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Jan

ratings
133
REVIEWS
86
FOLLOWING
1
FOLLOWERS
34
HELPFUL VOTES
297

  • Ranger Confidential: Living, Working, and Dying in the National Parks

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Andrea Lankford
    • Narrated By Julia Motyka
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (188)
    Performance
    (172)
    Story
    (172)

    The real stories behind the scenery of America’s national parks. For 12 years, Andrea Lankford lived in the biggest, most impressive national parks in the world, working a job she loved. She chaperoned baby sea turtles on their journey to sea. She pursued bad guys on her galloping patrol horse. She jumped into rescue helicopters bound for the heart of the Grand Canyon. She won arguments with bears. She slept with a few too many rattlesnakes. Hell yeah, it was the best job in the world! Fortunately, Andrea survived it.

    Charles says: "Cringeworthy"
    "Candid, Honest and Educational"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I downloaded the book before our summer vacation to one of the parks, so it was timely. A collection of National Park "slices of life" from a Ranger's perspective. Gives the reader a good look at not only "a day in the life" of a ranger, but also a broader insight into the career of a ranger. I liked it.

    4 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Departure

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By A.G. Riddle
    • Narrated By Nicola Barber, Scott Aiello
    Overall
    (202)
    Performance
    (181)
    Story
    (180)

    Harper Lane has problems. In a few hours, she'll have to make a decision that will change her life forever. But when her flight from New York to London crash lands in the English countryside, she discovers that she's made of tougher stuff than she ever imagined. As Harper and the survivors of Flight 305 struggle to stay alive in the aftermath of the crash, they soon realize this world is very different from the one they left. Their lives are connected, and some believe they've been brought here for a reason.

    thewhitefly says: "A satisfyingly woven story."
    "To Believe or Not To Believe, That's The Question"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A.G. Riddle's new novel "Departure" is written in multiple genres, which isn't easy for any author to pull off sucessfully. The original storyline is the novel's strength, and the carrying out of that storlyline is it's weakness.

    This futuristic sci-fi grabs the listener's attention right out of the gate with a plane crash. We are introduced to the surviving passengers, and are suddenly engulfed in a mystery, adventure, suspense, and a budding romance. Sci-fi via time travel is quickly added to the mix.

    Many characters and events are introduced very early in the novel with limited detail, which resulted in a lack of character development and difficulties with suspension of belief. Usually, the inability to suspend belief in a sci-fi novel is like drawing the death card. I was able to get past this, but not without it effecting my overall opinion of the novel.

    Most of the characters who are not essential to the story are weeded out by the ending of the first half of the novel. The second half, while less suspenseful, is well devoleoped... allowing the reader to focus on time travel within a post-apocolyptic world, and the mystery of how the world got that way.

    Overall, "Departure' is written with an original storyline, and although not Riddle's best, it is still above average. Both narrators are very good and character consistant. It was a good listen, but I wouldn't be interested in experiencing it a second time.

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Neil Gaiman
    • Narrated By Neil Gaiman
    Overall
    (198)
    Performance
    (178)
    Story
    (174)

    In this new anthology, Neil Gaiman pierces the veil of reality to reveal the enigmatic, shadowy world that lies beneath. Trigger Warning includes previously published pieces of short fiction--stories, verse, and a very special Doctor Who story that was written for the fiftieth anniversary of the beloved series in 2013--as well as "Black Dog", a new tale that revisits the world of American Gods, exclusive to this collection.

    Chatty Cathy says: "Neil Gamain has done it again"
    "It Triggered Me to Stay Up Late and Listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story


    I am not a patient reader or listener, and have to have an author that captures my attention quickly and maintains it throughout the novel. Neil Gaiman has not always been that author for me, although I have always thought his writing was above average. I just wasn't a huge fan.

    I am a fan now.

    I had previously read a Novella by Gaiman, but had not experienced his writing in the short story genre. Each story in this collection held my attention. The original storylines drew me in, and his narration of them was just as engaging. When the last story ended, I was waiting for the next one to begin, and was truly disappointed.

    If you are a Dr. Who fan , "Nothing O'clock" is probably going to come in as a contender for first place. Lunar Labyrinth had excellent visual descriptions. It was which was the perfect mix of a little strange, a little creepy, and a little quirky.. three of my favorite ingredients in fiction. He narrated multiple characters in this selection especially well, and nailed their personalities. He is one of the few authors who can pull narrating his own work.

    It is great when an author that the world adores puts a book in your lap that makes you suddenly feel like you are part the mainstream... a member of the club... one of the crowd. This Gaiman novel did that for me. It's the one I will be referring to when I say, " Neil Gaiman is the author of my favorite short story collection."

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Gabrielle Zevin
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1243)
    Performance
    (1099)
    Story
    (1105)

    The irascible A. J. Fikry, owner of Island Books - the only bookstore on Alice Island - has already lost his wife. Now his most prized possession, a rare book, has been stolen from right under his nose in the most embarrassing of circumstances. The store itself, it seems, will be next to go. One night upon closing, he discovers a toddler in his children’s section with a note from her mother pinned to her Elmo doll: I want Maya to grow up in a place with books and among people who care about such kinds of things. I love her very much, but I can no longer take care of her.

    Trish says: "Loved, Loved, Loved It!!"
    ""In The End We Are a Collected Works"~ A.J. Fickry"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story


    You are going to want to read this one. This novel is as charming as it is honest, and does not shy away from real life. There is no over-the-top sentimentality. It's characters are deep and well developed, and you will know them well by the end of the novel.

    Our author introduces us to A.J. Fickry, owner of the small Island Bookstore. This bookstore is failing, and A.J.'s life is no more successful than his business. It is the story of a widower who is a loner with little purpose, and the child who enters his world alone and in need.

    The Storied Life of AJ Fickry is character-rich and charming, and has deep and meaningful prose that all readers will recognize as somehow familiar, as well as insightful.

    For example, AJ reflects through a journal entry and expresses to his daughter, "...The things we respond to at twenty are not necessarily the same things we will respond to at forty.. and vice versa. This is true in books and also in life.” ~AJ Fickry.

    Our characters experience life realistically and at times, somewhat harshly. You will find that this book effortlessly floats forward through time with you beside it, and I promise, you will walk it on home.

    And the ending....jeez. Those of us who like to review our audible selections really need to find a some kind of "red alert" system so that future readers can be warned when they are listening to a book whose last chapter should not be read in public. Could not one of you given me a heads up in your review?? I finished the book during a commute, and had to sit there in my car to collect myself before walking into work 10 minutes late.

    In the words of Barbara Peak's character, Junie B. Jones, kindergartner extraordinaire:
    "My eyes had wet in them."

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Yesterday's Gone: Season 1 - Episode 3

    • ORIGINAL (2 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Sean Platt, David Wright
    • Narrated By Ray Chase, R. C. Bray, Brian Holsopple, and others
    Overall
    (76)
    Performance
    (70)
    Story
    (68)

    Can humanity survive what it never saw coming? On October 15 at 2:15 a.m. Earth vanished. A scattered few woke alone in a world with no rules, other than survival at any cost. These survivors aren't truly alone... Someone or something is watching them. And waiting... Strangers unite. Sides are chosen.

    The Zombie Specialist says: "For the love of God"
    "And Still Listening....."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story


    I think I will try one more episode. I have to see what happens next.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Yesterday's Gone: Season 1 - Episode 4

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Sean Platt, David Wright
    • Narrated By Ray Chase, R.C. Bray, Brian Holsopple, and others
    Overall
    (69)
    Performance
    (64)
    Story
    (63)

    Can humanity survive what it never saw coming? On October 15 at 2:15 a.m. Earth vanished. A scattered few woke alone in a world with no rules, other than survival at any cost. A journalist wanders the wretched reality of an empty New York, searching for his wife and son. A serial killer must hunt in a land where prey is now an endangered species. A mother shields her young daughter from danger through every terror-filled breath. These survivors aren't truly alone... Someone or something is watching them. And waiting...

    Jan says: "Oh Alight, It's A Keeper"
    "Oh Alight, It's A Keeper"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really don't know what made me start this series. I kept saying, okay, I will purchase just one more episode. I guess it's time I have to admit that it does have a certain something.

    Unlike most end-of-the-world-zombie-gut-slinging- gore on every page novels, Yesterday's Gone doesn't use that violent drama as the foundation for the storyline. It doesn't hide from violence and blowing blood and guts everywhere, but it does play distant second to the role of relationships and the underlying mystery that makes this book readable.

    I have purchased episode 5, so I can no longer say I'm trying it out. It is true, I want to see what happens next. I'm still listening.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Yesterday's Gone: Season 1 - Episode 2

    • ORIGINAL (2 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Sean Platt, David Wright
    • Narrated By Ray Chase, R. C. Bray, Brian Holsopple, and others
    Overall
    (89)
    Performance
    (81)
    Story
    (81)

    Can humanity survive what it never saw coming? On October 15 at 2:15 a.m. Earth vanished. A scattered few woke alone in a world with no rules, other than survival at any cost. These survivors aren't truly alone... Someone or something is watching them. And waiting... Strangers unite. Sides are chosen.

    Jan says: "I'm Still Listening"
    "I'm Still Listening"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story


    This apocolyptic/sci-fi series is original enough that it has kept my attention and maintained my interest enough that I will be going on to episode 3. Characters are beginning to develop at a better pace. There is mystery, and some suspense.

    Narration is very good with one exception. We have a Scott Brick "talk-alike" in this series. Scott Brick can make me feel like I'm riding the crazy train if I hear too much of him. Both the character and the Brickish narration of this character are a little over-the-top. Fortunately, their performance time is limited so far.

    And I'm still listening.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Girl on the Train: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Paula Hawkins
    • Narrated By Clare Corbett, Louise Brealey, India Fisher
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8522)
    Performance
    (7141)
    Story
    (7147)

    Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. "Jess and Jason," she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost. And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good? Compulsively readable, The Girl on the Train is an emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller and an electrifying debut.

    Paula says: "Mind Boggling Thrilling Mystery! Don't Miss It!"
    "I'll Ride This Author's Train Anytime"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Three outstanding narrators weave a mystery that requires the reader to stay alert and constantly tuned in to the character of Rachel to even hope for the remote chance of figuring out this outstanding mystery. And good luck with that.

    Rachel is the blue ribbon winner of the most pathetic female character award in the category of contemporary mystery.

    An alcoholic who drinks to the point of experiencing fugues, this emotional train wreck only feels alive when she is involved in the lives of others. It is a basic need, and I assure you, she gets her needs met.

    As with all great mysteries, I wish I was with other readers who had just finished the book, sitting around drinking wine, and saying, " jeez louise, that just barked like a big dog, didn't it?"

    6 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Descent

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Tim Johnston
    • Narrated By Xe Sands, R.C. Bray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (238)
    Performance
    (211)
    Story
    (209)

    From the day Caitlin vanishes the lives of her family members are irrevocably altered, each assuming blame for that day's tragic events. As the initial days of hope are replaced by weeks of anxiety and despair, they find themselves increasingly isolated, each wondering: Is she still alive? Will we ever know what happened?

    Susan says: "Tragic."
    "Just WOW !!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Descent is the best Mystery I have read in years. Xe Sands gives the performance of her career, and RC Bray is great.

    The 18 year old daughter of a couple whose marriage is already in trouble disappears. That's all I can say without giving away more of the storyline.

    What Tim Johnston has done is taken a sensative subject (the possible loss of a child) that I usually cannot handle, but he doesn't over-emotionalize the tragedy, so the story flows without the reader feeling like they are looking at a bad wreck they don't want to see, yet can't turn away.

    Johnston has written a mystery with powerful descriptors you can feel, smell, and almost touch. He put his characters in the majestic Rocky Mountains, and kept the secret until the last chapters of the book. This mystery was perfect for me.. who truly is the pickiest reader out there.

    11 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • Guardians of the Night: A Gideon and Sirius Novel, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs)
    • By Alan Russell
    • Narrated By Jeff Cummings
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (56)
    Performance
    (51)
    Story
    (52)

    As the sole members of LAPD's Special Cases Unit, Detective Michael Gideon and his German shepherd partner Sirius work investigations considered bizarre even by Los Angeles's standards. Yet their latest case is more than strange - it might be out of this world. Ronald "Wrong" Pauley is a homeless man long fallen from grace. When Pauley's late-night drinking is interrupted by a detonation of light, he sees what he describes as a "being of light" in the alley below.

    Amazon Customer says: "Bait and switch; fails the Bechdel test."
    "An Unworldy Case for Wonderful Detective/K9 Team"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story


    Allan Russell's second novel in the Gideon/Sirus series didn't disappoint. I would have to say that book 2 in the series was better than the first one. Character development of this unique detective team continues, and I have grown to like these two.

    The mystery develops when a homeless alcoholic claims to have had a celestial encounter. Our protagonist does not want to let go of his version of the world as he believes it to be, but is challenged when he has no explanation for the event.

    This detective mystery and police procedural is well written, and kept my attention.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Rosie Effect

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Graeme Simsion
    • Narrated By Dan O'Grady
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (404)
    Performance
    (347)
    Story
    (346)

    Don Tillman and Rosie Jarman are back. The Wife Project is complete, and Don and Rosie are happily married and living in New York. But they’re about to face a new challenge because - surprise! - Rosie is pregnant. Don sets about learning the protocols of becoming a father, but his unusual research style gets him into trouble with the law. Fortunately his best friend Gene is on hand to offer advice: he’s left Claudia and moved in with Don and Rosie.

    Elizabeth says: "The bad reviews are true, alas...."
    "Don and Rosie.. It's Not The Rosie Project"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I downloaded The Rosie Effect yesterday evening and listened into the night, so I am worthless today at work. (What am I thinking when I start new audiobooks at bedtime?).

    Rose and Don are pregnant and they have a houseguest. Don continues to spark the readers interest and has amusing moments with his antisocial personality. Rosie is charming, but just doesn't make the story sing.

    This novel lacked something as compared to the first in the series, The Rosie Project. We are not apt to laugh and make fun of Don as in the first novel. His quirky personality is what we loved. The author gives the reader the perception that Don is handicapped and mentally ill. (Which of course he is, but that's no fun).

    It's so rare to experience a 5 star follow up to a sequal, and this sequal is no different. Narration is consistent with the first novel, and very good.

    Keep in mind, I am among the pickiest of readers, and I did enjoy the novel. For most audible listeners, it is probably worth a credit.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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