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Irvine, CA, United States | Member Since 2005

  • 8 reviews
  • 13 ratings
  • 626 titles in library
  • 41 purchased in 2014

  • Dune: House Atreides: House Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Brian Herbert, Kevin J. Anderson
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Capturing all the complexity and grand themes of the original, this prequel to the Dune series weaves a new tapestry of betrayal, passion, and destiny into a saga that expands the tale written by Frank Herbert more than 30 years ago.

    Robert says: "Maybe better than original Audible production."
    "Great story, incredibly annoying delivery by Brick"

    The Dune story captured my interest decades ago when my cousin described his experience reading it. Back then, I felt reading represented more effort than benefit, so I never took the plunge.

    Now that I have discovered audio books, a world has opened to me. Not only does it make it possible for me to read more than I could if restricted to those times when I am trapped with a book in my hands, unable to do other things, but often, the story unfolds in a way that surpasses the traditional reading experience, because the narrator can add a wonderful and expanded dimension.

    So it is with sadness that I must abandon this audio series, because in this case, the narrator not only fails to add to the experience, but detracts from it to such an extent that I cannot bear it any longer.

    Scott Brick's affected, incessant, and continuously distracting, sing-song delivery is terribly annoying to me. I have listened to a few other books narrated by this man, and each one has served to confirm and compound the unpleasant experience.

    I am at a loss to understand why/how he continues to be chosen by authors and publishers to deliver their stories. And I am disappointed that there are numerous books and book series that I will be forced to read in the traditional way if I want to experience them, because when he is the narrator, I cannot subject myself to the annoyance any further; it's especially a shame with the Dune series, because if not for Brick's interference, I would truly wish to continue.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Daughter of the Forest: Sevenwaters, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Juliet Marillier
    • Narrated By Terry Donnelly
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Lovely Sorcha is the seventh child and only daughter of Lord Colum of Sevenwaters. Bereft of a mother, she is comforted by her six brothers who love and protect her. Sorcha is the light in their lives and they are determined that she know only contentment. But Sorcha's joy is shattered when her father is bewitched by his new wife, an evil enchantress who binds her brothers with a terrible spell, a spell which only Sorcha can lift - by staying silent.

    Bruce says: "My gratitude for this work of art!"
    "My gratitude for this work of art!"

    In a stroke of serendipity, I happened upon this trilogy as a consequence of Audible's recent promotional introduction of new series. What a delightful discovery!

    I am still enjoying part three of the first book, and I can anticipate that I will be very sad when I finish the last part of the final book (but I can also anticipate that this is a series that will warrant another listen, or two). I have been thoroughly engaged from the start, and unlike so many other audiobooks I have tried, I can find NOTHING to criticize.

    I think any revered author would enjoy the opportunity to explore the imagination and linguistic prowess of Juliet Marillier, and any listener would be entranced by the voice, emotional emphasis, and cadence of Terry Donnelly!

    I have not read or listened to any of this author’s other works yet, but from this story, I feel I know something about her that I love. The characters in this book are like phrases from a piece of music with every note in its perfect place. They, and the scenes in which they exist are beautiful and memorable.

    The narrator has added a significant contribution to the experience for me, which so often is not the case. I have so many times been able to recognize an author’s talent, but been prevented from enjoying it because the narrator distracts from it to some degree. Not so here. As I eventually look to explore more stories from Juliet Marillier, they will be even more compelling if Terry Donnelly is again chosen to read them!

    I could go on to say more, but I will simply end by offering my recommendation that if you decide to try this book, you will likely rejoice the credit and time you spent to do so!

    8 of 8 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

    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"
    "This wonderful story appealed to me on many levels"
    What did you love best about The Fault in Our Stars?

    I was inspired by the courageous, rational, intelligent, and thoughtful ways in which the characters dealt with their challenges, experiences, and with each other. These are characters that you would like to be friends with, and to have with you during life's highs and lows.

    Who was your favorite character and why?

    That's a difficult choice to make because both Hazel and Augustus were so unique and special. I guess if forced to pick only one, I might claim Augustus as my favorite because of the persistent and witty ways in which he pursued and won Hazel's heart.

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

    None before this. But her performance was so excellent that she has definitely won a place on my small list of favorites, right up there with Kate Reading.

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

    I both laughed and cried. Because of my own personal challenges with cancer, I gained inspiration and ideas about dealing with them more bravely and positively. Even during this book's saddest moments, I found them to be more touching and tender than depressing.

    Any additional comments?

    I understand the tendency of many people to turn to religion for comfort and shelter from some of life's trials. I greatly appreciate John Green's rational, reasonable, and responsible treatment of the subjects of God and the afterlife. I think the concept of preservation of souls is lovely, and while I can't claim to share Augustus' belief in such a thing, I do derive some comfort from hoping that it may be true.

    I think I will likely add to my Facebook list of favorite quotes Hazel's comment, "I'd always associated belief in heaven with, frankly, a kind of intellectual disengagement"

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dragon Bound: Elder Races Series #1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Thea Harrison
    • Narrated By Sophie Eastlake
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Half human and half Wyr, Pia Giovanni spent her life keeping a low profile among the Wyrkind and avoiding the continuing conflict between them and their Dark Fae enemies. But after being blackmailed into stealing a coin from the hoard of a dragon, Pia finds herself targeted by one of the most powerful---and passionate---of the Elder Races.

    Amazon Customer says: "Woo Freakin Hoo!"
    "A new category is needed to protect listeners"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    This book seems to me like it would only appeal to females, and in particular, probably only heterosexual females. If there was a specific genre, or a genre qualification to indicate that fact, it might help potential readers avoid time spent discovering the fact for themselves. I suppose one might use the fact that the author is female, and the majority of reviewers are also female, but that takes too much time. This book was a waste of time for me.

    Has Dragon Bound turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No, but it has definitely turned me off from other books by this author!

    Would you listen to another book narrated by Sophie Eastlake?


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Dragon Bound?

    I wouldn't be so eager to cut scenes perhaps, but rather add a balance of scenes that could be appreciated equally from either a male/female and straight/gay perspective.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Live Free or Die: Troy Rising, Book One

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By John Ringo
    • Narrated By Mark Boyett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    When aliens trundled a gate to other worlds into the solar system, the world reacted with awe, hope and fear. But the first aliens to come through, the Glatun, were peaceful traders and the world breathed a sigh of relief.

    Amazon Customer says: "Republican Physicists in Space!!!"
    "Author's orientation dominates the story"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    The author's strong right-wing orientation made this book absolutely insufferable for me. I have rarely abandoned any of the books I have purchased, but this one put a bad taste in my mouth more quickly than any other. I have not submitted such an unfavorable review before, and was delighted at Audible's gracious policy to allow me to return it. I certainly don't want it lingering in my library any longer, lest I should accidentally contemplate reading it again!

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Stone of Tears: Sword of Truth, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (38 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Terry Goodkind
    • Narrated By Jim Bond
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The veil to the underworld has been torn, and Rahl, from beyond the veil, begins to summon a sinister power more dreadful than any he has wielded before. Horrifying creatures escape through the torn veil, wreaking havoc on the unsuspecting world above.

    Bo Laughlin says: "Great Book - Almost ruined by the narrator"
    "So sad when narration subtracts from the story"

    I regret to be critical of a narrator who is undoubtedly intending to do the best job possible, but I am so disappointed that I can't hold it back. I would have rated this book 4 or 5 stars, but the choice of narrator so detracts (and distracts) from the story that it barely deserves 2. This narrator's voice has a pleasant tone, but that is the extent of his talent. I cannot remember any of the MANY books I have listened to that were so spoiled by the narration. What a shame! When I decided to purchase book 2 of the series, I noticed that many different narrators were used for the various books, and I thought it peculiar. Now that I have invested a few hours into book 2, and am having to plow through it, wishing that it was being performed by someone else, I decided to look ahead to see if this narrator was chosen for any of the future books. I was so disappointed to find the answer is yes, that I am nearly certain that I will abandon the whole series and move on to something else. Too bad, because I think the author is very talented, and I would otherwise enjoy the series. I truly hope this narrator will seek a different profession, and do all us listeners a favor.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Story of Edgar Sawtelle

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By David Wroblewski
    • Narrated By Richard Poe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Born mute, speaking only in sign, Edgar Sawtelle leads an idyllic life with his parents and an unusual breed of dogs on their farm in remote northern Wisconsin. But when tragedy strikes the Sawtelle family, Edgar flees to the surrounding wilderness. He comes of age in the wild, fighting for his survival and that of the three yearling dogs who follow him.

    Ella says: "Just OK"
    "Must READ reviews; Number of stars doesn't cut it."

    This writer used his mastery of English to create a rich tapestry of words. All the characters were wonderfully developed. The story was sometimes (particularly for me, in the first few hours) sluggish and a bit boring, but was otherwise very engaging; until the end, which was entirely dismal and VERY disappointing. My selection was based on the book's popularity (according to the number of stars). I see I must take more time in future to read the reviews, if I hope to enjoy the whole experience. I cannot recommend this book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • A Prisoner of Birth

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Jeffrey Archer
    • Narrated By Roger Allam
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    One evening, Danny, an East End cockney who works as a garage mechanic, takes his girlfriend up to the West End to celebrate their engagement. He crosses the path of Spencer Craig, a West End barrister tipped to be the youngest Queen's Counsel of his generation. A few hours later Danny is arrested for murder and later is sentenced to 22 years in prison.

    Debbie McKelvey says: "Very Entertaining"
    "Engaging from beginning to end"

    I zipped through this book so quickly, I was sad to reach the end. The story is very intricate, but not so much as to be tedious to follow. The intrigue really ramps up near the end. The narrator has a mellifluous voice, and his impressions of the different characters added significantly to my enjoyment. I have not submitted reviews any of the other books I have listened to, but this one demanded that I spend some time to recommend it. Congratulations and thanks to both author and narrator for superb performances!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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