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Jennifer

Halifax, NS, Canada | Member Since 2008

81
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 35 reviews
  • 126 ratings
  • 1139 titles in library
  • 84 purchased in 2014
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7

  • Blood Price: Blood, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Tanya Huff
    • Narrated By Justine Eyre
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (247)
    Performance
    (213)
    Story
    (219)

    Vicki Nelson, formerly of Toronto’s homicide unit and now a private detective, witnesses the first of many vicious attacks that begin plaguing the city of Toronto. As death follows unspeakable death, Vicki, in an attempt to stop these forces of dark magic, is forced to renew her relationship with her former partner, Mike Celluci - along with another, unexpected ally…. Henry Fitzroy, the illegitimate son of King Henry VIII, has learned over the course of his life how to blend with humans; how to deny the call for blood in his veins.

    Jennifer says: "Off to a Good Start"
    "Off to a Good Start"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It surprised me to discover that this novel was originally written in 1991. It has survived the passage of time remarkably well. It's the first novel in a series of five books by Tanya Huff which involve a former police officer-turned private investigator and the vampire son of Henry VIII who solve supernatural crimes together.

    It's not a johnny-come-lately on the vampire novel scene; it was one of the earlier prototypes and works well. The private investigator, her former ex-boyfriend police officer, and the vampire who writes bodice rippers team up to solve a string of violent crimes which have been plaguing Toronto.

    As a Canadian, I'm pleased to see/hear a series set in Toronto, and though I'm not from Toronto, the depiction is well done.

    A series of what appear to be murders by a vampire takes roots in the city, and as the story hums along, it becomes clear that it's actually a demon who's terrorizing the city, and not a vampire. The book is as long as it needs to be.

    The story is well written and engaging. It does't feel particularly dated, although the references to a Hibachi and the lack of cell phones make more sense now that I know it was written in 1991.

    The narrator is okay but not great. Her attempt to depict male voices often comes off with an odd accent or intonation. She's a breathy narrator, and her vocal intonations are a little irritating. As with many narrators, she pauses in the wrong places and ends up fragmenting the narration. She can probably be forgiven for mispronouncing Manulife, but not for some of the other words she butchers. With a different narrator, this would be an even better book, but it's not bad. To the narrator's credit, she does a very good job depicting the empty-headed university students in the book.

    It's certainly well enough done that I have purchased books 2 and 3 in the series. If the other books in the series are as good as this one, it should have a strong following. The ideas are original and inventive, and the dialogue and descriptions are well done.

    This is a good book for fans of the supernatural series; it's lighter on romance than some, but that's not a bad thing. It's worth the credit.

    14 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • The Viral Storm: The Dawn of a New Pandemic Age

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs)
    • By Nathan Wolfe
    • Narrated By Robertson Dean
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (357)
    Performance
    (318)
    Story
    (315)

    In The Viral Storm, award-winning biologist Nathan Wolfe tells the story of how viruses and human beings have evolved side by side through history; how deadly viruses like HIV, swine flu, and bird flu almost wiped us out in the past; and why modern life has made our species vulnerable to the threat of a global pandemic. Wolfe's research missions to the jungles have earned him the nickname "the Indiana Jones of virus hunters," and here Wolfe takes listeners along on his groundbreaking and often dangerous research trips - to reveal the surprising origins of the most deadly diseases....

    L. says: "a bio-geek's wet dream"
    "Good Primer on Viruses"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Fans of Richard Preston will like this book. It's a very comprehensive primer on viruses and pandemics.

    It has a bit of an academic tone and can be fairly heavy going, but it's very interesting and thought-provoking.

    It's probably not too simplistic for scientists, and it's not too complex for the rest of us. Nathan Wolfe gets it just right.

    It's thought-provoking and fascinating and has a good blend of the historical and the current.

    I don't think I'll look at chimpanzees the same way again. Or hunting, for that matter.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Working Stiff: Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examiner

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Judy Melinek, MD, T. J. Mitchell
    • Narrated By Tanya Eby
    Overall
    (89)
    Performance
    (85)
    Story
    (85)

    Just two months before the September 11 terrorist attacks, Dr. Judy Melinek began her training as a New York City forensic pathologist. With her husband and their toddler holding down the home front, Judy threw herself into the fascinating world of death investigation-performing autopsies, investigating death scenes, and counseling grieving relatives. Working Stiff chronicles Judy's two years of training, taking listeners behind the police tape of some of the most harrowing deaths in the Big Apple.

    Barbara says: "An interesting glimpse"
    "Fascinating and Well-Read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a great book. Most people will probably be drawn to it superficially because of the 9/11 connection. However, the 9/11 information is probably the least interesting part of the book. Most of what Dr. Melinek had to work with were tiny pieces and fragments.

    The rest of the books is absolutely fascinating. There's just the right blend of clinical, interesting science, and riveting storyline.

    For anyone who is squeamish or easily offended by death and dead bodies, this is probably not a great listen. But for everyone else, it's a good book. There's a lot of blending of Dr. Melinek's personal history in with the work she was doing.

    At the end I was hoping she would write a follow-up about her experiences in California. To me that's the mark of a good book -- wanting another.

    Two thumbs up!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Mortuary Confidential: Undertakers Spill the Dirt

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Kenneth McKenzie, Todd Harra
    • Narrated By Susan Larkin, Allan Robertson
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    In this macabre and moving compilation, funeral directors across the country share their most embarrassing, jaw-dropping, irreverent, and deeply poignant stories about life at death's door. Discover what scares them and what moves them to tears. Learn about rookie mistakes and why death sometimes calls for duct tape. Enjoy tales of the dearly departed spending eternity naked from the waist down and getting bottled and corked - in a wine bottle.

    Jennifer says: "Reader's Digest Vignettes"
    "Reader's Digest Vignettes"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was hoping for something more clinical and less Readers Digest. These stories are in the vein of heart-warming, gently amusing and vaguely spiritual or uplifting.

    The stories are fine for what they are, but they aren't an in-depth look at funeral homes, funeral directors and morticians. I was hoping for something more along the lines of Mary Roach's Stiff.

    I don't think I'll bother finishing listening to these. Or I'll keep them for the category of audiobooks I can listen to while grocery shopping so it doesn't matter if I get distracted.

    These are about as bland and vanilla as you could get.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Silkworm

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Robert Galbraith
    • Narrated By Robert Glenister
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4160)
    Performance
    (3838)
    Story
    (3836)

    When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, Mrs. Quine just thinks her husband has gone off by himself for a few days - as he has done before - and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home. But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine's disappearance than his wife realizes. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows.

    H James Lucas says: "A well-worn genre enlivened with fresh characters"
    "Slight sophomore curse"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The storyline in the Silkworm isn't quite as compelling as it was in the Cuckoo's Calling. Part of that relates to the completely hideous plotline of Bombyx Mori and the way it is integrated throughout the novel.

    The development of the relationship between Cormoran and Robin is very satisfying and multi-layered. The supporting characters are less dimensional, but they work.

    The only irritating thing is the literary references /quotations at the beginning of each chapter. Okay, JK, we get it. You're a serious writer. I don't need convincing. I'm a card-carrying member of the fan club.

    In all, it's definitely worth a credit. I'm looking forward to the next one in the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Cuckoo's Calling

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Robert Galbraith
    • Narrated By Robert Glenister
    Overall
    (7421)
    Performance
    (6747)
    Story
    (6758)

    After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: his sister, the legendary supermodel Lula Landry, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man.

    Tracey says: "Unbelievable debut mystery set in London"
    "Excellent start to a series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    What a great first novel in what I hope is a long series.

    The plotting is sharply written, the characters are well drawn and human. The ending comes as a real surprise. This is a great book and proves that JK Rowling is not just a one-hit (series) wonder.

    Robert Glenister's narration is excellent. His voices are well done and completely appropriate to the characters..

    I will continue to buy these from Audible as long as they continue to be written and published.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Beneath the Dark Ice

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Greig Beck
    • Narrated By Sean Mangan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (415)
    Performance
    (377)
    Story
    (378)

    When a plane crashes into the Antarctic ice, exposing a massive cave beneath, a rescue and research team is dispatched. Twenty-four hours later, all contact is lost. Captain Alex Hunter and his highly trained squad of commandos are fast tracked to the hot zone to find out what went wrong - and to follow up the detection of a vast underground reservoir.

    Bob says: "A fun and interesting read."
    "Good story, irritating narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love these kinds of adventure tales. This series has such promise. I love the early James Rollins books, and this is similar.

    The problem with this series is the narration. Sean Mangan has the diction of someone who is inebriated and who is trying to enunciate clearly and yet slurs at the same time. It's irritating. He also doesn't do a terribly good job of distinguishing between the particular characters. Alex Hunter sounds just like Amy.

    I may or may not buy the next one in audiobook form. I may just get them all on Kindle.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Indexing

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Seanan McGuire
    • Narrated By Mary Robinette Kowal
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (282)
    Performance
    (264)
    Story
    (263)

    For most people, the story of their lives is just that: the accumulation of time, encounters, and actions into a cohesive whole. But for an unfortunate few, that day-to-day existence is affected - perhaps infected is a better word - by memetic incursion: where fairy tale narratives become reality, often with disastrous results.

    Erin - Audible says: "The X-Files meets Grimm meets Law and Order"
    "Lost in a Good Fairy Tale"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Fans of Jasper Fforde's novels and fairly tales would like this.

    It's a reasonably interesting novel with some quirky characters and interesting plot devices. The narration is fairly well done, and the story is interesting enough.

    Is it great? No, but it's fairly good. This is in the category of light fantasy summer reading.

    It's about fairy tale archetypes which occur in real life and the squad of characters hired to stop the stories from taking over and having dire consequences. The main protagonist is a Snow White character who ends up getting pulled inside her own story.

    As I say, if you like Jasper Fforde's work, then this is right up your alley.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Oblivion

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Jay Bonansinga
    • Narrated By Nick Santa Maria
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    Oblivion the listener on a unique and frightening ride described in terrifying detail from this bestselling writer. In a dramatic showdown between the forces of good and evil, mankind's salvation rests in the hands of a burnt-out relic of a priest. Father Martin is an ordinary man, a man of doubts and fears, a man who has failed once in banishing a demon to the dark pits of hell. Now, he must stand against the army of darkness with only his wavering faith to support him.

    Jennifer says: "Performance Better than the Story"
    "Performance Better than the Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is one of the few audiobooks where the narration is miles better than the story.

    It's an interesting premise (priest called on to exorcise the White House) but it ultimately doesn't deliver. This would have made an interesting long short story or very short novella, but it just drags out interminably.

    Take a stereotypical aging alcoholic defrocked priest, possessed building, and throw in some slavery history and some utterly uninteresting tidbits about prior inhabitants of the White House. Shake well and then discard.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Nor All Your Tears

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Keith McCarthy
    • Narrated By Seán Barrett
    Overall
    (15)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (13)

    July, 1977. Lance’s eccentric father, the retired Dr Benjamin Elliott, has been running a Horticultural Club at local Bensham Manor School, a good deed he decided to take on to impress Ada Clarke, the head dinner lady at the school. One summer’s evening, Lance and his girlfriend Max turn up for the school’s parents evening to show their support of the elder Dr Elliott’s efforts.

    Dottie B. says: "Where was the suspense?"
    "Another good medico-police procedural"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Unfortunately, this is the third in a series, and the first two aren't available on Audible. Hint, Audible: Get on that.

    There is obviously some backstory missing, but the reader/listener can make an educated guess about what has happened in the previous two books.

    Interesting mix of English suburban village (do the outskirts of London count as "village"), residents with secrets, and an interesting cast of characters.

    Shawn Barrett's narration is great and he does all voices well. I didn't see the whodunnit coming.

    Interesting placement of the story back in the mid-70s as well.

    For fans of the Eisenmenger books, this is another winner by Keith McCarthy. His writing is dryly amusing and droll and I find it very appealing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gone: A Jack Caffery Thriller, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Mo Hayder
    • Narrated By Steven Crossley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (55)
    Performance
    (50)
    Story
    (52)

    Jack Caffery's newest case seems like a routine carjacking, a crime he's seen plenty of times before. But as the hours tick by and his investigation morphs into a nightmare, he realizes the sickening truth: the thief wasn't after the car, but the eleven-year-old girl in the backseat. Meanwhile, police diver Sergeant Flea Marley is pursuing her own theory of the case, and what she finds in an abandoned, half-submerged tunnel could put her in grave danger.

    kisbell123 says: "Good listen, not exceptional, as expected"
    "Excellent series, deteriorating narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Mo Hayder has written a fabulous series about the exploits of DI Jack Caffery and Sgt. Flea Marley. As the events in some of the books take place close in time to the previous book, it's helpful to listen to them all in one marathon.

    Damien Goodwin, the narrator of Birdman and The Treatment was absolutely excellent. He has a fabulous range of voices and characters. Andrew Wincott, the narrator of Ritual and Skin, was very good (but not as good as Damien Goodwin).

    Unfortunately, Stephen Crossley, narrator of Gone and Poppet, is abysmal. He has only two voices: one male, and one female. Regardless of age, class or origin, the characters all sound the same. He has the same sort of breathy earth-shattering revelation quality to his narration that Scott Brick has, but without the skill.

    If the story weren't so good, this would be unlistenable. I'm dreading listening to Poppet because it's the same narrator. Perhaps he will have had some lessons in vocal range and intonation.

    The story lines are absolutely gripping, and filled with red herrings and intrigue and multiple plot lines. Mo Hayder is a genius. I love everything she has written. She's not afraid to kill off her characters, and there are often things she leaves hanging from one book to another.

    The series is fabulous and a must-listen to anyone who likes thrillers, British police procedurals, and intricate psychological mysteries. The books aren't for the faint of heart or the squeamish, but they're well worth it if you enjoy this particular genre.

    The theme of lost / missing / kidnapped children runs through all the books, but it's never heavy-handed.

    The first two books are five stars across the board, the second two get 4 stars for performance and 5 overall and for story, and this one only gets a 2 for performance. They all merit 5 stars for the story.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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