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Leslie

Sausalito, CA, United States | Member Since 2009

ratings
88
REVIEWS
37
FOLLOWING
1
FOLLOWERS
1
HELPFUL VOTES
73

  • Broken Homes: A Rivers of London Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Ben Aaronovitch
    • Narrated By Kobna Holdbrook-Smith
    Overall
    (406)
    Performance
    (387)
    Story
    (387)

    My name is Peter Grant, and I am a keeper of the secret flame - whatever that is. Truth be told, there's a lot I still don't know. My superior Nightingale, previously the last of England's wizardly governmental force, is trying to teach me proper schooling for a magician's apprentice. But even he doesn't have all the answers. Mostly I'm just a constable sworn to enforce the Queen’s Peace, with the occasional help from some unusual friends and a well-placed fire blast.

    Cliff says: "Finally, it's out!"
    "Excellent narration, compelling characters"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really love this series and think this is one you want to listen to rather than read. Definitely start at the beginning of the series for full enjoyment.

    Kobna Holdbrook-Smith is an astounding narrator who brings the main character to life and also does an amazing job with a very large range of characters of different ages, genders, classes, and ethnicities. He can go from a gay, Filipino guy from San Francisco to an African matron, to an upper crust, elderly British man in a heartbeat.

    I have to agree with other reviewers that the story often has so many different story threads and characters that it can get confusing at times. My advice is to pay attention to names or you may find yourself half way through and wondering - "Wait, who the heck is that again?" I also agree with another reviewer that the story is so delightful anyway, just enjoy the ride.

    As far as the surprise twist at the end: it's a believable outcome, but at the same time, am I the only one thinking "Wait a minute, does this really make sense in the story? Why would they have done x, y and z if that was the case? (Don't want to give you any spoilers!)

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Good Thief's Guide to Amsterdam

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Chris Ewan
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (502)
    Performance
    (443)
    Story
    (445)

    Charlie Howard travels the globe writing suspense novels for a living. To supplement his income - and keep his hand in - Charlie has a small side business: stealing for a very discreet clientele on commission. When a mysterious American offers Charlie 20,000 euros to steal two small monkey figurines to match the one he already has, Charlie is suspicious; the job seems too good to be true, and of course, it is. He soon finds the American beaten nearly to death, while the third figurine has disappeared.

    adrienne says: "A delightful surprise!"
    "A Fun Find"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Glad I followed the reviews and picked this up. I needed a lightweight mystery to entertain me while I do some mindless photo retouching. This fit the bill. A good romp with a burglar / mystery writer anti-hero.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Silkworm

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Robert Galbraith
    • Narrated By Robert Glenister
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2252)
    Performance
    (2096)
    Story
    (2089)

    When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, Mrs. Quine just thinks her husband has gone off by himself for a few days - as he has done before - and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home. But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine's disappearance than his wife realizes. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows.

    H James Lucas says: "A well-worn genre enlivened with fresh characters"
    "Series is a Winner"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really enjoyed The first book in this series and this was just as satisfying. The detective Cormoran Strike and his assistant, Robin Ellacott are characters that really come to life.

    The writing is good, the narration is excellent. I was sad when this came to an end and can't wait for the next installment. One of the best reads on Audible. Highly recommend.

    One tiny thing I didn't like. Each chapter begins with a quote from another book. I found them annoying. If I were reading the book, I could choose to read them or not and to possibly peek back at the end of the chapter to see how they were pertinent. In an audio book, they take on too much weight and didn't make a lot of sense to me. Minor annoyance.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Way of Kings: Book One of The Stormlight Archive

    • UNABRIDGED (45 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Kate Reading, Michael Kramer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10195)
    Performance
    (7665)
    Story
    (7711)

    Roshar is a world of stone and storms. Uncanny tempests of incredible power sweep across the rocky terrain so frequently that they have shaped ecology and civilization alike. Animals hide in shells, trees pull in branches, and grass retracts into the soilless ground. Cities are built only where the topography offers shelter. It has been centuries since the fall of the ten consecrated orders known as the Knights Radiant, but their Shardblades and Shardplate remain: mystical swords and suits of armor.

    Lore says: "Wow - 45 hours long and leaves you wanting more!"
    "Stick with it and you'll be addicted"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I almost didn't listen to this past the first hour. I just couldn't get into it at first. I think it was mostly due to the rather cryptic, confusing (first) prologue. I listened to it over and over again and kept thinking? Huh? I have to admit in the very beginning, I thought it was too much of a Sci Fi story to get into. I needed a story to listen to though while I edited photos on the computer (mindless retouching - not creative.) so I stuck it out.

    I'm glad I did because the story becomes very compelling. I couldn't pry myself away from it and I immediately bought the 2nd book - I couldn't wait a week for my next credit to come up! I actually spent one entire weekend in bed listening because I couldn't pry myself away. This rarely happens to me.

    The narration is excellent and I'm glad they have the two narrators.

    I will give a few warnings about the story. (No Spoilers, though.)

    In it's essence, this book is about a handful of characters and that story is very absorbing and easy to follow. However, as a whole, there are a lot of characters and places and the names are all made-up, so I found it hard to follow along sometimes. He also has opening sentences to each chapter as well as interludes with characters you only see once and I sometimes found myself feeling a bit lost. I kept wishing I had a study guide of character and place names I could refer to. If I can fault the story at all, it's maybe details and levels of the story get spooned out so incrementally that it can be confusing.

    Hmm. Thinking about it, this might be a good candidate for the Whisper-syc feature if it exists so you could go back and forth. I'm a very visual person and when names get complicated and numerous, I do better seeing them written, but the narration is good enough that I enjoy hearing it.

    I plan on listening to this again while doing chores so I can fill in areas I didn't quite follow the first time through.

    I heartily recommend this.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Veronica Mars: An Original Mystery by Rob Thomas: The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Rob Thomas, Jennifer Graham
    • Narrated By Kristen Bell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1050)
    Performance
    (1004)
    Story
    (1000)

    The first book in an original mystery series featuring 28-year-old Veronica Mars, back in action after the events of Veronica Mars: The Movie. With the help of old friends - Logan Echolls, Mac Mackenzie, Wallace Fennel, and even Dick Casablancas - Veronica is ready to take on Neptune's darkest cases with her trademark sass and smarts.

    Alison says: "Mars Attacks, succeeds!"
    "Satisfying Movie Follow up"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Yes, I'm a "Marshmallow"!

    I was a big fan of the series. I discovered it on iTunes long after it finished airing. I was really excited when the movie finally came out and although I had heard that there would be books coming along, I hadn't realized it would be so soon, so I was really happy to see this on Audible.

    So happy that Kristen Bell narrated this. Wouldn't have been quite the same with someone else. She's actually a very good narrator. If there's one little observation, it felt like it didn't have quite the same sassy banter of the series/movie, but it's a minor observation.

    The story is a satisfying mystery. I don't think you actually need to have followed the series / movie to enjoy it, but you'll definitely get more out of it knowing the full arc of the characters and relationships. If you are a fan, you will be happy to see the continuation of characters and an interesting reappearance of her mother.

    I'll definitely look forward to more Veronica Mars books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Feral Sins: Phoenix Pack, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Suzanne Wright
    • Narrated By Jill Redfield
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1978)
    Performance
    (1823)
    Story
    (1840)

    Taryn Warner is a wolf shifter with extraordinary healing skills - and serious problems. First, her father is determined that she mate for life with a wolf shifter named Roscoe Weston, whom the feisty Taryn can’t stand. To make matters worse, she’s also been kidnapped by Trey Coleman, a dangerous alpha male from another pack. And as much as she wants to resist Trey, Taryn is incredibly, maddeningly attracted to him.

    Paige says: "Surprised they didn't check my ID"
    "It's very hot - some reservations though"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about Feral Sins? What did you like least?

    OK. I have to admit that this novel is very hot. The sex is very hot. The story is actually not too bad for a typical paranormal erotic romance novel. (I don't like formula novels - it's a love-hate thing for me. I am a romantic, but I don't agree with most of the formula story lines and long for stories that are more original.)


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    No comment, really. It's pretty easy to predict what an ending will be in this kind of novel.


    Have you listened to any of Jill Redfield’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I don't think I've heard her before. The narration was very good.


    Did Feral Sins inspire you to do anything?

    Um, well. I don't think I'll discuss it in public!


    Any additional comments?

    I was bothered by the possession / dominance of the story. This seems to be typical in most romance novels. Personally, I don't get it and I'm disturbed by the encouragement of painting women as being strong ---but in the end want to find a man to submit to and even if they verbally say they don't want something in the end they really do. This one really pushed that far with the whole Alpha Wolf male. I often found myself feeling a bit creeped out.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Hard As It Gets: A Hard Ink Novel, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Laura Kaye
    • Narrated By Seraphine Valentine
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (274)
    Performance
    (254)
    Story
    (255)

    Trouble just walked into Nicholas Rixey's tattoo parlor. Becca Merritt is warm, sexy, wholesome, pure temptation to a very jaded Nick. He's left his military life behind to become co-owner of Hard Ink Tattoo, but Becca is his ex-commander's daughter. Loyalty won't let him turn her away. Lust has plenty to do with it too. With her brother presumed kidnapped, Becca needs Nick. She just wasn't expecting to want him so much.

    L.W. says: "Good Story...."
    "Can't wait for the next book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Hard As It Gets the most enjoyable?

    I enjoyed the dialogue and characters. Nicks brother Jeremy is great. Of course the growing, hot intimacy and love between the main characters is the most compelling.


    What other book might you compare Hard As It Gets to and why?

    This does follow the basic romance novel formula and had most of the typical story lines of woman meets man, there's some reason they don't get together at first - or some reason that would keep them apart. It has a bit of the possessive "you are mine" type storyline - but this one differs in that the formula is there, but it's much more palatable than most. (I like romance novels, but wish - oh how I wish most weren't an insult to being an intelligent, independent woman who is also a romantic. I tire of reading formula novels. I think most of these authors all attended the same seminar on how to write romance novels.

    In Hard As It Gets, I found the characters to be likeable and the romantic situations to be more believable than most. She does a good job of building characters.


    What about Seraphine Valentine’s performance did you like?

    Her performance was excellent. She really gave the characters life. I like the way she took her time narrating Becka so you got the feel of her being fresh and honest, but also fun. She was good at changing the pace of the story to suit what was happening.


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

    Well, to be honest, It made me steamy! It's very, very hot and sexual. The dialogue did make me grin sometimes.


    Any additional comments?

    I wonder how she will handle the second book in the series. If it will continue the story between Becka and Nick or if she will use this world, but concentrate on a different couple as many romance series do. After all, you only Fall in love once — usually! I hope she continues with Becka and Nick. I liked them. I've started listening to it again.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Spirit of Steamboat: A Walt Longmire Story

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Craig Johnson
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (592)
    Performance
    (535)
    Story
    (530)

    "It' s a question of what you have to do, what you have to live with if you don't." Sheriff Walt Longmire is reading A Christmas Carol in his office on December 24th when he's interrupted by the ghost of Christmas past: a young woman with a hairline scar across her forehead and more than a few questions about Walt' s predecessor, Lucian Connally. Walt doesn' t recognize the mystery woman, but she seems to know him and claims to have something she must return to Connally.

    C. Telfair says: "Welcome Holiday Diversion"
    "Nice little filler for Walt Longmire fans"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This novella will be a must for fans of the Walt Longmire series. As one person commented, it's not terribly suspenseful, but as always it's well written and performed. There's a bit of history as well. I had never heard of the horse named Steamboat. The story is very nicely balanced and concluded.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • My Bluegrass Baby

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Molly Harper
    • Narrated By Amanda Ronconi
    Overall
    (1191)
    Performance
    (1103)
    Story
    (1092)

    Sadie Hutchins loves her job at the Kentucky Tourism Commission. Not only could her co-workers double as the cast of Parks and Recreation, but she loves finding the unusual sites, hidden gems, and just-plain-odd tourist attractions of her home state. She’s a shoo-in for the director’s job when her boss retires at the end of the year…until hotshot Josh Vaughn shows up to challenge her for the position. Josh is all sophisticated polish while Sadie’s country comfort, and the two have very different ideas of what makes a good campaign.

    Diana Turmenne says: "Made me want to visit Kentucky!"
    "Does snarky dialogue make up for a forumla plot?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have really enjoyed some of Molly Harper's novels. The Naked Werewolf series was my favorite, "And One More Thing" was enjoyable. Then I read one of her vampire books and did not enjoy it. I decided to give this one a try even though I was on the fence about it.

    Here's the thing:
    Molly Harper can definitely come up with fun, snappy dialogue, and Amanda Ronconi is the perfect narrator for her books, but the story itself is a light-weight formula romance. I found myself wondering if the fun dialogue was enough to balance the absolutely predictable, transparent, formula plot-line. It would be nice if Molly Harper could use her gift for snarky, plus quirky characters AND dig deeper into a real story. THAT would be a great listen.

    Still, if you just want something really, really light weight to fill the time while you are on the treadmill (etc.) this may fit the bill.

    This was also a really short book. I recommend not wasting your credit on it. Buy it on sale or on a month where you've used your credits, since this is relatively inexpensive.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Cuckoo's Calling

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Robert Galbraith
    • Narrated By Robert Glenister
    Overall
    (6343)
    Performance
    (5776)
    Story
    (5784)

    After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: his sister, the legendary supermodel Lula Landry, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man.

    Tracey says: "Unbelievable debut mystery set in London"
    "Enjoyed this book. Look forward to more."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This reminds me of a bit of a traditional hard-boiled PI movie. You'd expect it to be a 1940's B&W movie - although in modern times. The main character isn't as slick as a Humphrey Bogart. In fact, his life is a bit of a mess. Come to think of it though, isn't that usually a characteristic of a traditional PI?

    The characters feel very real. One of those books that you miss when you finish it and look forward to the next in the series. (I hope it's going to be a series?)

    If I have one criticism, the book sometimes became a long series of interviews with suspects. While it didn't really drag, it would be nice to bring a little more action to the writing.

    The writing is very good and the narration is excellent. Well-worth your credit!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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