Probably not - I plan to read the next two instead of listening. Howey has a tendency to spend a lot of time on details I find extraneous, particularly with the Solo story, which I felt I had a good sense for from the first book, and I would rather speed read through those sequences than have to listen to them.
I would eliminate most of the scenes with Solo, frankly. I didn't feel they added to the story line in a meaningful way. We already have a good sense of what went down with him from the first book; I found his scenes to be a distraction, and also too drawn out.
I was impressed by Tim Gerard Reynolds' range of accents and voices, but I don't feel that any character in this particular book was especially likable. Donald and his wife Helen would be the closest, but Donald's so wishy-washy that I spent too much time judging him.
No. There were definitely segments that made me listen longer than I technically had time for, but it wasn't hard for me to hit pause a lot of the time.
I really liked the narrator of the first book, so it took me some time to get into Tim's style. The British accent threw me for a loop given the locale of the story. I became very aware of how often Hugh Howey uses the word "palm." However, it was very engaging and digestible. It's a long listen and would be good for car trips, but I feel it might be a superior read.
The quirky characters and larger-than-life series of events. It was definitely ridiculous. I love ridiculous when it's owned by the author like it was.
Anything by Charlaine Harris, although I'd argue Ms. Harris' characters follow a more psychologically and culturally relevant pattern.
I'm blanking on her name, but the crazy aunt who was most normal when drinking brandy.
Yes. Delicious and entertaining are the words I'd use. I wasn't necessarily dying to know the whodunit bit, but I was enjoying losing myself in the story.
My biggest complaints about this story, and they really weren't distracting, merely not my favorite things are that:
1. This takes place in the Midwest and the characters seem more East Coast harsh to me. In all fairness, I live in Wisconsin, not Illinois, but I was still surprised by the choice (very minor, probably stupid complaint).
2. Slut-shaming. There is an awesomely awful character named Monica who is most criticized by the protagonist for her sexual choices rather than for being a crazy and unpleasant person. This did take me a little out of the story since it's a trigger for me personally. All told, however, I never actually got the sense that the main character was anti-sex, just that she hated Monica and would use anything against her.
No - especially not Elizabeth Michaels. I found her narration challenging to listen to, at best. Her intonation was unnatural and she didn't have any continuity with voices. Every so often, her accent would change abruptly. I would give Victoria Laurie another chance if I received a sterling recommendation for a particular book of hers, but I won't pursue it.
It has made me much more nervous to buy other books in this genre from Audible. I've been mostly lucky with my buys, but this, along with a couple of other purchases, has made me hesitant to just get something. I really like Juliet Blackwell's series and grew to appreciate Xe Sands' narration, but I'm afraid to tackle new series now. This dominated my drive from NY to WI, and it was a disappointment.
No. See above for details. Another thing of note - Abby Cooper is supposed to be in her thirties, but Ms. Michaels sounds like she's in her fifties or sixties. It gave me some serious cognitive dissonance to work through.
There was no one character that stood out to me as fundamentally not belonging. The entire story was poorly crafted. Very few characters struck me as realistic or consistent. I found Abby the most challenging to believe, from her insistence that she is really a boring person ("vanilla") to her inappropriate outbursts with the law and other individuals. Her character straddled a particularly hormonal fifteen-year-old and someone with a personality disorder, which I have trouble believing a semi-successful 30-something businesswoman would be able to maintain. That being said, I didn't find any primary/secondary character especially realistic.
I have never given a one star review before and I find myself wondering if I'm being too harsh, but mentally reviewing the story and experience of listening to this, I can't justify applying another star to any piece. The mystery was painfully obvious, there was far too much foreshadowing, the language wasn't consistent with the time period/age group, the characters and relationships were unlikeable and unbelievable, and the series of events felt off. There were some funny turns of phrase, but that wasn't enough to salvage this for me. I really like this genre, as a rule, and am fine with a certain amount of predictability and unrealistic happenings (that's what makes it fun!), but there was almost nothing to latch onto for me here. Other reviewers enjoyed this, so take this with a grain of salt, of course.
It depends on the friend - this sort of writing and story isn't for everyone. If you've listened to the rest of the series, absolutely. This one is the best so far! I'm falling even more in love with Mel Turner and her life.
Mel is definitely my favorite character, which is atypical for me. I tend to gravitate towards other characters, but I feel such a kinship with her - her skepticism, thoroughness, quirky style, and curiosity.
The ability to do other things whilst being entertained! I've learned to love Xe Sands' narrative style - at first (starting with the witching series), I found her a little difficult to listen to, but I've grown to appreciate the nuance with which she voices each character. Her soothing voice allows my mind to relax into the story.
Historical home renovation just got spookier! Which sounds awful. Nobody would ask me to write a tag line for a movie.
I listened to this for part of two thirteen hour drives. It wavered between annoying me and gripping my attention. I don't regret listening to it, but I won't listen to any future works by this author. This would have been easier to read than listen to. The writing style is repetitive and full of statements that seek gravitas that, surrounded by such similar statements, fall flat. I would have preferred to skim over these passages.
This story is really compelling, but it reads like Hunger Games for teenage boys. First, I would nix the first person narration. It's hard to do well, and here it really hindered the story for me. There was too much telling and not enough showing for me to feel swept up in what could really be an epic tale. Also, I would remove a great deal of the foreshadowing. It made a lot too predictable. Second, the pacing reduced my enjoyment. A lot of time and attention were spent on aspects that I didn't feel warranted it where other pieces were neglected. Finally, I would choose or create different scenarios earlier on to show why the main character is special, because despite his explanations, I didn't see it. Even at the end, when he had really evolved, I didn't understand what other characters really saw in him. His transformation felt forced to me. While in Hunger Games the protagonist is really swept up as an accidental symbol, in this the character is meant to be a force of nature in and of himself. Despite being told on multiple occasions how special he is from his own lips, I didn't see it. I felt the romance in the beginning was overblown and trope-y and his attitude later on difficult to believe. That being said, cool story overall.
I felt he paused too frequently. In fairness to Mr. Reynolds, I suspect that the author had far too many "ending" sentences in a passage. If you've seen the third Lord of the Rings movie, his writing is like those last thirty minutes where it seemed that the movie was over, and then over again, and then over again. Instead, it felt like the author got carried away with heavy statements and instead of choosing one or two powerful punches, he just littered every chapter with them. It would have been awesome if Mr. Reynolds could have blasted through them a little more, but I suspect he made the right call as an actor.
No. I would not advise listening to this. It would be better to read. It's way too long for what it contains.
So despite not recommending the audiobook, the story has a lot of merit. If you don't mind teenage apocalyptic first-person narrated stories, or even revel in them, this will probably appeal to you. However, check your attention span first. If you just want to get lost in a teenager's conflicted thoughts in the midst of strife, you will like this. If you're motivated by a fast-paced story with some emotional moments, you will likely be irritated.
Delightful, educational, addictive
Learning about "Emperor" Norton of San Francisco. I love the historical nuggets Blackwell throws into all of her works.
I love her range of voices and I find her narration very soothing.
When the main character comforts a dying man - I had the feels.
If you like any other Juliet Blackwell works or are a Charlaine Harris fan, this is right up your alley. Blackwell does for San Fran what Harris does for the South. She takes neat ideas and combines them with aspects of the world I seldom ponder - in this instance, historic home renovation. I absolutely get lost in all the facets of Mel's life and delight in every moment!
The characters and the unique story line! I adore this cast of characters and the way magic and vintage clothing intermingle. What a hoot! It's a delicious listen.
Anything by Charlaine Harris - it has that "take you through my every-day" charm that Ms. Harris' books have that's soothing and invigorating. Of course there's the accidental sleuthing as well!
Consistent, gentle, unique
I would not be the person writing this tag, because this is what it would be: "Who knew a witchy wardrobe could be so dangerous?"
I adore this series. The narrator is definitely an acquired taste. She tends to trail off as she speaks, and everyone has the same lazy, quiet tonality, which I sometimes find irritating, but as I've gotten used to her, I've really admired the consistency of her characterizations. Fun fun!
The gentle way in which Tara Brach couches these concepts.
Living Your Yoga, because it similarly breaks out painful human tendencies with compassion and meditative exercises for accepting them.
Her voice is so soothing and gentle. I'm able to practice yoga while listening, which is a step up from reading a physical book since I'd have to put the book down to engage in the meditative exercises fully.
Everyone just wants to feel safe, happy, and loved. That makes painful interactions easier to bear.
The story was rich and well-crafted.
Kvothe's father. He was a warm, inviting bard with a wonderful outlook on the world.
His accents are delightful.
A couple of times. There are some painful scenes in which Kvothe loses a great deal. It felt Grapes of Wrath-esque in the profundity of his let-downs. I grinned when he was being suitably cheeky. I got bored when he ran into Denna (sp?). Worst scenes ever. I'm not sure I can continue if she keeps showing up. I find her scenes offensive and his view on her repulsive. In all fairness, I don't have a lot of patience for drawn-out romantic sub-plots. Her bits subsumed the story.
The dialogue. It felt contrived, inconsistent, and unrealistic.
Perfect ending for the story. I smiled.
Lacking voiced plosives.
Not sure I'll continue to be honest. It was decent, entertaining, but it felt like a weak version of The Dresden Files with a squishy mish-mash of world religions. The cast of characters wasn't especially memorable, and their behaviors weren't distinct. However I love this kind of story, so there's always a chance I'll continue on.
It's not a bad story. It's possible that future volumes are pretty awesome, but I wasn't particularly taken by this. If you liked Dresden Files, I would warn you that it feels very similar, but lacks like character development, complexity, and depth. That being said, I wasn't totally bonkers over the first Dresden Files. It took me three books to get hooked. But this lacked the social awareness that I found so engaging in even the first Dresden Files.
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