Whenever Penni makes herself "seen" to Gus.
His consistency in tone and temperament were calming, setting the right tone for this novel.
When Penni kisses Gus in thanks for saving Tully and letting her know he was OK.
I really enjoyed listening to Don't Let the Wind Catch You by Aaron Lazar. This was my first book from the Gus LeGarde series, and I wasn't sure what to expect. I am a 40-something woman who enjoys a variety of genres, including young adult. Not knowing what genre this audiobook falls into, I'd say this is more in the vein of the old Hardy Boys serial, with a supernatural twist. It's a good story that is both a mystery and a ghost story.The story centers around a 12-year old boy, Gus LeGarde, in the summer of 1965 in Upstate New York. Gus is an "old soul" who is wise beyond his years. Gus and his friends frequently ride through the woods on horseback. Despite orders from his parents to do otherwise, he quickly befriends Tully, a cranky old hermit who lives in the woods without electricity and without running water.Tully has a few secrets that the story reveals through Gus's eyes of youthful and limited experiences. One such secret is that Tully speaks to an Indian ghost, Penni, who died in the 1700's. Penni shows herself to Gus and his friends too by rattling tin cups and flipping book pages. She also appears to Gus twice to save Tully's life. Eventually Penni gets Gus and Tully to help solve the mystery surrounding her death, which supposedly will help Penni cross over into the next realm.The book is narrated by Erik Synnestvedt whom I've never heard before. He did an admirable job, using consistent voices for each character throughout. He might not read as enthusiastically as other narrators, but his consistency in tone and temperament were calming, setting the right tone for this novel. I'd listen to another one of his narrated stories anytime.In summary, if you are tired of reading/listening to the normal contemporary stories out there, and are looking for a good, sweet natured story, I highly suggest trying Don't Let the Wind Catch You by Aaron Lazar.
A Trip to the Hardware Store & Other Calamities is a collection of short essays of life's observations that are very reminiscent of Erma Bombeck. All of the stories were well written and moving ~ some of them were extremely funny.
Carrie Lee Martz did a great job narrating and contributed to my enjoyment of this short audio book.
At almost one hour, it's the perfect length for my commute to and from work. I can't wait to listen to Barbara Venkataraman's next collection of short essays!
Botanicaust by Tam Linsey is a very unique and compelling novel. It is a few hundred years after the Apocalypse where most of the known world died after genetic alterations were made to certain vegetation life, which had the opposite affect than anticipated. [When you think about how many of today’s crops are genetically engineered, this plot is totally plausible!] Most natural food sources are destroyed and the only way to save the human race is to photosynthesize a person’s skin so they are less dependent on food.
The story centers around Tula who believes photosynthetic skin can save the human race. She works in the department that determines whether or not a person who is captured should be “altered” to the plant way of life or euthanized. It is clear she has grown weary of her role and does not believe that if a person refuses conversion, they should be put to death. She falls in love with Levi, a member of a community that is very similar to the Amish, who is captured and soon scheduled for euthanization. Tula soon helps Levi escape his imprisonment and they set off on a quest to find a cure for his son who is terminally ill.
Meghan Kelly did an excellent job narrating. Her narration flows naturally at an even pace. She was easy to listen to, having differing voices for all characters, male and female. She really contributed to my enjoyment of the book and I just couldn’t stop listening ~ I listened to all 10 hours in one day!
Rune Gate by Mark Cooper is a very enjoyable beginning to a new urban fantasy series by by Mark Cooper. The story centers around Alexandra Yorke who is a clairvoyant working with the local police on a murder case. Alex is also a witch with unusual powers who can see into a victim's soul and experience how they died, like she is re-living how they died.
Mikael Naramore's narration was good and he was easy to listen to. He had differing voices for male and female characters, and expressed frustration and urgency when appropriate.
I'm very glad I took a chance on this urban fantasy novel and thoroughly enjoyed listening to it. While historical fiction is my usual go to read, I also enjoy a good action and adventure novel. This audio book satisfied my quest for something different. I will definitely pick up the next book in the series!
Protected by Cindy Hogan is an adventurous YA novel that is well written, fast paced, and consistent throughout. It is the sequel to Watched: Murder Was Just the Beginning, the first book in the Watched series. Not having read or listened to Watched, all you basically need to know for this book is that the heroine of the series, Christy, is a brainiac 10th grader who goes a high school trip to Washington, D.C. where she witnesses the murder of a senator's aide. In Protected, Christy is back from her high school trip and the terrorists who killed the aide in DC are now after her.
The majority of the book is focused on Christy entering into the FBI's Witness Protection Program, where her parents believe she died in a car crash. She moves across the country and starts training to assume her new identity as a varsity cheerleader in a new high school (keep in mind she is a true nerdy girl). Her training is more like boot camp, with a team of professionals training her in everything from gymnastics to martial arts. Besides taking lessons on self defense, she is also taught awareness of her surroundings and knowing possible escape routes at all times.
Laci Morgan did an excellent job narrating. She portrayed Christy as a likeable young woman surrounded by unbelievable events. Laci had great intonation and pace, keeping the story suspenseful throughout. She had differing voices for male and female characters, and expressed frustration and urgency when appropriate without becoming shrill. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this audio book!
Back to Christmas by Dennis Canfield is an entertaining holiday tale about a family that has lost their holiday spirit due to gadgets, devices, and other electronic media. The family is threatened with being placed on the permanent Naughty List unless they do three acts of kindness in two days. To help the family find their way off the list, Santa enlists the help of an elderly elf who has also lost the meaning of Christmas himself, and the help of his brother who lives in the South Pole who uses penguins instead of reindeer to pull his sleigh.
What I loved most about this story is its message: make time for family without any distractions. I learned this first hand several years ago when we took our two teen daughters on a trip to Ireland. We took no cell phones, chargers, or other portable devices. The girls were surly and non-communicative at first (like most teens) until their iPods lost their charges and they were forced to look out the window as we drove around the country. Within two days, the girls started providing suggestions on what they wanted to see and experience, rather than merely shrugging their shoulders. To this day the entire family reflects on this awesome vacation as our best ever!
Ralph Lister's narration really brought the characters to life, completely drawing me into the story. He uses a variety of voices, giving all characters their own unique voice, and seamlessly switches between genders and characters with ease.
The Deep: The Island Series, Book 3 is another excellent story by Jen Minkman. The Deep begins where The Waves left off, with Leia and Walt sailing across the bay to the new world with about 20 other islanders. Keep in mind that we are 150 years after the Apocalypse where most of the known world died from biological warfare. When they first arrive in the brave new world, the citizens appear nice and welcoming. But soon Walt and Leia realize how drastically different the society is by observing one citizen put to death by lethal injection for a minor infraction without the benefit of a trial, or even the opportunity for explanation. When Walt and Leia soon decide to return home, they are prohibited from leaving and instead are subjected to terrible experiments.
While Leia is exploring the new world, Alyssa is helping the citizens of Hope Harbour deal with the reunification of the Island. There is a group of religious fanatics wrecking havoc on the island and destroying all attempts to bring the islanders together. Alyssa does a great job facilitating and bringing the two sides of the together. She befriends Ben and finds him a job and home, and then meets his brother Saul (the former leader of the manor) and quickly brings him back into society after his self imposed isolation.
I feel this trilogy went full circle, leaving no loose ends. The Deep is filled with several sympathetic and believable characters and it packs an emotional punch. It has joy, excitement, attraction, apprehension, fear, affection, betrayal, love, sacrifice, sadness and grief. What more could a reader ask for in an audio book?
This audio version of The Red Badge of Courage should help many high school students get through English class. It is frequently included in high school curriculum because of its distinctive style, color imagery, and ironic tone.
The story centers around Henry, an idealistic teenager in the Union Army during the Civil War, who flees his regiment at the first sight of combat. As the story unfolds, you see into Henry's inner psyche and the conflicting emotions he is feeling. You see Henry's cowardice at first, his slow maturation, and eventual heroism. By the end of the book, the listener is rewarded by seeing Henry become an experienced and successful soldier.
Steven Jay Cohen did an excellent job narrating. He brought the characters to life, using a variety of accents and giving each character their own distinct voice. I could almost feel the pain that many of the wounded soldiers were experiencing. Bravo!
The audio version of The Case of the Killer Divorce (A Jamie Quinn Mystery #2)
by Barbara Venkataraman and narrated by Carrie Lee Martz is another entertaining short cozy mystery. The series focuses on Jamie, who is a family law attorney, who is also reluctantly a quasi-defense attorney. Her current client Becca is involved in an embittered custody battle with her ex-husband Joe, who is found dead from an overdose of drugs and alcohol. Jamie's client, of course, is the prime suspect. Like in the first book, Jamie hires her former client Duke to do some private investigating in an attempt to clear her client's name. As an added bonus we find out that Jamie's father is a former Cuban freedom fighter.
I really enjoy Jaime's sense of humor and her internal thought process. Carrie Lee Martz's narration is very good. She easily portrays Jaime's thoughts and snarky comments, rather than merely reading a book. In short, the story moves quickly, is entertaining, and is pure brain candy.
Queen of Someday is a wonderful story filled with action, intrigue and romance. I've always enjoyed historical romance, but I also enjoy a good action and adventure novel. This book is the perfect blend of my two favorite genres together, which is quite the accomplishment that few authors even attempt.
The story centers around Sophie, a German Princess whose family has fallen on hard times. She is invited to Russia's Imperial Court by Empress Elizabeth as a potential bride for her handsome and hot tempered nephew, Peter. From the opening scenes of the book, Sophie experiences an attempt on her life when she is en route to St. Petersburg (and such attempts do not cease once she arrives). Not to be thwarted by a bunch of bandits, Sophie single handedly out runs and eventually defends herself against the thieves. She is smart, intelligent, and quick witted - like all good heroines should be.
Elan O'Connor did an excellent job narrating. Her narration flows naturally at an even and excellent pace. She was easy to listen to, having differing voices for all characters, and really contributed to my enjoyment of the book.
Simply put, Queen of Someday is one of the best books I've listened to all year!
I listened to the Audible version of Purple Jesus by Ron Cooper narrated by Charles Bice. Charles did an admirable job narrating, providing unique voices for all of the characters, and his dialect seemed genuine. The book is touted as a comedy, but I didn't find anything amusing with it. The two main characters are Purvis and Martha who are extremely poor in South Carolina's low country. While their story was Ok, I really didn't enjoy the parts with Brother in it, which seemed out of place and distracted from the main story. In short, Purple Jesus was uninspired and forgettable.
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