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MAB

Fiction: I like Paranormal, Young Adult, Historical, Fantasy, Romance, Classics. Non-Fiction: I like Historical, Military, Memoirs.

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Member Since 2010

214
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 40 reviews
  • 140 ratings
  • 525 titles in library
  • 65 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
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FOLLOWERS
16

  • Halfway to the Grave: Night Huntress, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Jeaniene Frost
    • Narrated By Tavia Gilbert
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5587)
    Performance
    (3897)
    Story
    (3919)

    Half-vampire Catherine Crawfield is going after the undead with a vengeance, hoping that one of these deadbeats is her father—the one responsible for ruining her mother's life. Then she's captured by Bones, a vampire bounty hunter, and is forced into an unlikely partnership. In exchange for help finding her father, Cat agrees to train with the sexy night stalker until her battle reflexes are as sharp as his fangs. She's amazed she doesn't end up as his dinner…are there actually good vampires?

    Stephenie says: "Great series. Worth every credit."
    "Worth a shot"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Yes. I was looking to start a new series to kill my commute, and it was a relatively quick and easy listen. I just finished George R. R. Martin's Clash of Kings (a heavy listen at more than 37 hours), so this was a nice, light treat.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    I liked the narrator, with a couple exceptions. I really didn't like her accent for Bones. It was a little too "Eliza Doolittle" and not masculine enough for my taste. It certainly wasn't the worst English accent that I've heard, but the over-the-top, fake Cockney accent took some getting used to. Likewise for the majority of her male characterizations. I rolled my eyes the first few times I heard her portray pretty much any male character, but I got used to it. It didn't stop me from enjoying the story though, and she was very good otherwise, especially with Cat.


    Any additional comments?

    I liked this story for the most part. The writing started off well but slipped a bit at the end. I have to admit that the author lost me once she brought the human conspirators and the government into the picture. I still want to find out what happens with Cat and Bones, though, and I'm already downloading the next book. I'm a sucker for a sexy vampire romance.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Trial by Fire: The Worldwalker Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Josephine Angelini
    • Narrated By Emma Galvin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (24)
    Performance
    (23)
    Story
    (22)

    This world is trying to kill Lily Proctor. Her life-threatening allergies keep her from enjoying experiences that others in her hometown of Salem take for granted, which is why she is determined to enjoy her first high school party with her best friend and longtime crush, Tristan. But after a humiliating incident in front of half her graduating class, Lily wishes she could just disappear. Suddenly, Lily is in a different Salem - one overrun with horrifying creatures and ruled by powerful women called Crucibles.

    Parajunkee says: "Another home-fun for Angelini"
    "Promising start to a new series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. The premise is interesting and fans of paranormal YA will enjoy this new series. I don't think I've come across a world like this one and it's refreshing to explore a new paranormal concept.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    I hate cliffhangers that don't complete the story. I get that cliffhangers are meant to lead you to the next book, but I think each instalment should be a complete story. It does guarantee that I'll download the next book, because I enjoyed this one so much.


    What about Emma Galvin’s performance did you like?

    Emma Galvin is one of my favourite narrators. I would have given her performance five stars, but I think she does better with dialogue than she does with narrative and it showed in this book. My only complaint about her narration is she breathes at odd places and it breaks the narration in a distracting manner. She's otherwise perfect.


    Any additional comments?

    I would have given the story another star, except I felt the author was getting a little preachy with the anti-nuclear/vegan/environmental stance. Those are all very admirable ways of life, but it was a touch too preachy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Red Rising

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Pierce Brown
    • Narrated By Tim Gerard Reynolds
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1240)
    Performance
    (1154)
    Story
    (1163)

    Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations. Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children. But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet.

    Charles says: "It Got Better and Left Me Wanting More."
    "Non-stop action"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Red Rising in three words, what would they be?

    Violent, Dark, Difficult


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Red Rising?

    It's hard to say without spoiling the ending, but the final battle was extended and exciting.


    What about Tim Gerard Reynolds’s performance did you like?

    I really liked his accents. He suited Darrow perfectly. My only complaint would be the long pauses between sentences. I don't know if this was meant to build suspense or if it's just the way the narrator "acts", but it made the story difficult to follow at certain times.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No. In fact, I started and stopped this audiobook several times. It's a well written book, and the narration is very good and fits the book perfectly, but I found it too dark, almost depressing, to listen to for long stretches. I almost gave up on the book entirely, because I like to use books and audiobooks as an escape and Red Rising was not a world I wanted to escape to. I'm glad I stuck with it, however, because it was ultimately worth it.


    Any additional comments?

    I had a hard time completing this book. It's violent and depressing, and there is almost too much action going on at the expense of advancing the plot, but I'm glad I stuck with it. Someone recommended this book to me as a YA book for fans of the Hunger Games. It is not YA. Let me repeat: It. Is. Not. YA. There is no way in hell I'd let my young teen listen to this book until she is much, much older. There's some swearing and sexual innuendo, which wasn't the issue, but the violence is at full-on adult sci-fi levels, including rapes and maiming. It's a good book, almost epic in scope, but it took a lot of mental effort for me to get through it. There's a cliffhanger ending, too, so I am looking forward to the next book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Forever Song

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Julie Kagawa
    • Narrated By Therese Plummer
    Overall
    (32)
    Performance
    (29)
    Story
    (31)

    Allie will embrace her cold vampire side to hunt down and end Sarren, the psychopathic vampire who murdered Zeke. But the trail is bloody and long, and Sarren has left many surprises for Allie and her companions - her creator, Kanin, and her blood brother, Jackal. The trail is leading straight to the one place they must protect at any cost - the last vampire-free zone on Earth, Eden.

    MAB says: "Fantastic, Dark Kagawa"
    "Fantastic, Dark Kagawa"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is Julie Kagawa at her darkest and I loved every minute of it. Whereas the Iron Fey series was romantic and adventurous, the Blood of Eden series was dark and sinister. The romance was there, too, but this final book in the trilogy, especially, was gory and bellicose and it might be my new favourite Julie Kagawa book.

    Therese Plummer was fantastic, once again. She ranks as one of the best audiobook narrators out there, in my opinion. Julie Kagawa fans have been lucky because her audiobooks have the best narrators.

    Like The Iron Traitor, it took A LONG time for the audiobook version of The Forever Song to be released (9 months after the hardcover was released). I hope this isn't going to be a recurring thing with Julie Kagawa books. Because it had been so long since I last listened to the previous book (The Eternity Cure), I should have re-familiarized myself with the story. I found myself rewinding a lot in the beginning to try to figure out what was going on and where the characters had left off in the last story, so word to the wise--go back to the first two audiobooks and refresh your memory on the Blood of Eden world before resuming with book 3.

    One final thing: I started this series with my pre-teen daughter but I think I'm going to put off listening to this one with her. It's a lot gorier (there are a couple of graphic passages about tortured or disembowelled bodies) and, for whatever reason, the author decided to really ramp up the F-bombs in this book. As an adult and fan of Julie Kagawa, it didn't faze me at all, but as a mother, I had to question the gratuitous swearing. It didn't add anything to the story and could have been left out without losing any of the emotion. That's a minor nitpick, however.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Line: Witching Savannah, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By J. D. Horn
    • Narrated By Shannon McManus
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (714)
    Performance
    (645)
    Story
    (641)

    To the uninitiated, Savannah shows only her bright face and genteel manner. Those who know her well, though, can see beyond her colonial trappings and small-city charm to a world where witchcraft is respected, Hoodoo is feared, and spirits linger. Mercy Taylor is all too familiar with the supernatural side of Savannah, being a member of the most powerful family of witches in the South. Despite being powerless herself, of course. Having grown up without magic of her own, in the shadow of her talented and charismatic twin sister, Mercy has always thought herself content.

    gardener97 says: "Excellent Story and Excellent Narrator"
    "Not sure what to think"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was all over the place and I almost quit listening because I was getting frustrated. The author has some world building issues. Rather than weaving it into the story, it just kind of all came out in a paragraph or two and then the story progressed again. Kind of like word vomit. Also, because of the writing, I wasn't sure if this was a YA book or not. It seemed like it could have been YA at first, but then, out of nowhere, there's a oddly out of place passage about nipple-licking and "growing stiffness". Then there was no more sex.

    The ending was predictable (I saw it coming from the first few chapters) and the villains reminded of an episode of Scooby-Doo, because as the bad guys were doing their bad things to Mercy, they explained what they were going to do her and their motives in detail, just like a cartoon villain does.

    The narration was good for the most part, though.

    As I said, the writing is all over the place and the story itself wasn't presented in a way that kept me riveted. This series has potential, but I'm not sure if I'm willing to spend a credit on the next book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Kiss of Steel: London Steampunk, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Bec McMaster
    • Narrated By Alison Larkin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (120)
    Performance
    (115)
    Story
    (115)

    Most people avoid the dreaded Whitechapel district. For Honoria Todd, it's the last safe haven. But at what price? Blade is known as the master of the rookeries - no one dares cross him. It's been said he faced down the Echelon's army single-handedly, that ever since being infected by the blood craving he's been quicker, stronger, almost immortal. When Honoria shows up at his door, his tenuous control comes close to snapping. She's so...innocent. He doesn't see her backbone of steel - or that she could be the very salvation he's been seeking.

    Joki says: "Paranormal Historical Romance"
    "Unexpected delight"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Kiss of Steel?

    I purchased this audiobook as part of a 3 for 2 paranormal sale and needed a third title. I didn't know what to expect and I wasn't familiar with the author, Bec McMaster, or this series, but I am glad I picked it! Part historical romance, part paranormal romance, with the tiniest splash of steam punk thrown in, Kiss of Steel had me hooked within the first fifteen minutes. The narration was great, the sex scenes were erotic without being cheesy, and the author's take on vampires was interesting.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I think Alison Larkin's narration made this book for me. She sounds like she could have been reading Jane Austen, but instead she was narrating explicit paranormal sex scenes set in Victorian London.


    What does Alison Larkin bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I don't know if I would have been able to get into reading the book like I got into listening to it. The author jumped right into her "London Steampunk" world with very little explanation. It was a bit difficult to figure out the mythology and terminology at first, but the narration kept the story interesting enough to stick with it.


    Any additional comments?

    First, the steampunk elements are more of an afterthought, so if that's what you're looking for, then this isn't your book. Second, the romance is apparent from the beginning, but there is a long build-up to first sex scene so, again, if that's what you're looking for... (having said that, the sex is fairly steady for the last half of the book). Last, while I loved Alison Larkin's narration in general, there were times that her voice for Blade bordered on cartoonish and that was a little bit distracting. Luckily, the author relies on descriptive narration more than dialogue, so this was only rarely an issue for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • My Soul to Steal

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Rachel Vincent
    • Narrated By Amanda Ronconi
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (376)
    Performance
    (274)
    Story
    (270)

    Trying to work things out with Nash, her maybe boyfriend, is hard enough for Kaylee Cavanaugh. She can't just pretend nothing happened. But "complicated" doesn't even begin to describe their relationship when his ex-girlfriend transfers to their school, determined to take Nash back.

    Diane says: "Prepare for Emotional Torture"
    "Tumultuous!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Rachel Vincent and/or Amanda Ronconi?

    Yes. Once I've wrapped my head around where this story is heading, I will resume the series. I haven't enjoyed these last few books as much as I liked the first in the series, but they are heart-wrenching and a little dark.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    It's interesting to see a YA paranormal romance tackle substance abuse. I absolutely hated Sabine's character though, and I have a feeling I'm not going to like where the next books take her story line.


    What aspect of Amanda Ronconi’s performance would you have changed?

    As much as I love Amanda Ronconi (she aces Molly Harper's books!), I really don't like her voice for Tod. At times her voice for Tod is like nails on a chalkboard for me. Her voice for the female characters and for Nash are good though.


    Any additional comments?

    MILD SPOILER: One thing that really irks me is when a book series gets the reader/listener invested in a couple and then changes direction mid-course. I listened to the first four books over a period of three days (the flu gives a girl a lot of time on her hands) but I stopped after this book. I know where it's going, in terms of relationships and happily ever afters, and I don't think I like it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Witch's Handbook of Kisses and Curses: Half Moon Hollow, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Molly Harper
    • Narrated By Amanda Ronconi
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2257)
    Performance
    (2092)
    Story
    (2084)

    Nola Leary would have been content to stay in Kilcairy, Ireland, healing villagers at her family’s clinic with a mix of magic and modern medicine. But a series of ill-timed omens and a deathbed promise to her grandmother have sent her on a quest to Half-Moon Hollow, Kentucky, to secure her family’s magical potency for the next generation. Her supernatural task? To unearth four artifacts hidden by her grandfather before a rival magical family beats her to it. Complication One: The artifacts are lost somewhere in vampire Jane Jameson’s occult bookshop. Complication Two: Her new neighbor, Jed Trudeau, keeps turning up half-naked at the strangest times....

    Diana Turmenne says: "One of the best spin offs I have read!"
    "The accent is weird but look past it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    As other reviewers have mentioned, the Irish/Boston accent is an ill fit. It just doesn't work, and I don't blame the narrator. The author messed this one up by creating an accent that can't exist in real life and that no narrator could ever get right. The letter R is pronounced in fundamentally opposite ways in Ireland vs. Boston. It just can't work.


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

    As mentioned above, Nola's accent is inconsistent and distracting, but unless you have a REALLY strong aversion to an inconsistent accent, it's possible to overlook it. I think Amanda Ronconi would have done just fine with either a Boston or an Irish accent, but trying to combine the two didn't work and it isn't really her fault.


    Any additional comments?

    I put off listening to this book for a long time, but I'm glad I finally took the plunge. The reviews concerning the accent put me off--and they weren't entirely wrong--but if you can get past that, it's a worthy listen for any Molly Harper fan.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Iron Traitor

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Julie Kagawa
    • Narrated By Jake Lewis
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    After his unexpected journey into the lands of the fey, Ethan Chase just wants to get back to normal. Well, as "normal" as you can be when you see faeries every day of your life. Suddenly the former loner with the bad reputation has someone to try for - his girlfriend, Kenzie. Never mind that he's forbidden to see her again. But when your name is Ethan Chase and your sister is one of the most powerful faeries in the Nevernever, "normal" simply isn't to be.

    MAB says: "Long time coming...killer ending"
    "Long time coming...killer ending"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Julie Kagawa and/or Jake Lewis?

    Yes. I really loved Julie Kagawa's Iron Fey series (the precursor to this Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten series). I loved her Blood of Eden series as well. I look forward to whatever she writes next.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    I've read and listened to all of the other Iron Fey books, so having Puck and Ash show up was a pleasant surprise. However, Ethan seemed to have a lot of inner monologue that slowed the pace of the story.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    He has a pleasant voice, but his delivery was a little stiff. I don't know if he didn't narrate this book as well as the last book, or if I just didn't notice it the first time around, but his narration wasn't as natural as I would have liked.


    Any additional comments?

    The Iron Traitor book was released more than a year before the audiobook was released. I hope the next book doesn't follow suit! I didn't enjoy this one as much as I enjoyed the previous installment, but the ending made my heart leap and the next book can't come soon enough.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Written in My Own Heart's Blood: Outlander, Book 8

    • UNABRIDGED (44 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Diana Gabaldon
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3892)
    Performance
    (3633)
    Story
    (3623)

    Hurtled back through time more than two hundred years to 1743 Scotland, Claire Randall finds herself caught in the midst of an unfamiliar world torn apart by violence, pestilence, and revolution and haunted by her growing feelings for a young soldier, James Fraser.

    G. House Sr. says: "Eloquent Fabulous Historical - Grand Continuation"
    "A bit longer than necessary"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Written in My Own Heart's Blood again? Why?

    Yes, inevitably, I will listen to it again at some point, but I'm not in a rush to listen to it again any time soon. This is not my favourite book in the Outlander series and it took me much longer to get through it than the earlier books in the series.


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

    Davina Porter is great--she is one of my favourite narrators--but this was not one of her best performances. She mispronounced several words familiar to listeners of the previous Outlander books (and which she pronounced correctly in those books!). This is a minor nitpick, however. She is still one of the best narrators out there, in my opinion.


    Any additional comments?

    I really wish I could have given the story four or five stars. I'd been waiting for this book for so long and I am a huge fan of the series. I love the detail and history that Diana Gabaldon works into her books (that's one of my favourite things about the Outlander series...it's so rich in detail), but this could have been a trimmer story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dark Skye: Immortals After Dark, Book 14

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Kresley Cole
    • Narrated By Robert Petkoff
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (547)
    Performance
    (515)
    Story
    (518)

    As a boy, Thronos, prince of Skye Hall, loved Lanthe, a mischievous Sorceri girl who made him question everything about his Vrekener clan. But when the two got caught in the middle of their families’ war, tragedy struck, leaving Thronos and Lanthe bitter enemies. Though centuries have passed, nothing can cool his seething need for the beautiful enchantress who scarred his body - and left an even deeper impression on his soul.

    tina says: "No one does it like Kresley Cole"
    "Maybe my fave IAD so far"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Dark Skye to be better than the print version?

    Yes! Robert Petkoff does an outstanding job, once again, and his narration makes the book even more enjoyable. He plays each character with a unique voice and accent that carries over from book to book.


    What other book might you compare Dark Skye to and why?

    All of Kresley Cole's Immortals After Dark books take on a similar formula, but each couple is unique and that's what makes the books so much fun. An earlier IAD instalment, Demon from the Dark, also spends a significant amount of time on a demon plane.


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

    Yes, and he does a great job, once again.


    Any additional comments?

    IAD fans will be happy with this instalment! I really like how the books are all tying together now, and I went back and listened to a couple earlier books to pick up on little plot points mentioned in this book that I may have missed the first time around in the other books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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