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Caroline

ratings
6
REVIEWS
5
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
1

  • The Golem and the Jinni: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Helene Wecker
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3013)
    Performance
    (2773)
    Story
    (2774)

    Helene Wecker's dazzling debut novel tells the story of two supernatural creatures who appear mysteriously in 1899 New York. Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life by a strange man who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic. When her master dies at sea on the voyage from Poland, she is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York Harbor. Ahmad is a jinni, a being of fire, born in the ancient Syrian Desert. Trapped in an old copper flask by a Bedouin wizard centuries ago, he is released accidentally by a tinsmith in a Lower Manhattan shop.

    Tango says: "Enchanting Debut Novel - Delicious!"
    "Creative fantasy in circa 1900 New York"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was an imaginative tale about magic set at the height of an era of immigration into New York. The backdrop was interesting and the characters were diverse; Wecker developed each of them nicely and they held my attention. She also did a good job of blending historical fiction and magic so that the parts that were supposed to be real were very real and it was easy to suspend disbelief for the rest. The drives of the characters for power, lust, escape, immortality, and free will were nicely crafted and very relatable, and the descriptions of the neighborhoods of immigrants dealing with a new country, culture, prejudice and identity were done in what I thought were just the right amounts.

    My only reason for not giving the story five stars was that it did take a while for the book to really get engaging for me because there's a build-up to each character's story, so it’s quite a bit of background in the beginning before things come together. Also, the narration was fine overall but the narrator has a tendency to start sentences on the same note, and has an accent, which was at times a bit distracting. However, these were minor and not enough to spoil the book. Definitely a good book and worth the listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Martian

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Andy Weir
    • Narrated By R. C. Bray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10348)
    Performance
    (9847)
    Story
    (9866)

    Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?"

    Brian says: "Duct tape is magic and should be worshiped"
    "Smartass Robinson Crusoe with math"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is definitely hard science fiction, but the depiction of the main character turned it into an absolutely hilarious survival adventure story. For me, the suspension of disbelief in this type of book can only happen when the parts that are supposed to be real are VERY real, and Weir clearly did his homework. The science was plausible and the humor totally relatable. The narration was also terrific, and the delivery felt entirely appropriate for the character.

    I work in aerospace medicine and the descriptions of NASA's love of procedure and their concern over Watney killing himself with his creative engineering are spot on. My only criticism is that Weir didn't tackle the very real health problems Watney and his team would have faced, but as in all futuristic science fiction there's an assumption that by the time the story takes place we've solved those problems so it didn't distract me from enjoying the book. Instead, I was able to geek out on the survival science and laugh at all the attitude that went into it. A highly recommended listen.

    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
    (6687)
    Performance
    (5951)
    Story
    (5950)

    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"
    "Wonderful Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I loved this book. The story was original, creative, and entertaining, and I thought the characters were interesting and the romance lovely. I'm so sick of books about magic taking place in the Middle Ages, or are contemporary but unsophisticated. This book is neither. The competition, which blossoms into a romantic and magaical dance that enchants everyone who sees it (including me), is nuanced, sweet and heartwarming. A very good listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ready Player One

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Ernest Cline
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (11610)
    Performance
    (10826)
    Story
    (10834)

    At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, Ready Player One is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut—part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.

    Julie W. Capell says: "I’m sorry I waited so long to read this book."
    "Good story with inspired narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A dystopic future where everyone lives in virtual reality isn't a new concept, but this book makes it interesting and fun, especially if you grew up in the 80s. I would have enjoyed reading it myself, but Wil Wheaton didn't just read this book, he performed it. He brought everything to life with energy, intonation, and even sound effects. It was a good story, but his narration made it spectacular, and much more enjoyable to listen to than to than to read. Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Rachel Maddow
    • Narrated By Rachel Maddow
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1484)
    Performance
    (1347)
    Story
    (1341)

    Rachel Maddow's Drift argues that we've drifted away from America's original ideals and become a nation weirdly at peace with perpetual war, with all the financial and human costs that entails. Sensible yet provocative, dead serious yet seriously funny, Drift will reinvigorate a "loud and jangly" political debate about how, when, and where to apply America's strength and power - and who gets to make those decisions.

    Dolf says: "Half the National Debt?"
    "Not your typical political book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Drift to be better than the print version?

    Yes


    What does Rachel Maddow bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Excellent narration.


    Any additional comments?

    I watch the news but this is the first political book I've ever "read". I was very pleasantly surprised. I've occasionally browsed political books but they were always too dry for me, but Maddow's way of telling the story, along with an excellent narration, makes Drift fascinating. Highly recommended - a smart and excellent book even if you're non-political.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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