I was a huge fan of the first nine or ten Anita Blake books, and doggedly stuck through the last several installations in the hope that Hamilton would bring back the tough-as-nails vampire hunter I knew and loved. Unfortunately for me, the last few books ran like this:
There's a murder. Anita and Jean Claude talk. Anita and a few guys have sex. Then they talk about all the reasons they had sex. Anita feels guilty because she's having too much sex. She has some more sex. Lather, rinse, and repeat a few times, throw in some overdramatic scenes with Richard/Micah/whoever, solve the murder case in the last twenty pages, slap a twenty-five dollar price tag on it, and call it done.
In Skin Trade, however, Hamilton brings Anita back to herself. This story is a decent paranormal mystery, almost as good as "Circus of the Damned" or "Blue Moon". She does throw in a few sex scenes (pretty good ones, too), but doesn't lose the thrust of the mystery in all of the. . .well, thrusting.
I, for one, am thrilled to have the old girl back to carrying around more weapons than boyfriends. For the first time in a long time, I'm looking forward to seeing what happens in the next book.
I was little more than 12 years old when the Berlin Wall fell and the statue of Lenin was pulled from its base in Moscow. In the classroom, I remember our teacher telling us, "Pay attention, ladies and gentlemen, you are watching history." Being little more than 12, it took another ten years for me to fully understand how true that statement was, and to fully appreciate the import of the images on the television screen.
This story, written during what could be considered the height of the Cold War, breathes fresh life into old paranoias. Few novels have had such an impact on my day to day thinking while I was listening to them; this one has me mentally tallying the foodstuffs and emergency supplies in my house and wondering how I would survive should the unthinkable happen.
I have listened to a lot of post-apocalyptic fiction since joining Audible five years ago, and have read a lot more. Will Patton's narration hits the high and low points perfectly, improving what is already a great story. I am so glad I saw and purchased 'Alas, Babylon'; it's going to be a repeat listen for sure.
Bar none, this was the best credit I've spent with Audible so far. Excellent writing, impressive narration, and a fantastic story; I haven't been able to put it down.
Memorization to a catchy little tune. . .believe it or not, it works. The readers are very clear, and the available free pdf sheet is a great help.
Understand before you begin, that this is good for a very, very short trip to Japan. You'll be able to order in a restaurant, tell the taxi driver to take you to the airport, ask if you can pay by credit card, etc. They do get rather a lot into the hour long program.
Please remember though, (which, of course, I didn't) it's an hour long program. You will not be able to converse with native Japanese people beyond these very limited phrases. You will definitely not be able to turn off the subtitles on your favorite Japanese movies. You'll still be absolutely clueless when it comes to trying to read Japanese characters. I would love to see a language instruction course based on this rhythmic theory, but with some hint of sentence structure, grammar, etc.
When I first picked up One for the Money, I was spellbound. That spell lasted all the way through book eleven, through the fresh viewpoint and knee slapping hilarity that Evanovich has put into the Stephanie Plum series.
Unfortunately, around book twelve, the spell began to fade, and book thirteen is just more of the same. If you're still in thrall, you should definitely pick up this book and listen to it immediately. If, however, you're getting rather bored with Stephanie, this isn't going to surprise or amaze you.
The Golden Compass is a wonderful story, engaging and thought provoking, to say the least. As a story for adults, I think it's marvelous, but perhaps a bit too advanced in its theories and ideas for the children it seems to have been aimed at.
I've read the other reviews that say it's better than the Harry Potter series, but I disagree. It's like comparing apples and oranges, in my mind. The Golden Compass doesn't create a world that can exist comfortably within our own as do Rowling's tales. Instead, it forces you to question our world by revealing a slightly skewed one just next door.
When I read the blurb for this story, I wasn't really interested and passed it by several times. Eventually, going on the strength of Gaiman's other works, I picked it up, and was hooked from the opening line. The narrator does a marvelous job, and I found myself laughing aloud several times at the twists and turns in the story.
Unless you're deeply offended by colorful language, this book is an awesome listen, and I recommend it to everyone.
Fifteen minutes into the story, I went bouncing off the roof of the kitchen with frustration. William Dufris and his producer mangled the reading of this great story to such an extent that it was difficult to get past the mispronunciations and bad sound effects. The good news is that the human mind is remarkably adaptive, and after about an hour, you get caught up in the plot and sort of forget the astoundingly bad narration.
Apart from finding myself shouting "Kovatch!! Not Kovaks!" every now and again, I enjoyed the story immensely, and hope that the word 'trilogy' was just a joke and that we'll see more from Mr. Kovacs in the near future. Perhaps without Mr. Dufris's hyperactively horrible overperformance, though.
I've noticed in the other reviews that John Lee takes some pretty hard knocks as a reader. I mostly disagree with this. Had we not had Roy Dotriece reading the first few books, John Lee would have been a great reader. His voice is smooth, where Dotriece is gravelly, and his range of emotions is less explosive and more subtle than the previous reader's was. The only things I've found that irritate me about Lee's reading is that he tends to overenunciate. . .a lot, and he tends to spit out the words when a character is angry, including the nonspoken parts. Other than that, Lee isn't the best reader I've listened to, but he's a long way from the worst.
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