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Kenneth

Cary, NC, United States | Member Since 2007

66
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 64 reviews
  • 235 ratings
  • 648 titles in library
  • 53 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
3
FOLLOWERS
2

  • Divergent

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Veronica Roth
    • Narrated By Emma Galvin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (18865)
    Performance
    (17056)
    Story
    (17201)

    In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue - Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is - she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

    Grant says: "It's not for me. Loved it anyway."
    "Good, Not Great"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Divergent definitely reminds me of The Hunger Games. It's not going to go down in history as a great piece of literature that generations of people will grow up reading and becoming a classic. It is a young adult book.

    Because of that, one must go into it with a good bit of willingness to suspend disbelief. They do not explain what happened to society to leave it in this condition but I found that did not really matter much. In an adult book where there are several plot lines that are all interwoven, it would be expected. Because the target audience is younger, this story has one plot line and we follow it from beginning to end. (Well, the end of this particular episode.) It is a very simple and therefore, fairly predictable story but that doesn't mean it wasn't enjoyable.

    If you are looking for a deep, meaningful novel with complex plot twists and character development, leave the young adult section. If you want a fast moving adventure story, give Divergent a try.

    I finished it, listened to another book and now I have started the second book in the series so it did draw me back. I was curious to see where this was going. I hope it doesn't disappoint me in the end like Hunger Games did.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Memory Keeper's Daughter

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Kim Edwards
    • Narrated By Ilyana Kadushin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (601)
    Performance
    (185)
    Story
    (185)

    Kim Edwards' stunning family drama evokes the spirit of Sue Miller and Alice Sebold, articulating every mother's silent fear: what would happen if you lost your child and she grew up without you?

    In 1964, when a blizzard forces Dr. David Henry to deliver his own twins, he immediately recognizes that one of them has Down Syndrome and makes a split-second decision that will haunt all their lives forever.

    ciscospice says: "Is it over yet?"
    "I Disliked this from Start to Finish"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There was a point where I thought maybe this was going to turn around into something interesting but I was wrong. All of the characters are selfish and unlikeable. The one saving grace was Edwards did a remarkable job of portraying a young person with Down's Syndrome. The rest of the story was dull and unremarkable with the sudden switches between characters making it difficult to follow the story. It also had the feeling that the author was following a prescribed list of writing tips to include, for instance when Nora answered the phone, to build suspense, you should talk about how she remembered this moment in the years to come.... It all added up to an aggravating slog through an uninspired story.

    Ilyana Kadushin did a decent job with what she had to work with but there was no variation in her inflection except for Phoebe and that never truly sounded correct to me.

    Definite pass on this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • In the Woods

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Tana French
    • Narrated By Steven Crossley
    Overall
    (5062)
    Performance
    (3085)
    Story
    (3086)

    As dusk approaches a small Dublin suburb in the summer of 1984, mothers begin to call their children home. But on this warm evening, three children do not return from the dark and silent woods. When the police arrive, they find only one of the children, unable to recall a single detail of the previous hours.

    Twenty years later, the found boy, Rob Ryan, is a detective on the Dublin Murder Squad and keeps his past a secret. But when a 12-year-old girl is found murdered in the same woods, he and Detective Cassie Maddox find themselves investigating a case chillingly similar to the previous unsolved mystery.

    Amazon Customer says: "A near-flawless audiobook (but for one thing...)"
    "Great Story Until the End"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This story had me captivated. I listened to it eagerly awaiting the point where the 2 story lines converge and everything would make sense. There were hints of something supernatural going on and I loved that we didn't know what that was. Then in the last 1/4 of the book, the main character turned into a terrible jerk and the story just ended without a resolution. The author seemed to think he was so clever that we wouldn't have any clue about who was behind the murder but that part was pretty transparent to me. I was so incredibly disappointed with this book esp since it started out so well. Skip it.

    Plus, the narrator didn't even try to do an Irish accent but he did appear to have a bad case of dry mouth as he can be heard smacking, gulping and swallowing throughout the entire book. This is a MAJOR irritation with me so some may not find it as obvious but I'm extremely sensitive to it.

    2 of 2 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
    (18519)
    Performance
    (14573)
    Story
    (14615)

    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.

    Alisha says: "Good listen, but what's up with the chapter set up"
    "Sophomore Slump Defined"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I wasn't completely overwhelmed with the first book but wanted to continue the story so I got the second. This book was not as good as the first and I really struggled to get through it.

    Clash of Kings is a transition book. People are moving around with little blips of action. I found most of it to be quite boring.

    The worst part about it was how Martin introduced magic. It was thrown at us out of nowhere and was ridiculously over the top! It left me scratching my head saying, "Did that really just happen?" I told my husband it was a "Jump the Shark" kind of thing and when he got to that point, he completely agreed with me.

    Probably what I was most disappointed in was where he brought some of the characters. Catelyn esp let me down. She became a bit of a whiner. We never hear from Rob and he's turned John into a bit of a jerk. Too much time was spent with Dani and nothing was accomplished. Everyone just maneuvered into position in this book

    I have started the 3rd book in hopes that this was just the sophomore slump many authors go through.

    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
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (27281)
    Performance
    (21021)
    Story
    (21103)

    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"
    "Average Fantasy Stuff"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Martin is a decent author and his characters are complex and strong but I wouldn't put him at the top of my favorite fantasy author list.

    The book jumps from person to person which is normal in a book this long. Some people like this, others do not. I don't mind it but I do enjoy some of the characters more than others.

    Many people have complained that main characters get killed off. Those people must not have read much fantasy because in every good series I've ever read, main characters get killed off. This is not a romance novel or a Stephen King novel where the hero is left standing with all his favorite people. The fantasy genre is known for killing off main characters. This is why I truly believe this series is as popular as it is because of the HBO version of it. People who would normally never read a fantasy book are picking it up because of the amazing job HBO does with their series.

    That said, what HBO does best is skim over the less glamorous parts and highlights the action. Martin tends to get bogged down in political minutia and I find myself tuning out. The first 1/2 of the book was slow to ramp up and the second 1/2 is where all the action happens. To me it was a very typical introductory book to a very long series but not my favorite series.

    I will listen to the next and most likely the entire series simply because some of the characters are very cool. I would not put this in the same league at Tolkien or Sanderson but he has potential and a neat premise. I'd like to see where he goes with it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Insurgent: Divergent, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Veronica Roth
    • Narrated By Emma Galvin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12542)
    Performance
    (11353)
    Story
    (11450)

    One choice can transform you - or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves - and herself - while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

    Lore says: "Decent but not as interesting as Divergent"
    "As Expected"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As is the case with most sophomore novels; this is not as good as the original but it's not terrible. I didn't think the first was great. This fell off a little.

    There is the obligatory split between the young lovers, a lot of action and teen angst. All of which is the crux of most YA fiction. Roth goes into a little more character development in this book but they all still appear to be pretty straightforward. The action is a little too pat and action movie-esque. People are constantly getting shot and persevering. I've never been shot but I imagine a bullet wound to my leg would completely put me out of commission and almost certainly I wouldn't be able to jump a train with one in my shoulder. But alas, there is that necessity for suspension of disbelief.

    One thing that really started to irritate me toward the end of the book is Roth's overuse of, "I/he/she said." to delineate who was speaking. Many times, it would have been obvious who the speaker was without it but and in the cases where it was necessary, it would have been prudent to use other words, eg: exclaimed, shouted, mumbled etc... Here is where Roth's age and inexperience as a writer was most evident. A little variation goes a long way. Even my second grader knows to do this! I think even Emma Galvin got tired of reading it since by the end of the book, it sounded like she was saying, "I said" with a sneer! It was only minimally distracting however.

    I will listen to the 3rd book when it comes out, however, unlike The Hunger Games, I am not recommending this series to my husband. He was too irritated by the teenage angst in THG to put up with it in this one.

    I hope Roth continues to write and grow as an author. I think she has a lot of promise and some interesting ideas.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Two Graves

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
    • Narrated By Rene Auberjonois
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2043)
    Performance
    (1791)
    Story
    (1794)

    After his wife, Helen, is brazenly abducted before his eyes, Special Agent Pendergast furiously pursues the kidnappers, chasing them across the country and into Mexico. But then, things go terribly, tragically wrong; the kidnappers escape; and a shattered Pendergast retreats to his New York apartment and shuts out the world. But when a string of bizarre murders erupts across several Manhattan hotels, NYPD Lieutenant D'Agosta asks his friend Pendergast for help.

    G. House Sr. says: "Whiplash from the emotional rollercaster"
    "You've Lost a Fan"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have listened to every single Pendergast book Preston & Child have written. I have been a huge fan. I loved them all up through Fever Dream. Then came Cold Vengeance which I listened to but was extremely disappointed in. I had to listen to Two Graves to finish out the story. I hoped Cold Vengeance was just a temporary lapse and Two Graves would rekindle the spark. I was wrong.

    There was a glimmer of hope in the middle of this book but it was extinguished and never revived. It was a laughable premise and that's saying a lot based on the things they have come up with over the years.

    I am sorry to say, I will not be listening to any more from this once great series.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Cloud Atlas

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By David Mitchell
    • Narrated By Scott Brick, Cassandra Campbell, Kim Mai Guest, and others
    Overall
    (3381)
    Performance
    (2560)
    Story
    (2571)

    A reluctant voyager crossing the Pacific in 1850; a disinherited composer blagging a precarious livelihood in between-the-wars Belgium; a high-minded journalist in Governor Reagan's California; a vanity publisher fleeing his gangland creditors; a genetically modified "dinery server" on death-row; and Zachry, a young Pacific Islander witnessing the nightfall of science and civilisation: the narrators of Cloud Atlas hear each other's echoes down the corridor of history.

    Elizabeth says: "thoroughly enjoyed"
    "Not My Thing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I knew going into it that Cloud Atlas was written differently so that's not what threw me. I simply didn't find the story all that interesting. The characters were ok but I felt I didn't get enough time with any of them to really connect. Each story sort of built on the last but it was so far removed that it never really felt connected. I see where the author was going with it but it was too much of a conspiracy for me to really buy it.

    The narrators were all very good which made the story easy to listen to at least.

    I can't recommend this but I won't say don't bother. It's OK.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Joseph J. Ellis
    • Narrated By Nelson Runger
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (659)
    Performance
    (207)
    Story
    (197)

    A New York Times best seller, Founding Brothers is an engrossing work of nonfiction from National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize winner Joseph J. Ellis. It is a book that uncovers the substance behind many of our most cherished historical tales. Here are six fascinating, well-researched chapters involving such icons as George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison.

    Vernon says: "Remarkably moving book"
    "Great History Lesson"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Founding Brothers is a fascinating story of our country's birth. Through the use of letters and anecdotes, we get a lighter view of the lives of the men responsible for leading us toward our freedom. That's not to say this is a light book, it certainly touches on the heavier aspects of the Revolution but it is presented in such a way that it flows easily and keeps the listener engaged.

    Nelson Runger is not my favorite narrator. I could hear him smacking his lips and swallowing throughout the book and he has a tendency to pause at odd times. It however wasn't enough to ruin the book for me.

    I recommend this to anyone who wants to get a good rounded view of the men who created our great country.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Anna Karenina

    • UNABRIDGED (39 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Leo Tolstoy
    • Narrated By Lorna Raver
    Overall
    (59)
    Performance
    (39)
    Story
    (39)

    Vladimir Nabokov called Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina "one of the greatest love stories in world literature." Set in imperial Russia, Anna Karenina is a rich and complex meditation on passionate love and disastrous infidelity. Married to a powerful government minister, Anna Karenina is a beautiful woman who falls deeply in love with a wealthy army officer, the elegant Count Vronsky.

    Bookoholics Anon says: "Not good dramatization but an ok reading"
    "Story Fell Short for Me"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Obviously, I need to give up on Russian Lit, or at least Tolstoy. I enjoyed this more than War & Peace but this was still lacking.

    Tolstoy did a much better job with depth of character in this one. They were quirky and entertaining for the most part but I ended up getting bored with them after a while. They just went round and round without ever really accomplishing anything.

    I was hoping for more from Anna. She started out such a strong woman. Of course, in the 1870s writing about a strong woman wouldn't fly so he caved to popular opinion and crushed her.

    It's a classic so it's on that must read eventually list but it wasn't my favorite.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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