rather have devoted a week and read it non-stop!


    Everything about The Way of Kings is awesome. Brandon Sanderson sets up the kingdom of Roshar, and the war the Alethi are waging against the Parshendi. In this world those born with lighteyes are above those born with darkeyes. Kaladin is a darkeyed, that has ended up a slave, and sees a life ahead of him carrying a bridge, and what will likely be a early death for him and his fellow bridgemen. Dalinar is the Uncle of King Elokhar and is trying to unite them and end the war against the Parshendi. Shallon is trying to steal a soulcaster and save her family, while she becomes an apprentice to the scholar, Jasnah. It is a world where only women read and write, and men fight the war of their lives. And there is also the lost radiants…

    I don’t have a lot of experience with epic fantasy. I’ve read The Lord of the Rings and a few others, but I’m mostly a newbie to fantasy books. The Way of Kings blew my mind and if this is an example of what I can expect in other fantasy series, I can’t wait to discover them.

    Each book in this series will mostly concentrate on one character and this was Kaladin’s story. While he wasn’t my favourite character (I really enjoyed the Shallon/Jasnah storylines), it was interesting to see his past and how he went from the son of a surgeon to a slave and a bridgemen in the war.

    There is a lot of hints of other storylines to follow and questions that haven’t been answered. I absolutely can’t wait to read Words of Radiance, which has already been released. The Way of Kings is definitely my favourite book of 2014 and I can’t wait to read more from Brandon Sanderson

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bermudez Triangle

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Maureen Johnson
    • Narrated By Ellen Archer
    Overall
    (24)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (16)

    Johnson begins this tale in a lightweight fashion but quickly segues into more serious issues that affect the three young women who make up the Bermudez Triangle. It is the summer before their senior year in Saratoga Springs, New York. At first, organized, serious Nina has trouble adjusting to her leadership workshop at Stanford University. Although she desperately misses Avery and Mel who are waitresses at a restaurant back home, she quickly falls head over heels for eco-warrior Steve.

    Bella McGuire says: "Enjoyable YA Story!"
    "Enjoyable YA Story!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Bermudez Triangle is a stand-alone story by Maureen Johnson, telling the story of three best friends, whose life changes when two of them fall in love.

    I've been a fan of Maureen Johnson since I first discovered her YA contemporaries many years ago. I've since been reading/listening to 1-2 books a year and find them just as enjoyable as the first ones I've discovered.

    I don't read a lot of YA contemporary fiction, just a handful a year. I liked this one because it is a different twist on boy-meets-girl. In this case it is Mel and Avery, who have known each other forever, that fall in love, leaving their third best friend feelilng on the out. Maureen Johnson wrote the story well and it kept me interested right to the end.

    This is only the second Maureen Johnson audiobook I've listened to and I enjoyed the narration as well. I'm planning to listen to a few more of her YA contemporaries on audio in 2015.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Murder of a Needled Knitter: A Scumble River Mystery, Book 17

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Denise Swanson
    • Narrated By Christine Leto
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (78)
    Performance
    (71)
    Story
    (72)

    School psychologist Skye Denison has been waiting forever for her happily-ever-after with police chief Wally Boyd. But her bliss threatens to unravel on the very first day of their luxurious honeymoon cruise, when Skye becomes convinced that she has glimpsed her mother on board! Surely even momzilla May wouldn't have manipulated Wally into booking the same trip that her knitting group is taking...or would she?

    Beatrice says: "Murderous Honeymoon"
    "Enjoyable Cozy Mystery!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I can’t imagine anything worse than going on your honeymoon with your MOTHER! Okay maybe going on your honey with a murderer on the same cruise ship! Well in Skye Denison-Boyd’s latest adventure she has both on her honeymoon. Her mother is on the same cruise ship as Skye and Wally and there is also a murderer on board.

    I liked Denise Swanson’s new book for a number of reasons. Firstly I love Scumble River and Skye and Wally. I’ve been reading these books for a long time and I’m glad to see Skye getting her happy ever after with Wally. Even if there honeymoon did include her mom, Mae. There is more interactions with Skye, Wally and her parents, Mae and Jed, then I’ve ever seen before. This of course happens when you’re stuck on a ship together. I love how Wally stands up for Skye, and we all know Mae is the kind of woman that it can be hard to get a word in!!

    I’ve also wanted to take a crochet cruise. It looks so relaxing to crochet on the water and visit new places. Mae and Jed are part of a knitting cruise group and it is anything but relaxing, especially with one of their own meeting her death. It turns out not all knitters are the peaceful, grandmotherly type!

    Murder of a Needled Knitter was a great adventure on the seas, and I liked watching Skye and Wally working together to solve the mystery! It was a tangled web and it left me guessing right until the end.

    I chose to listen to Murder of a Needled Knitter in audiobook format. It was my first time listening to Christine Leto narrate and it was a really enjoyable experience. I definitely will pick up future books in this series on audio. I love being able to knit and crochet while I listen, and Christine has a great voice to tell the ups and downs of a cozy mystery.

    Murder of a Needled Knitter was a great listen and I can’t wait to find out what is in store for Skye and Wally in their married life, when they return to Scumble River.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bless Her Dead Little Heart

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Miranda James
    • Narrated By Jorjeana Marie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (25)
    Performance
    (24)
    Story
    (24)

    With the Mississippi sun beating down, An’gel and Dickce are taking a break to cool off and pet sit their friend Charlie Harris’s cat, Diesel, when their former sorority sister, Rosabelle Sultan, shows up at their door unexpectedly, with her ne'er-do-well adult children not far behind. Rosabelle's selfish offspring are desperate to discover what's in her will, and it soon becomes clear that one of them would kill to get their hands on the inheritance.

    GameMaker says: "Awful Book With No Ending... Also Not About Animal"
    "Enjoyable New Series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This series is the spin off to Miranda James' Cats in the Stacks Mysteries and features Miss An'gel and Miss Dickce Ducote. The sisters are pet sitting Charlie Harris' maine coon cat, Diesel, and get themselves involved in an adventure. When their former sorority sister, Rosabelle Sultan, turns up on their door step, claiming that her family is trying to kill her they don't really believe her. After all Rosabelle loves drama! However when someone else falls victim to a trap set for Rosabelle it really looks like Rosabelle's family mean her harm. With the Sultan family residing at their house too, An'gel and Dickce must try to solve the mystery before they become the next victim.

    I just adore Diesel and the Cats in the Stacks Mysteries. This spin off was great. While I did miss Charlie Harris, I did like this story. An'gel and Dickce are such a hoot, and with their southern manners they tend to keep their snarky comments to themselves. That doesn't mean they don't think them. Rosabelle and her family are pretty uncouth and it was interesting watching them all clash with each other!

    This was my first time listening to a Miranda James novel. I've previously read all the others. However having said that I enjoyed Jorgena Marie's narration. I liked the southern accents she used and I would definitely listen to another book in this series, with her narration.

    Bless Her Dead Little Heart was a fun debut in this series. If you enjoy the Cats in the Stacks mysteries I thoroughly recommend picking this one up. If you are new to Miranda James give this one a try and I guarantee you that you will be racing out to buy her other series too!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Agatha Raisin and the Haunted House: An Agatha Raisin Mystery, Book 14

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By M. C. Beaton
    • Narrated By Penelope Keith
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (99)
    Performance
    (89)
    Story
    (87)

    Reports of a haunted house soon have amateur sleuth Agatha Raisin snooping around, only to discover the victim of the haunting is a universally disliked old biddy on whom someone is playing a practical joke. But then the old lady is murdered and, for Agatha, solving a crime is much more fun than ghost-busting. Very soon she’s up to her usual tricks, involving the villagers, local police, and, naturally, her handsome new neighbor.

    Mary says: "An amusing story"
    "Agatha Causes More Mischief!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love Agatha Raisin! She makes life in the country seem very exciting and she's always up to something. This time Agatha and her new neighbour, Paul, are investigating a haunted house. When the mean old lady that owns the house ends up dead, Agatha and Paul are sure it is murder and start to investigate.

    Agatha has such spirit, but she is also a romantic and looks to Paul to be her next love. Of course Paul is married and is just toying with her. She deserves so much better, and I was happy to see Sir Charles Fraith also get in on the action too. When it comes to her love life I know she is not suited for James Lacey and I hope maybe Sir Charles will continue to be in her life.

    Romance aside this was a really fun mystery, that delved into the history of the Cotswold. Agatha continues to bumble along until she has the case solved and her never-ending spirit and determination kept me interested.

    I love Penelope Keith's narration. She's one of my favorite narrators and the true voice of Agatha Raisin. I'm looking forward to picking up the next Agatha Raisin mystery.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Vision in Velvet: A Witchcraft Mystery, Book 6

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Juliet Blackwell
    • Narrated By Xe Sands
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (308)
    Performance
    (289)
    Story
    (286)

    As soon as Lily opens her recently purchased trunk of old clothes, she feels strange vibrations emanating from a mysterious velvet cloak. When she tries it on, Lily sees awful visions from the past. And when the antiques dealer who sold her the cape is killed, Lily suspects a supernatural force might be behind his death. Then Lily's familiar, Oscar the potbellied pig, disappears. Lily will do anything to get him back - including battling the spirit of a powerful witch reaching out from the past.

    Beatrice says: "A Vision in Velvet"
    "Kept Me on My Toes!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've been listening to this series on audio since the first book. I love watching how Lily has progressed with her witchy skills and her relationships and friendships as well. When Lily first arrived in the city she was slow to call on anyone to help her, and in A Vision in Velvet we can see how she's come full circle - especially with her familiar, Oscar, missing. She calls on everyone to help and she will move heaven and earth to bring Oscar back!!

    The mystery itself was really interested as it involved the Salem witch trials and the history surrounded witches was fascinating. This was a good mystery that kept me on my toes, and I didn't quite have it all solved before Lily.

    Xe Sands is outstanding as the voice of Lily and all the characters in Lily's life. However my favourite voice she narrates is Oscar!!! I will never imagine anyone else as the voice of Oscar. Another outstanding narration and I can't wait for the next book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The New World: Prequel to the Chaos Walking Trilogy

    • UNABRIDGED (47 mins)
    • By Patrick Ness
    • Narrated By Angela Dawe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (256)
    Performance
    (229)
    Story
    (235)

    The New World tells of Viola's journey to the New World, brilliantly capturing the hope and fear of settlers in search of a new life. Patrick Ness says that he wrote it "as a huge and deeply-felt thank you to readers. I've had so many questions about Viola and what her life was like before that I couldn't resist the opportunity to reveal just a little bit extra.

    CRISTY says: "Great start.."
    "Makes Me Want to Listen to the Rest of the Books!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoy science fiction, and in the last few years I've been reading more than my fair share of YA science fiction. Beth Revis' series starting with Across the Universe was one of my favourites. I picked up The New World a couple of years ago on Audible and didn't think to listen. That was until this week, when I was waiting for a new book to come out and thought I'd listen to The New World while I wait. Well The New World blew me away and I can't believe I haven't listened before now.

    The New World is a prequel and tells the story of Viola and her family, who are the landing party sent out to settle on a new world and report back. The new world isn't what Viola or her family expects.

    This story was a great teaser. It made me want to race out and grab the first book in this series. I plan to listen to the rest of the series right away!! It was narrated by Angela Dawe and I liked her narration of Viola, and how she portrayed Viola's doubts about the new world.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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