Indianapolis, IN, United States | Member Since 2008
Funny, light, and sexy.
The other two books in the trilogy. Listen to them in order to better see character developmemt through the books.
Good character differences in vocal tone. I didn't have to wait for the phrase about who said the line. I wasn't distracted from the story, but rather pulled in by the performance.
The characters were great, the storyline believable, and the performance was very easy to listen to.
Setting: Contemporary San Francisco
Genre: Comedic Paranormal
Jody is a 26 year old Stanford drop-out serial monogamist refugee from a Carmel, CA middle class life. On her way home from working late at her customer service job in SF's financial district, she is attacked by a vampire. She wakes the next night with hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash and no memory of what happened. But she has super strength, can hear and smell everything (ewwww), and can see in the dark. She's also starving. She goes home to her stock broker boyfriend, who doesn't want to hear about anything except where she's been and tell her she no longer fits the image he wants to project. She tries to eat, but can't keep anything down, but notices an insatiable desire for blood. After having a drink of the boyfriend (she accidentally knocked him out), she leaves. While wandering around wondering how she's going to deal with being a vampire, she decides that she needs a minion. C. Thomas Flood (the C doesn't stand for anything, but he thinks it sounds important) is a 19 year old aspiring-writer, night stocker at Safeway escapee from a union-slave future in Indiana. Jody asks Tommy to move in with her to do daytime chores and be her boyfriend - and provide occasional nourishment. He agrees, and they move in to a nice loft with a bedroom without windows. Everything is good, until the murders start. All the victims have been drained of blood and had their necks broken. So the story revolves around this mystery, as well as the relationship developing between Tommy and Jody. The dialogue is witty, the situations comical, and the characters are great. Besides Jody and Tommy, they include the Animals (Tommy's co-workers at the Safeway, where he continues to work the overnight 11-7 shift), the Emperor and his "men", and the two detectives investigating the murders. All this makes Bloodsucking Fiends an amusing listen. Susan Bennett does a pretty good job giving voice to the people of this book.
Setting: Washington D. C contemporary
Genre: paranormal, supposed to be funny
I could not give zero stars, so I gave it one. I don't like to give crappy reviews unless I have been unable to finish a book, then it serves as a warning.
As I said, I was unable to finish. I got barely into chapter 3 before I had to stop.
This character, Sarah Jane Anderson, supposedly found her "dream job" working as Clerk of Court in night court, but then she's attacked by a vampire her first night at work. Apparently, working with supernatural individuals was not on the job description, and she's freaked out. Her boss, a vampire, saved her life but was unable to mesmerize her into forgetting what happened. He offers her 3 months pay and an excellent recommendation, but she begs to keep her job. Now, this woman continues to be extremely frightened. She whines about the situations and monsters she may encounter in the course of her duties. She's irritating!bSecondary characters are introduced in the first two chapters, but are extremely one-dimensional. You can barely tell they will figure into the plot. Or will they?mSarah should have taken the excellent severance package and gotten another job. But then, what of the plot? Look, it's a great concept, but so poorly executed that it was painful. Also, it's in first person POV, which lends itself to internal monologues, but there was too much of that telling and not enough showing. It is just bad writing. Apparently this author has done better work, but it will have to be free for me to even try.
The narration wasn't bad. There were some starts and stops where there shouldn't have been, but maybe the script was crappy. Differentiation of characters was okay.
Anyway, life is way too short to waste time on bad books, so move on from this one. I got the Whispersync deal, so it wasn't terribly expensive, but still...
Setting: Hoboken, NJ. Contemporary
Genre: Paranormal rom-com
So our hero, Max Adams, ends up drugged and in the Hoboken dog pound while looking for his life mate. He is on doggie death row when JC Jensen comes in looking for a kitten. Instead, she falls for this huge, ugly, smelly dog and takes him home. After a bath, flea treatment, and brushing he looks more like a normal, albeit menacing dog. She decides to name him Fluffy. Max, meanwhile, discovers that JC is his life mate, but can't very well court her as a dog. In his human form he moves next door, but when Fluffy disappears and JC is inconsolable, he decides to be both himself and the dog while he works up the nerve to reveal all. What follows are funny situations, witty dialogue, and lots of hot sex. His reveal to JC of his werewolf status is both funny and heart-wrenching. This book made me laugh, and it made me cry. Overall, it was a satisfying use of my time.
The narration was good, though there were times it was a little difficult to differentiate between characters. It wasn't too much of an issue because the story stayed primarily in Max & JC's points of view, but secondary characters sort of blended to two voices - male and female. The Kindle, when I needed to pop over to that medium, made the internal dialogue easier to understand from the story point of view. In the audio format, that wasn't as easy, but not impossible.
Genre: Steampunk, romance
Another foray into Meljean Brook's Iron Seas world. This one is set in Iceland, and there is no mention of characters from previous books, but these characters are sufficient unto themselves. Annika Fridasdotter is known back home (an isolated village of all females in Iceland) as Annika the Rabbit because she is timid, unlike her sister Kalla, who is a shield maiden. Annika has been away from home for 4 years, looking for her sister, who was exiled after taking the blame for something Annika did. She's been a stoker/junior engineer on an airship during that time. She meets David Kentewess when he intervenes when she has difficulties with a port official while she is on shore. David is a vulcanologist whose expedition is taking the ship Annika works on to their destination in Iceland. David was injured in an accident in which his mother died. One of his eyes, a hand, and both legs are prosthetic, and he is infected with the nanoagents that prevent rejection. He has emotional issues due to his mother's death, his injury, and the constant fear and rejection he faces because of his prosthetics. He has been trying to fulfill his mother's dying wish for him to bury her runes in her birthplace, but never told him or his father where that is. When he meets Annika, he recognizes her accent as being the same as his mom's.
So the story is about David trying to find out where his mother was born and Annika keeping the info to herself because it would endanger her village and the way of life there. Along the way, they start getting to know one another and experience adventures I would tell you about but that might spoil it for you. I will say this: sex, whale, volcano. Over the course of the novel, Annika discovers that she is stronger and braver than she thought, and David decides that it is better to be important to one particular person than accepted by just anyone. Intrigued? This is worth delving into to find out about these people and their story.
The narration is pretty strong. Alison Larkin, whom I haven't always loved, provides a smooth performance. I bounced between Kindle to audio when my eyes got tired. I just love Whispersync, especially when I get both formats for only slightly more than what an audible credit costs me.
This book is definitely worth your time, regardless of whether you read or listen. And even though it is set in the Iron Seas world, it can definitely stand alone.
Setting: Albuquerque, NM contemporary
Genre: Paranormal romance
To be honest, I was a bit disappointed in this foray into Charley Davidson's world. It was very slow going at times, and I got impatient with the lack of action. Also, Charley was just TSTL sometimes, doing things she knew she shouldn't. I guess stupid is a plot device, but it seemed more heavily in use in this book than the others. It's hard to reconcile the snarky, silly woman with her supposed importance to the world. Maybe that dichotomy is just too diverse to work for me. Also, the plot was kind of thin in my opinion, with the main plot (suicides that weren't) subsumed by the base plot that has run through all the books (the possible end of the world and Charley and company's role in it). The dialogue was, as usual, funny, and I laughed out loud several times. But no matter how entertaining it was, it just couldn't carry the book by itself. Will I listen to the next one? Probably, but I'll wait until others have read and reviewed it.
Lorelei King gave an excellent performance. Her pacing and inflection, as well as her vocal range, give voice to the characters such that you are pulled into the story. I have enjoyed every narration of hers that I've heard.
Setting: London, 1851
It will be the 100th anniversary of Lady Penelope's Finishing School, and in all that time, no girl has attended unmarried in her 4th season. But it looks likely to be a record broken by Lady Olivia Archer, AKA Prissy Missy, one of London's "Least Likely". In her case, Least Likely to Cause a Scandal. Her head is filled with "young ladies shouldn't" rules from her mother who, by the way, dogs her footsteps at every social event, trying to get her a husband. Phinn, having come to London to build a machine to show at the great exhibition and to find a wife, considers half of his mission complete when he sees Olivia. She is quiet, biddable, and totally opposite to his late wife. She won't, he surmises, interfere with his scientific work. He offers for Olivia without even a formal introduction, and she is horrified when her parents accept his suit. He is known as the Mad Baron, rumored to have killed his wife. Before meeting him, she decides to discourage him by taking part in scandalous behavior, which shocks him, but ends up actually engaging his interest. The plot revolves around the mystery of his past and their adjustment to one another. Olivia really comes into herself when she breaks out of the "young ladies shouldn't" mold.
I really WANT to like Maya Rodale's novels more, but I can't say any of them rate more (or less) than average. I get impatient with the whole misunderstanding/lack of communication trope. I know this is used as a plot device in many books, but that doesn't mean I have to like it. Her characters are quite likable, so it's too bad they're caught in poorly executed plots.
Carolyn Morris is not in the list of my favorite narrators. There was nothing either terribly irritating, nor exceptional about her performance. Truly, I just finished the book, and I can't tell you whether or not she differentiated characters. I do know that, although Phinn was from Yorkshire, she did not give him a regional accent . That would have cranked her up to high average or even above.
Although this book was slightly disappointing, I'll get the next one just to find out what happens with Prudence, but probably on Kindle rather than using one of my Audible credits.
Setting: London & Scotland, 1880's
Another wonderful installment in the MacKenzie & McBride series
I just love this series. What can I say? Gotta love a Scotsman. This one is Sinclair "Basher" McBride, known throughout London as an eloquent barrister who always gets a conviction. He's being considered for a judgeship. On the personal front, he has been widowed for 7 years and has two unruly children, Catriona (Cat), 11, and Andrew, 8. The children are known for getting governesses to quit the family's employ, post haste. Roberta "Bertie" Frasier is a 26 year old, brown-haired, violet-eyed cockney woman who becomes fascinated with Sinclair as he is prosecuting her friend, Ruthie, for murdering her employer. Bertie starts following him to his work, and to his home (stalking much?), and one day she happens to be around when the kids put themselves in danger and she saves them. The regular governess walks away and leaves the kids with Bertie. Because they behave with her, the rest of the household won't let her leave. Sinclair finds her there and insists she stay until his gilly finds a new governess - though he never actually looks. There's a mystery going on, as well as the development of the relationship. The other McBrides, as well as the MacKenzies, make appearances, but don't take over the story.
I hope this isn't the end of the series, though I don't know what characters Ms Ashley can create stories for in this wonderful Victorian world. I hope she figures something out, though, because I love it there!
The narration is really great. Angela Dawe does an excellent Scottish accent, and her English narrative isn't as laconic as in previous books. There's a good differentiation of gender and age, and consistency in the voices of specific characters across the series.
Genre: "Hollywood" memoir
What's So Funny? could be answered with "Tim Conway's memoir". The book covered the highlights of the comedian's life and career, from birth to the time the book was finished. I really mean highlights, because even a failed marriage was depicted in a positive manner. I don't care what anyone says, life cannot be without some problems. But maybe it's just his personality, which is certainly interesting. My sister and I listened to this on a 13 hour drive from Texas to Alabama, and the audio book narrated by the author made the trip pleasant.
Overall, a fun listen.
Setting: contemporary NY, NY
Genre: YA situation comedy
I enjoyed this book about a too-thin, too-tall, flat-chested 14 year old girl trying to adjust to high school, along with her smart, bossy best friend Lily. Her mother has given her a diary through which the entire story is told. She details her issues of liking the popular boy, being talked down to by his snotty cheerleader girlfriend, and dealing with the difficulties of algebra. Then her life gets really challenging when she learns that she is actually the heir to the throne of a tiny European principality.
I really liked the protagonist, Mia. Other characters were interesting as well, though I wouldn't say any of them were particularly well-developed. Of course, this is the first of a series, so they will likely be fleshed out in succeeding books.
What I didn't like about the book is the poor role-model Mia makes for girls. Am I being too much of a feminist when I cringe at her problems with math and how it takes a boy to help her understand? Or that her algebra teacher bumps her grade up to a D because he is dating her mom? I totally understand the adolescent angst of dealing with social anxiety, coupled with the horrors of finding out that she has to learn to dress and act like a princess. What I don't understand is why Ms Cabot felt the need to go stereotypical with girls and math. It would have been just as funny, if not more so, had her school difficulties been in geography. At any rate, aside from that issue, this was a fun listen that provided lots of laughs, and Anne Hathaway's performance was excellent.
Genre: Not sure. Sci-fi, adventure, a little rom-com
Regardless of genre, this was a great book. Nate is a minimum-wage temp doing mind numbing data entry. He has to leave his apartment due to a change in roommate situation. He hears about a low-rent studio, and after his application is approved, he moves in. Things are pretty strange there. Things are strange in the whole building. Nate's curiosity is piqued, and he starts asking other tenants about it. What the story comes down to is a motley crew of people investigating the oddities of the place, and finding some strange and scary stuff. I found the plot fun and the characters enjoyable. In fact, scenes were so well described, I can imagine it as a movie.
The reviews for this book on GR and Audible are favorable, but I didn't read them before purchase. I got it based on the premise alone, and I'm glad it was so well-executed! Most of the reviews I read before writing this referred to it as horror, but I will refrain from that label because I hate horror. Plus, even though there are mutants and references to H. P. Lovecraft, I didn't have to sleep with the lights on. I classified it mostly as sci-fi adventure, and filed it on my "made-me-laugh"'shelf. The dialogue between Nate and Veek is lively and amusing. The thing that kept me from giving it 5 stars is a writing issue that is really bothersome for me. It really pulls me out of the action when a book in 3rd person POV jumps between characters. I just see it as laziness on the part of the writer. That jumping around is so much easier than getting info across while staying with a truly singular POV. Most of the book was from Nate's point of view, but to make it easier to show what was going on outside of his line of sight, the action would switch to some other character's point of view. I can handle it when a book is broken down into discrete sections shared by a couple of different people, but this wasn't like that. Oh well, I know this is probably just me...
The narration was good. There wasn't much difference in pitch, but pacing , accents, and style helped differentiate the characters. I'd say Ray Porter's performance was a bit above average.
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