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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

211
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 37 reviews
  • 129 ratings
  • 505 titles in library
  • 50 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
16

  • The Fault in Our Stars

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By John Green
    • Narrated By Kate Rudd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12395)
    Performance
    (11359)
    Story
    (11425)

    Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten. Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning-author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.

    FanB14 says: "Sad Premise, Fantastic Story"
    "Not a sob story (figuratively, not literally)"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Obviously Hazel, but I fell in love with Augustus, just as Hazel did.


    What about Kate Rudd’s performance did you like?

    Kate Rudd's narration was spot-on as a witty, intelligent, slightly jaded teenager. Even her laboured breathing sounded authentic.


    Any additional comments?

    This story is a bit of a tearjerker, but not a cancer sob story. It is a brutally honest look at a terminally ill teenager, but it does not devolve into a pity party for Hazel. I loved this book.

    7 of 8 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
    (595)
    Performance
    (537)
    Story
    (532)

    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
    (117)
    Performance
    (112)
    Story
    (112)

    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
    (375)
    Performance
    (273)
    Story
    (269)

    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
    (2221)
    Performance
    (2054)
    Story
    (2047)

    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
    (6)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    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
    (3619)
    Performance
    (3381)
    Story
    (3374)

    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
    (500)
    Performance
    (469)
    Story
    (474)

    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
  • City of Bones: The Mortal Instruments

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Cassandra Clare
    • Narrated By Mae Whitman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (409)
    Performance
    (383)
    Story
    (387)

    When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder - much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing - not even a smear of blood - to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

    Lady Disdain says: "Horrifyingly bad accents"
    "Six of one, half-dozen of the other"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Yes, if you haven't listened to the original version of City of Bones, narrated by Ari Graynor. If you're like me and have the Ari Graynor version, don't bother. When I say "six of one, half-dozen of the other", I mean both versions are mediocre, as far as narration goes. The story is worth it though, so if you haven't read or listened to City of Bones, go for it! It's worth the credit. If you're just looking for a different version with better narration, don't waste your credit.


    What did you like best about this story?

    City of Bones opens a captivating young adult series, The Mortal Instruments. Cassandra Clare's Shadowhunter world is cleverly-built and the stories exciting. Keeping up with Clary as she learns about her heritage and discovers the world around her kept me hooked through all six books.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Mae Whitman?

    Maybe? She wasn't terrible as a narrator, but her accents were. It would have been a much better listen without the questionable English accents.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Ugh...I wish I hadn't. The movie was terrible and it was one of the worst book-to-screen adaptations I've ever seen (but this isn't a movie review). I blame the movie for the bad English accents. The City of Bones movie decided that the Shadowhunters would have English accents and this is the result of that decision. In all of the other audiobooks (except for City of Heavenly Fire, which also came out after the movie), the Shadowhunters have American accents.


    Any additional comments?

    I wrote this review for listeners who have the Ari Graynor version of City of Bones and are wondering if this version is an improvement. It isn't.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • City of Heavenly Fire: The Mortal Instruments, Book 6

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Cassandra Clare
    • Narrated By Jason Dohring, Sophie Turner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1242)
    Performance
    (1140)
    Story
    (1148)

    Darkness has descended on the Shadowhunter world. Chaos and destruction overwhelm the Nephilim as Clary, Jace, Simon, and their friends band together to fight the greatest evil they have ever faced: Clary's own brother. Nothing in this world can defeat Sebastian - but if they journey to the realm of demons, they just might have a chance.... Lives will be lost, love sacrificed, and the whole world will change. Who will survive the explosive sixth and final installment of the Mortal Instruments series?

    Lisa says: "Disappointing Narration for a beloved series."
    "Good book; iffy narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The final Mortal Instruments book...ahh, bittersweet. I'm a grown woman and I really liked this series, so I was both excited and sad to finish this audiobook.

    As a finale to the series, City of Heavenly Fire was very good. It wasn't as good as Clockwork Princess (the final book in Cassandra Clare's The Infernal Devices trilogy), but it ticked all the boxes and closed the series properly. If I have a minor complaint about the story itself, it would be that the author spent too much time setting up her next series, The Dark Artifices (the Los Angeles/Emma/Jules story line), which dragged this book out longer than it needed to be. Other than that, I was pleased with the story and the way it wrapped up.

    The narration, on the other hand, could have used some direction. I don't know what it is about this series as a whole, but nearly every book had mediocre (at best) or terrible (at worst) narration.

    Sophie Turner had the potential to be very good, but she spoke much too fast at times. I would rate her 3 stars (3.5 or 4, had she spoken a little slower). Jason Dohring was just wrong for this book, completely. His monotone voice was nearly expressionless and it was clear that he is a story-READER rather than a story-TELLER. I would rate his performance 2 stars, although he did improve towards the end (or maybe I just became accustomed to his voice). I don't think that having dual narrators added anything to this book.

    Fans of the series should also be aware that the narration is obviously based on the performances from the (terrible) City of Bones movie, as every Shadowhunter now has an English accent, despite the fact that they had American accents in all of the other audiobooks, which is annoying at first, but easy to overlook.

    Now it seems as if I didn't like the book, but I did...I really did! It was a credit well spent and I will definitely listen to the audiobook again, less-than-perfect narration notwithstanding. Guest appearances by Jem and Tessa from The Infernal Devices were an extra-special treat. Cassandra Clare writes great books for young adults (and grown women, like me, who like to pretend we're still young adults), and I can't wait for her next series to start.



    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The King: A Novel of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 12

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By J.R. Ward
    • Narrated By Jim Frangione
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1407)
    Performance
    (1316)
    Story
    (1323)

    After turning his back on the throne for centuries, Wrath, son of Wrath, finally assumed his father's mantle - with the help of his beloved mate. But the crown sets heavily on his head. As the war with the Lessening Society rages on, and the threat from the Band of Bastards truly hits home, he is forced to make choices that put everything - and everyone - at risk. Beth Randall thought she knew what she was getting into when she mated the last pure blooded vampire on the planet: An easy ride was not it.

    Erin says: "Excellent as Usual!!"
    "Long Live the King!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The King again? Why?

    Already have! I know I'm in the minority, but I loved Beth and Wrath's story from way back in the first BDB book (Dark Lover). I was really looking forward to this book and I wasn't disappointed. I wish there was less of the Layla/Xcor story line though. There was A LOT going on in this book and I really don't like that story line.


    What about Jim Frangione’s performance did you like?

    Sometimes I have to laugh at his deadpan delivery of some especially cheesy dialogue (J.R. Ward fans know what I'm talking about, true?). He's great.


    Any additional comments?

    There are times that J.R. Ward's writing irritates the crap out of me, with all the faux gansta talk, label and name dropping (how many times was Miley Cyrus mentioned?) and weird abbreviations (abso?), but if you've made it to book 12 in the series, you're probably already a fan and you can look past that to get to the meat of the story: hot vampire sex. My guilty pleasure....

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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