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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 2014

253
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 43 reviews
  • 149 ratings
  • 538 titles in library
  • 10 purchased in 2015
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FOLLOWERS
16

  • The Eternity Cure

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Julie Kagawa
    • Narrated By Therese Plummer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (449)
    Performance
    (417)
    Story
    (422)

    Cast out of Eden and separated from the boy she dared to love, Allie will follow the call of blood to save her creator, Kanin, from the psychotic vampire Sarren. But when the trail leads to Allie's birthplace in New Covington, what Allie finds there will change the world forever . There's a new plague on the rise, a strain of the Red Lung virus that wiped out most of humanity generations ago - and this strain is deadly to humans and vampires alike. The only hope for a cure lies in the secrets Kanin carries, if Allie can get to him in time.

    Amazon Customer says: "Buckle Up...it's an insane ride!"
    "Great Narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Eternity Cure again? Why?

    Yes, I would. I am enjoying this series so far. I have enjoyed pretty much everything Julie Kagawa writes. This follow-up to The Immortal Rules wasn't as strong as the first book, but the ending packed a powerful punch and I'm looking forward to the next instalment.


    Would you recommend The Eternity Cure to your friends? Why or why not?

    Yes. I would recommend The Eternity Cure (and the Blood of Eden series) to people who enjoy paranormal or dystopian/post-apocalyptic stories. It's a vampire story with a post-apocalyptic twist, and a nice change of pace from typical YA vampire books.


    What about Therese Plummer’s performance did you like?

    Therese Plummer does a great job, once again. She narrates as if she's telling her own story, really bringing it to life through the eyes of Allison.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Near the end, when Zeke relays his message to Allie on the laptop. Very moving.


    Any additional comments?

    I didn't enjoy The Eternity Cure as much as I enjoyed The Immortal Rules, but I'm still looking forward to the next book. The ending made up for the two or three occasions when I thought the story line was moving a bit slowly. I also like that the author left us with a cliffhanger ending that, while leaving us wondering what will happen next, isn't so abrupt as to completely frustrate the readers (I'm talking to you, Kresley Cole!).

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Master: The Game Maker, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Kresley Cole
    • Narrated By Kimberly Alexis
    Overall
    (198)
    Performance
    (182)
    Story
    (183)

    Rich, irresistible politician/Mafiya boss Maksimilian Sevastyan prefers tall, obedient blondes to fulfill his...complicated desires. That is until the icy Russian encounters a disobedient brunette whose exquisite little body threatens his legendary restraint.

    CAROLYN says: "I'M LOVE, LOVE LOVING THESE SEXY BOSSY RUSSIANS"
    "Muy caliente, but not my favourite KC"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Master was good, but not Kresley Cole's best. I love Kresley Cole...I will download anything she releases. She is a good writer who can tell a good story and creates interesting, funny characters. However, I didn't like The Master as much as I liked The Professional.

    The format (a complete, single release rather than a three-part serial) is a HUGE improvement over The Professional, and I liked Cat and Maksim's story, but the sex wasn't as exciting as in the last book. It was a lot of the same sex, without a lot of variety. (Oh look, they're f*&%ing again.) It almost got monotonous and it started right off the bat, without much lead-in to the story. Also, kidnapping is sociopathic behaviour and I didn't find that sexy at all. It brought me right out the story. Points docked for that.

    Despite all of that, I did like The Master. It wasn't as kinky as The Professional, which can either be a good thing or bad thing, depending on your preferences, but it was *muy caliente* (I do wish that we could ban the phrase "goody trail" though). I loved that Natalie and Aleksandr made appearances and it looks like KC is possibly setting up Dimitri's story line for the next book. Yay!

    Kimberly Alexis, once again, was fantastic as the main female character. She narrated the story and gave voice to Cat with near perfection. She is a fantastic narrator. As with The Professional, however, I did not like her Russian accents as much. Something about her accent had me thinking "Boris and Natasha" rather than sexy Siberian billionaire. Minor complaint and I was usually able to look past it.

    One more thing...even though I said this wasn't my favourite Kresley Cole book, if you're a Kresley Cole fan but the BDSM in The Professional wasn't your style, give The Master a try. KC has managed to write erotica that is sexy, smart and funny, without the cheesiness of your typical soft-core porn paperback.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dead of Winter: Arcana Chronicles, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Kresley Cole
    • Narrated By Emma Galvin
    Overall
    (376)
    Performance
    (347)
    Story
    (348)

    Heartbreaking decisions: Evie was almost seduced by the life of comfort that Death offered her - until Jack was threatened by two of the most horrific Arcana, The Lovers. She will do anything to save him, even escape Death's uncanny prison, full of beautiful objects, material comforts - and stolen glances from a former love.

    Katheryne says: "Love, love, love this series!"
    "Heart-stopping cliffhanger...again"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Dead of Winter the most enjoyable?

    Emma Galvin's performance, once again, made this a fantastic listen. I read the ebook while I listened to the audiobook and Emma Galvin's narration made the book even better. I am a big fan of Kresley Cole, but I found that (in Dead of Winter at least) she went a little overboard with her use of exclamation points! It gets distracting to read like that after a while! See what I mean!?! Emma Galvin softened those exclamations and put such life into the story.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I am firmly Team Death. He doesn't treat Evie like a fragile damsel in distress and, unlike Jack, Death is always honest with her.


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

    Yes, and she is one of my favourite narrators. I found Poison Princess (book one in the Arcana Chronicles) by searching for books narrated by Emma Galvin. Her voices for the main characters are consistent and distinct. If she could just differentiate the voices for the other characters a little bit more, this would have been a five-star performance.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The ending. Kresley Cole, you are killing me with these cliffhangers! I hate it when books end in such a harrowing cliffhanger, but it also brings a little hope for those who were wishing for a different outcome. With fifteen minutes left in the audiobook, I wasn't sure if I was happy about how the book was ending, but the conclusion was such a dramatic twist and it wiped out my theory as to where the next book is headed.


    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Void: Witching Savannah, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By J. D. Horn
    • Narrated By Shannon McManus
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (288)
    Performance
    (261)
    Story
    (263)

    Mercy and her husband, Peter, are happily preparing to welcome baby Colin into their lives. But their excitement quickly becomes overshadowed by a gruesome discovery: someone has scattered severed limbs throughout the city. After a troubling visit from an old foe, Mercy learns dark magic is at play, and someone - or something - wants her and her unborn child out of the picture.

    Zendegy says: "Ridiculous ending"
    "Hated the ending. Hated it."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    No. This series wasn't awful, but isn't something that I would want to listen to again. If you've already listened to the other two books, then you'll probably listen to this one as well. This instalment was my least favourite of the three (and I was on the fence about the other two).


    Would you ever listen to anything by J. D. Horn again?

    Probably not. I didn't like his writing style. There was way too much going on...too many antagonists, too many side stories, an irrelevant Nazi back story, just too much "stuff" in general. And I didn't care for Mercy all that much either. She made a lot of stupid decisions and came across as immature and selfish at times. It's really hard to get into a novel when you don't care for the protagonist.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    She was okay, but her delivery could have been more natural. She mispronounced a few words, and I really didn't like the way she pronounced the word "appreciated", which, oddly enough, came up often enough that it grated on my nerves.


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

    Maybe. Maybe the story could be better told if a decent scriptwriter got a hold of it and streamlined the story.


    Any additional comments?

    I cannot emphasize enough just how much I hated the ending, like in my Top 5 most hated endings of all time. It was just so stupid how the whole thing wrapped up, and it confirmed my feelings that I didn't care for Mercy as a character.

    1 of 1 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
    (41)
    Performance
    (39)
    Story
    (37)

    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.

    1 of 1 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
    (2193)
    Performance
    (2014)
    Story
    (2025)

    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.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Forever Song

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Julie Kagawa
    • Narrated By Therese Plummer
    Overall
    (104)
    Performance
    (96)
    Story
    (96)

    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.

    3 of 3 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
    (946)
    Performance
    (859)
    Story
    (857)

    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.

    1 of 1 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
    (131)
    Performance
    (126)
    Story
    (126)

    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
    (384)
    Performance
    (282)
    Story
    (278)

    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
    (2374)
    Performance
    (2200)
    Story
    (2193)

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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