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D. A. Smith

dsmitmn

ratings
9
REVIEWS
7
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
6

  • Sweet Masterpiece: Samantha Sweet Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Connie Shelton
    • Narrated By Andrea Bates
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (51)
    Performance
    (46)
    Story
    (46)

    Samantha Sweet breaks into houses for a living - all perfectly legal as a caretaker for the USDA. But her real dream is to open her own pastry shop, 'Sweet's Sweets.' Life is a little crazy for Sam right now. At one of her break-in properties, a dying woman insists that she take a small wooden box. Sam doesn't realize that the old woman was known locally as a 'bruja,' a witch, until she begins to feel some strange effects from the box.

    Captain Skurvy says: "A Pinch of Romance,Mystery & Paranormal"
    "Two Thirds of the Book Was More than Enough"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Connie Shelton and/or Andrea Bates?

    Shelton, no. Bates, yes. This book attempts to cross genres, and, in my opinion, fails. I might recommend it to a friend who enjoys, say, Harlequin romances. (Even there, I'm not sure -- the elements of romance and the paranormal were implausible, and superficially rendered.) I'd never recommend it to friends who enjoy mysteries or mainstream novels.


    Any additional comments?

    .

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Madonnas of Leningrad

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Debra Dean
    • Narrated By Yelena Shmulenson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (46)
    Performance
    (39)
    Story
    (39)

    Bit by bit, the ravages of age are eroding Marina's grip on the everyday. An elderly Russian woman now living in America, she cannot hold on to fresh memories - the details of her grown children's lives, the approaching wedding of her grandchild - yet her distant past is miraculously preserved in her mind's eye. Vivid images of her youth in war-torn Leningrad arise unbidden, carrying her back to the terrible fall of 1941, when she was a tour guide at the Hermitage Museum and the German army's approach signaled the beginning of what would be a long, torturous siege on the city.

    A User says: "A tender account of the survival instinct"
    "Skillful Evocation of Time and Place"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Madonnas of Leningrad?

    This book is well written, flowing, intriguing. The blending of recollection into the narrative is stunning. It captures so well the way recollection feels -- its unevenness, its gaps, its uncertainties, and yet, its extraordinary power over the present.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Finding Sarah: Pine Hills Police, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Terry Odell
    • Narrated By Kelley Hazen, Storyteller Productions
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (24)
    Performance
    (21)
    Story
    (23)

    All Sarah wants is success for her gift boutique, the one she and her husband created. Now, she's living a hand-to-mouth existence. Her husband died a year earlier in a car accident-an accident that was ruled suicide, denying her his life insurance money. Burdened by guilt that she was somehow to blame for his death, Sarah faces one business setback after another.

    Marcia L. Berbeza says: "Good, Solid Romantic Suspense"
    "A Better Blend of Mystery and Romance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about this story?

    I think the characters are well delineated. They develop as the plot advances, and their involvement in both mystery and romance is well-handled, and often thought-provoking.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Only Time Will Tell: The Clifton Chronicles, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Jeffrey Archer
    • Narrated By Roger Allam, Emilia Fox
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1109)
    Performance
    (920)
    Story
    (909)

    From the internationally best-selling author of Kane and Abel and A Prisoner of Birth comes Only Time Will Tell, the first in an ambitious new series that tells the story of one family across generations, across oceans, from heartbreak to triumph. The epic tale of Harry Clifton’s life begins in 1920, with the words "I was told that my father was killed in the war"....

    C. Johnson says: "Standard Archer "class-clash". Stellar narration!!"
    "An Engrossing Listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Only Time Will Tell in three words, what would they be?

    Fun, educational, seductive.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The plot is complex, but not difficult to follow. The main characters are developed reasonably well, with the exception of the bad guys.


    What does Roger Allam and Emilia Fox bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    OK, be honest -- who doesn't love an English accent?


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

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    This books paints a strong divide between the bad guys and the good guys. One needs to read it with a little suspension of disbelief. Beware the cliff-hanger endings...but I ended up buying the entire series available at this time, and didn't regret it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Butterfly Sister: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Amy Gail Hansen
    • Narrated By Amy Rubinate
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (9)

    To uncover the truth about a friend's disappearance, a fragile young woman must silence the ghosts of her past in this moving debut tale that intertwines mystery, madness, betrayal, love, and literature. My past was never more than one thought, one breath, one heartbeat away. And then, on that particular October evening, it literally arrived at my doorstep.

    MissSusie66 says: "A good thriller"
    "Writer to Watch, Perhaps Not Read/Listen to Yet"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    The dark, melodramatic, introspective tone of this book may appeal to some readers. It wasn't for me.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Amy Gail Hansen again?

    Maybe in ten years.


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

    This was my first. It was well narrated -- good range of voices and tone. More Southern than Nawlins, but I'd definitely listen to the same reader read another book.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Well written at the sentence level. Colorful imagery.


    Any additional comments?

    Didn't like the book. Our heroine seems more adolescent than the adult she is supposed to be. It's all about her. (Sadly, she is not that interesting.) Descriptions of New Orleans -- sleeping on a streetcar, wandering a dangerous cemetery after dark -- lack an authentic sense of place. Academics wowed by her alleged (but to this reader, not at all obvious) brilliance are far from convincing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Heidi

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Johanna Spyri
    • Narrated By Marnie MacAdam
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (31)
    Performance
    (24)
    Story
    (26)

    Heidi is sent to live with her embittered grandfather high in the Swiss Alps. Heidi's innocent joy of life and genuine concern and love for all living things become the old man's salvation. From the goat - herder Peter and his family to the sickly girl Clara and her desperate father, Heidi's special charm enriches everyone she meets. Unselfish to the core, Heidi's goodness overcomes all obstacles - even those seemingly insurmountable.

    D. A. Smith says: "Auditory quality not acceptable"
    "Auditory quality not acceptable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This is a book I thought I knew, having been as a child exposed to the story more than once. Rereading it as an adult, expecting only to indulge my nostalgia, I was surprised by the richness of the description, the complexity of the characters, and interest of a good story well told. The book is well narrated -- good pace, good voice characterization for each of the characters. Unfortunately, the quality of the recording is very poor. For this reason alone I would never recommend it. I hope Audible reexamines and finds a way to salvage this otherwise excellent recording of a fine classic.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Blood of the Prodigal: An Amish-Country Mystery, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By P. L. Gaus
    • Narrated By George Newbern
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (164)
    Performance
    (138)
    Story
    (139)

    In the wooded Amish hill country, a professor at a small college, a local pastor, and the county sheriff are the only ones among the mainstream, or "English", who possess the instincts and skills to work the cases that impact all county residents, no matter their code of conduct or religious creed. When an Amish boy is kidnapped, a bishop, fearful for the safety of his followers, plunges three outsiders into the traditionally closed society of the "Plain Ones".

    Greg says: "A Solid 4 for kids"
    "Disappointing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about Blood of the Prodigal? What did you like least?

    I was interested to read a story set in Holmes County, Ohio, a beautiful part of the country. Unfortunately, it is poorly written.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    The narration seems rapid and flat. The occasional dramatic moments are overplayed.


    Any additional comments?

    I won't choose more in this series. The plot is thin. The treatment of the Amish is respectful, but seems superficial, repetitious, and preachy. The author's favorite narrative device -- one or another character suddenly feels that he or she is missing something -- is overused.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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