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Julia

EUREKA, MO, United States | Member Since 2013

13
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 12 reviews
  • 34 ratings
  • 120 titles in library
  • 39 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
5

  • Blackwood Farm

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Anne Rice
    • Narrated By David Pittu
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (582)
    Performance
    (237)
    Story
    (242)

    A story of youth and promise, of loss and the search for love, of secrets and destiny, Blackwood Farm brings together the Vampire Chronicles and the story of the Mayfair Witches, and is Anne Rice at her mesmerizing best.

    K E Courchaine says: "She is back!"
    "Blackwood Farm: A Strange and Lovely World"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you're a fan of Anne Rice's usual antics, this novel will not disappoint. The story is quite interesting and unique, for all its ghosts and vampires and great families, a bit of a star crossed lovers tale with the flavor of New Orleans. If you haven't read Rice before, don't be scared off by the other reviews of reservations of sexual situations. The prose in this story is rich and descriptive and the characters complex and beautiful as Bellini angels. Her love of fine antiques and lush tropical flora particularly shine in this tale.Pittu's narration is also very entertaining and well done, quite a treat! His voice encompasses an impressive range of characters, from the french accent of the vampire Lestat to Quinn Blackwood's educated southern drawl. Blackwood Farm is an excellent creation by Rice.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Sanibel Flats: Doc Ford #1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Randy White
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    Overall
    (395)
    Performance
    (206)
    Story
    (201)

    Its cool gulf breezes lured him from a life of danger. Its dark undercurrents threatened to destroy him. After 10 years of living life on the edge, it was hard for Doc Ford to get that addiction to danger out of his system. But spending each day watching the sun melt into Dinkins Bay and the moon rise over the mangrove trees, cooking dinner for his beautiful neighbor, and dispensing advice to the locals over a cold beer lulled him into letting his guard down.

    ShySusan says: "Author seems to have a sexual double standard."
    "A+++ South Florida Adventure"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really enjoyed this book, it was pretty much a dream line-up of plot elements: a secret agent (even if retired), south florida, central america, mayan history, revolutionaries, marine biology, and even a little painting.

    I found it to be well written, and the twist at the end surprised me, which these days doesn't happen often. Doc Ford is a likeable character, super smart, funny, interesting, and the descriptions of Sanibel and sea life are wonderful. A++!

    *On a side note, which has nothing to do with the author or the story, which I found to be top quality--I listened to the audio version, and I utterly loathed the narrator's performance. Look, I know it's not easy to embody several different characters with one voice, but geeze he butchered it. His voice didn't fit with the character of Doc, his interpretation of Tomlinson was very annoying, and any of the female voices were pure characacture. I intend to read this again sometime, and will continue with this series, but I will definitely go the old school paper route.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Killing Che: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Chuck Pfarrer
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (52)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    The year is 1967. Vietnam is in flames, and few realize that a firefight on a jungle road in Latin America is the beginning of a new and secret war. In Bolivia, international revolutionary Ché Guevara leads a band of guerillas determined to liberate a continent. Paul Hoyle, a CIA paramilitary officer, joins a team of operatives sent to crush the Bolivian insurgency. When a recovered backpack reveals that Ché Guevara is in command of the rebels, the stage is set for a duel between world ideologies.

    Richard says: "Should be a movie"
    "Loved it..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I devoured this book when it first came out some time ago, and enjoyed listening to the audio telling again just now. It's a sad and courageous story told with great detail and feeling by Chuck Pfarrer. Che is portrayed well without being made the villain or overly romanticized. He was a great man and a revolutionary with a dream, who bit off too much in the end. Even though I knew historically how the book had to end, Pfarrer's story is gripping and I still found myself hoping Che would win. :)

    Pfarrer's character Hoyle is also an enjoyable facet of the story. The added romance to the tale made these characters human, I didn't find it tedious like some other readers. Pfarrer has a way of describing battle that is both technical and visceral.

    William Dufris does a good job narrating, I enjoyed the voices he assigned the characters, and the consistency with which he delivered their lines. My only beef with the audio had to do with the spacing of the chapters, more a technical detail than to fault of writer or narrator. Pfarrer would end every chapter with a great one liner you want to chew on for a few moments and reflect on what's about to happen but IMMEDIATELY it jumps to the next chapter, sometimes almost interrupting the last word.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Blood Wager: Blood Destiny, #1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Connie Suttle
    • Narrated By Traci Odom
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (679)
    Performance
    (617)
    Story
    (624)

    Lissa's life as a vampire begins on the day her husband is removed from life support. Turned by rogues who wager her life, Lissa is running from her maker who is determined to kill her, hunted by the Council who has branded her a rogue and blackmailed by werewolves, who utilize her newly developed talents for their own gain.

    Robin in Vermont says: "A compelling read!"
    "Not bad..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Not a bad vampire story, though it wasn't super original. I enjoyed most of the 9 odd hours it took to listen. The character is strong and likeable, almost to the point of being a Mary Sue.

    The writing is alright, though the author has a tendency to really repeat herself, lots of redundant explaining, unnecessary reiterating, and the jokes/sarcasm aren't nearly as funny as she (the main character, or author) thinks they are. She can really beat a one liner to death, let me tell you.

    The narrator is ok. A good female voice for the main character, though honestly her voices for the other characters are pretty atrocious at times.

    I would continue the series maybe if the rest went on sale, like this was in the "hidden gem" sale, but I probably wouldn't spend a credit on it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Because the Night

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Kristen Strassel
    • Narrated By Jessica Almasy
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    Immortal Dilemma is the hottest band in the Las Vegas vampire rock scene. They draw insatiable fans from around the globe, thanks to a supernatural attraction called Bloodlust. Tristan craved such an opportunity to fill his empty mortal life, and now he has eternity to earn his place among the legends of rock 'n' roll debauchery. Callie always feared that Tristan’s excesses would get him into trouble, but she never thought they’d lead him to immortality. To reconnect with him, she must weave her way through a world not only that she had no idea existed, but that does not welcome her.

    Julia says: "Because...Who Knows Why?"
    "Because...Who Knows Why?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm not usually one to complain about a free book, but I feel obligated to warn anyone who might actually spend money on this.

    It's bad.

    This is the kind of vampire book that has recently (i.e. since Twilight) made me embarrassed to admit that I love vampire stories the way I love breathing. And that kind of makes me mad.

    Sure, Callie is an 18 year old girl who makes mistakes, but they're not very interesting ones, even if you throw in a hot undead rock star.

    No real plot to be found here, no character development either. The only real emotion evoked by this tale is to feel very sorry for Blade, the other point to this sorry love triangle, for getting mixed up in the pages of this supposed narrative.

    And to make matters worse, the narrator kind of has a lisp, or at least performs the main character as having one, and it is extremely annoying.

    Beware, beware. Here, there be BAD writing.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • One Foot in the Grave: Night Huntress, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Jeaniene Frost
    • Narrated By Tavia Gilbert
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4057)
    Performance
    (2921)
    Story
    (2932)

    You can run from the grave, but you can't hide. Half-vampire Cat Crawfield is now Special Agent Cat Crawfield, working for the government to rid the world of the rogue undead. She's still using everything Bones, her sexy and dangerous ex, taught her. But when Cat is targeted for assassination, the only man who can help her is the vampire she left behind.

    melrailey says: "Makes for a Short Commute"
    "Gravely Overated...."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed the first book, I thought it was fun and original, but the second installment here left me sorely disappointed. Frost is very good at conjuring circumstances that should lead to great drama, but she falls short every time. Falls short in plot, dialogue, character development...the whole shebang. When Katherine and Bones reunite is like a made for MTV movie, not a gritty vampire hunter tale. Her writing is the caliber to be found in a middle school level creative writing course.

    Bones is kind of cool but obviously a Spike avatar...and says "Don't Fret!" way way too much. Please, make a friend in England, and find out how they really talk.

    And Tavia Gilbert is possibly the most annoying narrator here on audible. I will never buy a book narrated by her again. Her voice for Katherine was ok, but every other character was just awful, especially the masculine voices, which in her performances sound super goofy. Especially Bones.

    Blah. I barely managed to finish it and was sorely resentful of the time invested listening.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Black Arts: Jane Yellowrock, Book 7

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Faith Hunter
    • Narrated By Khristine Hvam
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1109)
    Performance
    (1020)
    Story
    (1018)

    When Evan Trueblood blows into town looking for his wife, Molly, he’s convinced that she came to see her best friend, Jane. But it seems like the witch made it to New Orleans and then disappeared without a trace. Jane is ready to do whatever it takes to find her friend. Her desperate search leads her deep into a web of black magic and betrayal and into the dark history between vampires and witches. But the closer she draws to Molly, the closer she draws to a new enemy - one who is stranger and more powerful than any she has ever faced.

    Maureen says: "Another great book. Go Faith!"
    "The Best One Yet..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is Hunter's best Yellowrock tale yet. I've devoured the whole series in a mad month of listening, and this last book is definitely the crown jewel! The plot is great, the writing intelligent and funny, and Jane is a heroine who is super tough yet has so much heart it hurts.

    I felt like all the characters had finally filled out properly in this book. Hunter has a firm handle on who they are, where they're going, and what each is willing to do to get there. Everyone is pushed to the limits of their own personal darkness in this tale, its quite a ride.

    There are some very interesting developments in the romantic side of Yellowrock's story, and though these books are not strictly love stories, I do so adore the way Hunter writes the interaction between Jane and Leo and Bruiser. Always its such a careful and tension-laden dance between them, whether verbal or physical. I appreciate that Hunter is an author who doesn't beat us over the head with unnecessary sexual situations, but if she chooses to "fade to black" or "chapter break" when Jane finally makes her choice I have to say I will be severely disappointed.

    Hvam is a talented narrator and really brings all the characters to life. My only complaint, and it is a trivial thing, is her pronunciation of French words, which are often butchered. Which is ironic, because the accent she does for Leo is so good. Still, I very much enjoy her work.

    All in all, more than worth the credit (or the sticker price, because I just couldn't wait)!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Giants of the Frost

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Kim Wilkins
    • Narrated By Edwina Wren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (98)
    Performance
    (30)
    Story
    (31)

    An epic saga of love, fate and betrayal.

    Victoria has chosen career over love, but starts to question this decision when she finds herself working at a remote weather research station on a tiny island off the coast of Norway. In this world of midnight sunshine, the Old Gods still watch the affairs of humanity - one of them has become fixated on Victoria, certain that she is the reincarnation of a woman he fell in love with over a thousand years before.

    Oren Eini says: "Bad ending"
    "Epic Tale With A Modern Twist"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really loved this book, more than I expected to. The author blended epic story telling of the old gods seamlessly with a modern twist. The way she characterized the Norse Gods and explained their existence, and their place in our mortal world, was very well done. Their characters take what we know of the gods, Odin the All Father and Loki the Trickster and the rest of the gang and turn their archetypes on their heads, making them fallible and almost human in their desires and weaknesses. This type of story is a classic in itself, a love story based on past life experience, and Wilkins brings everything we enjoy about the genre and adds her own elements besides. Despite the subject matter, I didn't feel it was cliché.

    The narrator was quite enjoyable as well. Not only is her posh british accent melodic, her Norwegian accents aren't bad either. She does a very good job of assigning a different voice to every character, I was impressed by her range.

    All in all, well worth the credit.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Skinwalker: Jane Yellowrock, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Faith Hunter
    • Narrated By Khristine Hvam
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3099)
    Performance
    (2638)
    Story
    (2644)

    Jane Yellowrock is the last of her kind-a skinwalker of Cherokee descent who can turn into any creature she desires and hunts vampires for a living. But now she's been hired by Katherine Fontaneau, one of the oldest vampires in New Orleans and the madam of Katie's Ladies, to hunt a powerful rogue vampire who's killing other vamps.

    Mobilis says: "How refreshing"
    "Yellowrock Kicks Butt, Takes Names"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is an excellent installment in the genre of vampire hunter fiction, and I consider myself a connoisseur. I don't give 5 stars lightly, but this book earned them with flying colors. I'm sorry I didn't stumble on this series sooner, one book and I am addicted. There will be no waiting for my monthly credit to finish out this series, no ma'am...

    I feel like some fantasy writers choose the genre because indeed they have no idea how the real world actually works, so they need to write something in which they can make EVERYTHING up (or for that matter what a plot line would look like if it slapped them in the face...) None of that to be found here. Faith Hunter has written a wonderful tale that despite its use of vampires, skin walkers, and witches, actually feels quite feasible. The motivations and actions of the characters are also feasible, driven, and well written. Her grasp of history and culture is intelligent without being pedantic, really a treat to read [listen to].

    The character of Jane Yellowrock is quite intriguing, and as other reviewers have said, it's nice to read about a heroine who actually likes herself. She's down to earth, very likable, funny, conscientious, and deadly good at her job of hunting and killing monsters. Her past and Cherokee lineage is a wonderful element of the character, and the author handled the suspense very well. I can't wait to find out more about Jane's past. And, well, she's a girl who rolls around on a vintage Harley with a Benelli shotgun on her back--bad a$$. :)

    The other characters are also well developed, sophisticated, and culturally accurate, which though a small thing can be one of my biggest pet peeves in a story. Ms. Hunter did her homework and I commend her for it. The love interests are positively drool worthy too, I might add. Between the vampire master Leo, his servant George, and "The Joe", I can't choose who to root for! Though this isn't what I would call a love story, there are plenty of romantically-charged moments that keep the story fun and interesting, on top of the mystery plot line. Maybe later we'll get more of a love story, I certainly hope so. Hunter laid the ground work in the first book here without Jane jumping into bed with every handsome guy that looks her way, a nice change of pace. Without being a prude or a nun, Jane is the type of girl who seems to have just as much fun saying "No".

    Some people have complained that the sections in which "Beast" is narrating were weird and confusing, but I found them quite entertaining, like stream of thought poetry if written by an animal on the hunt. Beast herself has a wry sense of humor all her own. Its a great creative touch to the story.

    New Orleans is not an easy city to write about in her lavish complexity, and not many authors do it well. However, Hunter tackles the task with aplomb, treating the reader to colorful prose that should fill a narration of such a great city. I haven't read Hunter's bio, but I wouldn't be surprised to find out she lived there.

    The narrator does a very good job bringing this story to life as well, I enjoyed listening to her very much. Not only Jane's voice sounds great, but the other voices for characters are treated with skill. Not many English speakers can pull off a French accent for extended paragraphs without sounding like they have peanut butter in their mouth, but Hvam delivers. :)

    I guess my only nitpicking for the whole book is that some of the French words weren't quite pronounced correctly, which is not the end of the world, and Bruiser's accent seemed to change from French to English half way through the story, a little confusing. I also wish we'd found out a bit more about the rogue's identity and motivation in the end, past just Jane's speculation. The last fight scene was epic, but maybe lacked a little closure. Then again, maybe we find out more in Book 2, I haven't listened yet, but I'm about to start, right now...

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Cold Dish: A Walt Longmire Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Craig Johnson
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3614)
    Performance
    (2724)
    Story
    (2723)

    Award-winning author Craig Johnson's critically acclaimed debut Western mystery takes listeners to the breathtaking mountains of Wyoming for a tale of cold-blooded vengeance. Four high-school boys were given suspended sentences for raping a Cheyenne girl. Now, two of the boys have been killed, and only Sheriff Walt Longmire can keep the other two safe.

    Dataman says: "Not Your Ordinary Western Novel (Series)"
    "I Love Walt Longmire Books So Much It Hurts..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've been putting off writing reviews of Craig Johnson's Walt Longmire series for quite a while now, because upon trying to organize my thoughts on the matter my brain simply offers a big excited slur of AHHH LOVE WALT LONGMIRE LIKE CRAAACK SO GOOD!!!

    Ahem. There it is.

    Perhaps it will be best to start at the beginning. I actually first read this first book as a nook book, and immediately wanted more. The next day I enrolled in audible.com's service, devoured the second book, and could NOT wait for my next credit. Literally. I purchased the rest of the series immediately. Guidall's narration is so perfect, so spot on to what I would imagine Walt's own voice being, and so VERY entertaining that I couldn't imagine finishing the series without him.

    Craig Johnson has created a star studded cast of colorful characters from many different walks of life. With them we travel as readers the full spectrum of human emotion: not a book goes by that doesn't have me howling with laughter and crying like a baby within the span of its pages. This book makes the introduction very well, establishing voices that carry throughout the rest of the series. And where all the characters are wonderful in their own special ways, I think Walt himself is the crown jewel of the lot. Like I imagine most female readers of this series are, I am hopelessly in love with Walt. He is sweet and empathetic to a heartbreaking fault, and yet somehow is undeniably...well, bad a$$. He is witty, well read, and endearingly self-deprecating. A well rounded Wyoming sheriff indeed!

    I wish I could say I'm a Craig Johnson snob who knew about the series way before it was cool on TV, but alas no. At the end of season one I sought out the books, and though where of course there are plenty of differences, and as is the case with most series and movies based off of books, the books are far better--one particular travesty galls like a festering wound: Officer Victoria Moretti. In the show she is flighty, unsure, and easily overcome (not to mention blond, which in itself could be forgiven without the other strikes). In Johnson’s books Moretti is as terrible and beautiful as a Roman goddess of war. Her wit is deadly sharp, as is her intelligence and her marksmanship. She takes guff from no one and curses like a sailor. Walt is kind of scared of her. I realize this is a book review and not of the show, so I only bring up this point to commend Johnson for his treatment of the female character, not just in Vic’s case but all across the board. Walt’s girls, his friends, family, and love interests, are likened to a pride of lionesses, and it is so very refreshing to read.

    I realize thus far this has been a blanket review of the series, so as for this individual book, I have to give it five stars. It’s not often a who dunnit surprises me in the end, but this one certainly did. The plot is complex, traversing tricky social issues involving race and sexual abuse. Its not a cut and dry story of the white hatted sheriff chasing a villain—I don’t want to spoil anything, but I will say that in the end you empathize with the killer in a way you will not with the murder victims.

    I also must commend Johnson for his treatment of setting in Wyoming. The descriptions of the landscape make my heart ache to go to Absaroka county and not leave. The modern wild west flavor of the prose makes for a wonderful cowboy tale indeed!

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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