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Jessica

middlebury, VT, United States | Member Since 2010

ratings
30
REVIEWS
20
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
21

  • Blind Descent: The Quest to Discover the Deepest Place on Earth

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 1 min)
    • By James Tabor
    • Narrated By Don Leslie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (182)
    Performance
    (88)
    Story
    (87)

    Blind Descent explores both the brightest and darkest aspects of the timeless human urge to discover—to be first. It is also a thrilling epic about a pursuit that makes even extreme mountaineering and ocean exploration pale by comparison.

    RGH says: "Amazing Courage!!"
    "Race to the Bottom of the Earth"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This story will introduce the reader to the little known world of extreme deep-cave exploration. And you thought mountaineering was tough? At least they could see what they had to climb and rappel! The author and narrator do a good job of transporting the listener/reader into the grueling, dangerous, and often terrifying pitch black darkness of the cave, as well as character studies of some of the modern-day Hillarys and Shackletons who voluntarily, and eagerly, descend. Well written, fascinating, this book made me both search online for videos and websites of extreme caving to learn more, as well as thinkig that this is something I'd never want to do!!! Highly recommend to fans, like myself, of adventure stories like "The Worst Journey In The World" and "Into Thin Air".

    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
    (6942)
    Performance
    (6609)
    Story
    (6621)

    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"
    "Not just cool. Botanist cool!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Martian in three words, what would they be?

    MacGyver In Space!


    What other book might you compare The Martian to and why?

    Not a book but a movie, Apollo 13


    What does R. C. Bray bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The personalities of the characters really come to life


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    No food. No radio. No atmosphere! Alone on Mars


    Any additional comments?

    Great story! Good thing I wasn't in this guy's shoes, I'd never be able to figure out all the solutions this clever botanist/engineer would. Some true edge-of-your seat moments punctuated with wise-ass humor kept things moving through all the math and physics (I'm more a bio geek but did my best to follow). As Watney would say, this book reaches a level of coolness known as "botanist cool". Will be worth a repeat listen!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Storm of Swords: A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (47 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By George R. R. Martin
    • Narrated By Roy Dotrice
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (15544)
    Performance
    (12070)
    Story
    (12136)

    As opposing forces maneuver for the final titanic showdown, an army of barbaric wildlings arrives from the outermost line of civilization. In their vanguard is a horde of mythical Others, a supernatural army of the living dead whose animated corpses are unstoppable. As the future of the land hangs in the balance, no one will rest until the Seven Kingdoms have exploded in a veritable storm of swords.

    Troy says: "Chapter and part breaks are incorrect"
    "Martin is brutal!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to A Storm of Swords the most enjoyable?

    I especially enjoy the way the author tells the story from varying points of view of the different characters. This really brings the story to life. Also having the same narrator continues the consistency between volumes. Not to mention the authors way of making me repeatedly go, "I did NOT see THAT coming!"


    What was one of the most memorable moments of A Storm of Swords?

    Without giving too much away, let's say the Starks' luck is not getting any better.


    Which character – as performed by Roy Dotrice – was your favorite?

    Arya Stark


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When Arya was trying to get to her family at the Frey's and the Hound has to take drastic measures to stop her.


    Any additional comments?

    There is such an enormous cast of characters in this book that it's often difficult to keep them all straight and who is allied with whom. I've purchased several of the paperbacks in part for the maps and list of houses and their allies.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Clash of Kings: A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (37 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By George R. R. Martin
    • Narrated By Roy Dotrice
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (16813)
    Performance
    (12989)
    Story
    (13021)

    A comet the color of blood and flame cuts across the sky. And from the ancient citadel of Dragonstone to the forbidding shores of Winterfell, chaos reigns. Six factions struggle for control of a divided land and the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms, preparing to stake their claims through tempest, turmoil, and war.

    Teddy says: "Did not disappoint..."
    "The saga continues"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does A Clash of Kings rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Picks up where the first book left off and is equally intriguing. Martin has created an entire new universe with exquisite detail and complexity, which sets it apart from other books I've read. The characters are consistent to themselves and the world they inhabit and the story continues with plot twists and unexpected developments.


    What other book might you compare A Clash of Kings to and why?

    Hard to say, it's pretty different than my usual reading material.


    What about Roy Dotrice’s performance did you like?

    It sounds like an old friend telling a story. His voice did take a little getting used to, and as a rule he does male voices better than young female ones, but overall he is well suited to this story.


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

    Some of Tyrion's snarkier remarks have made me laugh out loud over the course of these two books. I wouldn't say anything made me cry (not much does) but I was pretty shocked with some of the events and sort of went "Oh nooooo.."


    Any additional comments?

    Quite a good way to pass the time especially during this dreary, eternal winter weather we've been having ("Winter is coming"? Winter is never gonna leave!!)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By George R. R. Martin
    • Narrated By Roy Dotrice
    Overall
    (25005)
    Performance
    (18901)
    Story
    (18962)

    In a time long forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons off balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. As the cold returns, sinister forces are massing beyond the protective wall of the kingdom of Winterfell. To the south, the king's powers are failing, with his most trusted advisor mysteriously dead and enemies emerging from the throne's shadow.

    DCinMI says: "Review of First 5 Books"
    "Draws you in"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does A Game of Thrones rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of the best. I didn't think I was going to like it at first but I like long stories because I listen while doing long distance runs as well as house chores, and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. After the first chapter I was pretty well hooked.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of A Game of Thrones?

    Hard to say without spoilers. A non-spoiler, when Jon finds his wolf pup.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Arya and her wolf Nymeria in the woods, because that's where I'd love to be, running thru the woods.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Impossible, it is way too long, but you just want to keep listening.


    Any additional comments?

    Once you start these, it's hard to stop, even though you might hate what happens to some of the characters. It's not one of those happy-ever-after stories, but intricate and compelling.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Sound and the Furry

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Spencer Quinn
    • Narrated By Jim Frangione
    Overall
    (208)
    Performance
    (188)
    Story
    (190)

    When Chet and Bernie happen upon a prison work crew that includes Frenchie Boutette, an old criminal pal they sent up the river, getting a new case is the last thing they expect. But Frenchie, who comes from an old Louisiana family full of black sheep, needs help finding his one law-abiding relative, his brother Ralph, a reclusive inventor who has gone missing with his houseboat.

    Jane says: "It's all good"
    "Chet and Bernie are back!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Sound and the Furry in three words, what would they be?

    Dog's-Eye-View Mystery


    What other book might you compare The Sound and the Furry to and why?

    Spencer Quinn's other Chet and Bernie mysteries


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

    Jim Frangione does the perfect voice for Chet! Definitely brings the doggie high-jinks to life ("A lot of barking started up in the room. Oh, was that me?"


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, it was a fun listen


    Any additional comments?

    This is a great series! If you are looking for a mystery story to make your day go by faster, from a unique perspective (especially if you're a dog person) this book won't disappoint.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Tai-Pan: A Novel of Hong Kong

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By James Clavell
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (712)
    Performance
    (396)
    Story
    (395)

    After the British seize Hong Kong following the first Opium War, the owners of two competing trading companies seek to destroy each other, both professionally and personally.

    Cy Judge says: "A great audio book"
    "Excellent historical fiction but..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Tai-Pan to be better than the print version?

    Haven't read the print edition


    Would you recommend Tai-Pan to your friends? Why or why not?

    To fans of historical fiction, yes, but with the caveat that I really didn't like how Mr. Clavell ended the book.


    Which character – as performed by John Lee – was your favorite?

    Chung Mei Mei


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes but it was way too long for one sitting. I do like long books though! You get loads of housework done listening for several days.


    Any additional comments?

    This is my second historical epic by James Clavell. Not quite as good as "Shogun" (which is one of my favorite books ever) but a good read nonetheless. (Except a bit bummed by the ending, but it could have been worse...would have given it 4 stars across the board if not for that)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Defending Jacob: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By William Landay
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3997)
    Performance
    (3410)
    Story
    (3404)

    Andy Barber has been an assistant district attorney in his suburban Massachusetts county for more than 20 years. He is respected in his community, tenacious in the courtroom, and happy at home with his wife, Laurie, and son, Jacob. But when a shocking crime shatters their New England town, Andy is blindsided by what happens next: his 14-year-old son is charged with the murder of a fellow student.

    Shauna says: "Defending Jacob"
    "You'll Never See This One Coming!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Defending Jacob in three words, what would they be?

    Intriguing Plot Twist


    What did you like best about this story?

    With the father as protagonist, he wants more than anything for his son to be innocent... But do the facts support that hope?


    What about Grover Gardner’s performance did you like?

    I really like his reading. He's done the Andy Carpenter books and its like an old friend telling you a story.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    My Son Is Innocent... Isn't He?


    Any additional comments?

    A good who-done-it story to make house chores or a drive fly by. Brings home the effect of having a suspect as one of your family and how torn it can make the loved ones feel, and how it can drag up things you really didn't want to know.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Shadow Divers: Two Americans Who Risked Everything to Solve One of the Last Mysteries of WWII

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Robert Kurson
    • Narrated By Michael Prichard
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2079)
    Performance
    (559)
    Story
    (561)

    In 1991, acting on a tip from a local fisherman, two scuba divers discovered a sunken German U-boat, complete with its crew of 60 men, not too far off the New Jersey coast. The divers, realizing the momentousness of their discovery, began probing the mystery. Over the next six years, they became expert and well-traveled researchers, taught themselves German, hunted for clues in Germany, and constructed theories corrective of the history books, all in an effort to identify this sunken U-boat and its crew.

    Douglas says: "GRIPPING!"
    "Reads like fiction, but it's a true story!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Shadow Divers again? Why?

    Yes, absolutely, it is a fascinating and dramatic true story.


    What other book might you compare Shadow Divers to and why?

    If anything maybe "Into Thin Air" because it is a true story of humans going to extremes in pursuit of an obsession.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When they first get into the U-Boat and realize the magnitude of their discovery. But really the whole story is interesting.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Is it worth their lives to find the secret of a WWII U-Boat?


    Any additional comments?

    Well written and holds your interest from start to finish. Should bear repeated listening! Worth a credit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • All Clear

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Connie Willis
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren, Connie Willis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1554)
    Performance
    (1011)
    Story
    (1033)

    Three time-traveling historians are visiting World War II England: Michael Davies, intent on observing heroism during the Miracle of Dunkirk; Merope Ward, studying children evacuated from London; and Polly Churchill, posing as a shopgirl in the middle of the Blitz. But when the three become unexpectedly trapped in 1940, they struggle not only to find their way home but to survive as Hitler's bombers attempt to pummel London into submission.

    Mike From Mesa says: "Rescued by the second half"
    "Must read if you enjoyed Blackout!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of All Clear to be better than the print version?

    Again, did not read the print version v


    What did you like best about this story?

    The conclusion of the story that began in "Blackout". Reviewers said it "dragged on" but I feel differently. What may have dragged for some people, to me reflected the mixture of anxiety and tedium that must have been felt by Britons sheltering from the bombs in the subway stations. I enjoyed the stories about British citizens, military and civilian alike, who stepped up and put their lives on the line in circumstances that they certainly never asked for nor had control over-- the fire-watchers, ambulance drivers, and Enigma decoders among them-- and how close the outcome of WWII really was. It makes me appreciate all the more what ordinary citizens did, and how one small change here or there could have turned the whole outcome.


    What about Katherine Kellgren and Connie Willis (introduction) ’s performance did you like?

    Ms. Willis sounded so enthusiastic about her story both here and in "Blackout" it made me enthused about it too. Ms. Kellgren is an excellent narrator, especially the feisty kids Apf and Binnie who make a welcome reappearance.


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

    It made me appreciate the efforts on the "home front" in wartime Britain, everyone from shop girls to Agatha Christie did their part. I hope I could serve as bravely if it came to that. And their "stiff upper lip" attitude in the face of rationing and destruction made me realize how lucky we have it now.


    Any additional comments?

    The time travel aspect of it was fun and gave an interesting perspective, but I found it secondary to the story of the everyday heroes of WWII. Although the post travelers trying to get home did provide a key part of the plot.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Blackout

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Connie Willis
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren, Connie Willis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1973)
    Performance
    (1238)
    Story
    (1243)

    In her first novel since 2002, Nebula and Hugo award-winning author Connie Willis returns with a stunning, enormously entertaining novel of time travel, war, and the deeds - great and small - of ordinary people who shape history. In the hands of this acclaimed storyteller, the past and future collideand the result is at once intriguing, elusive, and frightening.

    Monica says: "Double review - Blackout and All Clear"
    "Intriguing history of WWII"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Blackout to be better than the print version?

    Did not read the print version


    What did you like best about this story?

    The book transported me to the day to day life of British citizens during the Blitz in WWII and how resilient they were.


    Have you listened to any of Katherine Kellgren and Connie Willis ’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Katherine Kellgren is a fantastic narrator and an excellent choice for this story, especially the voices of Alf and Binnie, the incorrigible evacuee children.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Trapped in the Blitz!


    Any additional comments?

    Many reviewers said this story dragged, but I never found that to be an issue. For me it was interesting throughout and gave an unusual perspective on WWII London, through the eyes of a visitor from the future.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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