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MAB

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

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Member Since 2010

199
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 32 reviews
  • 114 ratings
  • 473 titles in library
  • 27 purchased in 2014
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16

  • The Professional: Part 1: The Game Maker, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Kresley Cole
    • Narrated By Kimberly Alexis
    Overall
    (440)
    Performance
    (410)
    Story
    (413)

    Mafiya enforcer Aleksandr "The Siberian" Sevastyan’s loyalty to his boss is unwavering, until he meets the boss’s long-lost daughter, a curvy, tantalizing redhead who haunts his mind and heats his blood like no other. Ordered to protect her, Sevastyan will do anything to possess her as well - on his own wicked terms. PhD student Natalie Porter had barely recovered from her first sight of the breathtakingly gorgeous Sevastyan before the professional hit man whisks her away to Russia, thrusting her into a world of extreme wealth and wanton pleasures.

    Marian says: "Serial series = more expensive audiobook"
    "I don't like cliffhangers!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Professional: Part 1 again? Why?

    Absolutely, yes. When my kid is in bed. Or away for the weekend. Or wearing headphones and my bedroom door is locked.... Wow, it's spicy. It's a naughty/nice break from all the YA I listen to with my pre-teen. I probably wouldn't listen to it again until all three parts are out, though. I hate, hate, hate it when stories are left hanging like this.


    What other book might you compare The Professional: Part 1 to and why?

    The obvious comparison is Fifty Shades of Grey (virginal college student, dom/sub forbidden relationship) but The Professional is so much better (so far, anyway). The cringe factor is way down compared to Fifty Shades. Plus, it helps that Kresley Cole can actually write.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Kimberly Alexis?

    Yes, I would. I really, really liked her for Natalie's parts. I wasn't so crazy about her Russian accent though. It wasn't bad (truly, it wasn't), but there was something about it that didn't do it for me. I can't put my finger on it, but I found her Russian accent distracting. Maybe it wasn't "sexy" enough. She was fantastic as Natalie though!


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

    Yes, and I did! I stayed up late into the night listening to it and then just about died when it ended. I want the rest of the story!


    Any additional comments?

    I think if I ever listen to a serial or multi-part story again, I will wait until all parts are available before I begin listening. The suspense is killing me! I need me some Sevastyan!

    5 of 6 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
    (2650)
    Performance
    (2486)
    Story
    (2475)

    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
    (333)
    Performance
    (316)
    Story
    (316)

    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
    (298)
    Performance
    (278)
    Story
    (282)

    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?

    MAB says: "Six of one, half-dozen of the other"
    "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
    (962)
    Performance
    (887)
    Story
    (889)

    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
    (1280)
    Performance
    (1202)
    Story
    (1208)

    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
  • Halfway to the Grave: Night Huntress, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Jeaniene Frost
    • Narrated By Tavia Gilbert
    Overall
    (5457)
    Performance
    (3780)
    Story
    (3799)

    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
  • The Professional: Part 2: The Game Maker

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Kresley Cole
    • Narrated By Kimberly Alexis
    Overall
    (354)
    Performance
    (331)
    Story
    (336)

    Mafia enforcer Aleksandr "The Siberian" Sevastyan’s loyalty to his boss is unwavering, until he meets the boss’ long-lost daughter, a curvy, tantalizing redhead who haunts his mind and heats his blood like no other. Ordered to protect her, Sevastyan will do anything to possess her as well - on his own wicked terms. PhD student Natalie Porter had barely recovered from her first sight of the breathtakingly gorgeous Sevastyan before the professional hit man whisks her away to Russia, thrusting her into a world of extreme wealth and wanton pleasures. With every day she spends under his protection, she falls deeper under his masterful spell.

    Katheryne says: "Middle Book Syndrome?"
    "Kresley Cole Erotica"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I read all three parts in ebook format before listening to Part 2 and enjoyed the overall story, but I would only recommend The Professional to fans of erotica. Reading some of these reviews, I get the feeling that it wasn't clear that The Professional is an erotica book, rather than straight-up romance (think X-rated vs. R-rated). It probably doesn't help that Audible categorized Part 1 as "Fiction > Contemporary" rather than "Romance > Erotica".


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

    I would have released all three parts as one audiobook. Part 2 covers chapters 18-33 of the story, but it doesn't hold up as a stand-alone story (which I don't believe it was meant to, anyway).


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Kimberly Alexis?

    Yes, I would. She did a great job as Natalie and with American accents. Her Russian accent is decent as well, but I would have enjoyed it more if she dialed back on her Russian accents a bit. I didn't find them very sexy and it distracted from the story. She did a good job overall though.


    Could you see The Professional: Part 2 being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    If Fifty Shades of Grey can be made into a movie, why not The Professional? It's a much better story than Fifty Shades, anyway. (All three parts, that is...not just Part 2 on its own.)


    Any additional comments?

    Even though I've read Part 3 in ebook format already, I'm still looking forward to Part 3 in audiobook format, and I'm definitely looking forward to other books in this new series (The Game Maker) in the future. Fans of Kresley Cole, keep in mind that Part 2 covers chapters 18-33 of the book (Part 1 covers chapters 1-17 and Part 3 covers chapters 34-44 and epilogue), AND this is _erotica_ with lots of BDSM and other XXX-rated naughtiness. Not for the faint of heart!

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Ready Player One

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Ernest Cline
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10626)
    Performance
    (9894)
    Story
    (9897)

    At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, Ready Player One is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut—part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.

    Travis says: "ADD TO CART, POWER UP +10000"
    "Awesome."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Ready Player One again? Why?

    Yes. I loved this book so much that I had to listen to again immediately after I finished it. Wil Wheaton was a fantastic narrator and the story was fascinating. I had to listen to it again to pick up on all the little nuances that I might have missed the first time around.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Ready Player One?

    Wade and Aech finally meeting for the first time. Brilliant! And what a satisfying ending.


    What about Wil Wheaton’s performance did you like?

    I loved everything about Wil Wheaton's performance. He was perfect for this book. I loved the reference to Wil Wheaton in the book, too. It made Wil Wheaton's performance of the book particularly fitting.


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

    I don't think I would be able to listen to it in one sitting, even if I had the time. My brain would be on overload. This book is so richly detailed and there is so much to take in that I honestly believe my brain couldn't handle it.


    Any additional comments?

    I am not, and never have been, a gamer. I've never played Dungeons and Dragons. I've never watched a full episode of any of the various Star Trek series. I think the last Star Wars movie I saw was Return of the Jedi, back in 1983 when I was a small child. I wasn't sure if I would like this book but I am so glad that I gave it a try. Not only was it a fascinating and exciting listen, but I recognized about 90% of the pop culture references mentioned, despite my lack of "geek" credibility. Anyone who came of age in the 80s should give this a listen. In fact, my daughter, born in the 21st century, listened to most of this with me and she loved it too.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Dangerous Dream: A Beautiful Creatures Story

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 35 mins)
    • By Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl
    • Narrated By Kevin T. Collins
    Overall
    (104)
    Performance
    (96)
    Story
    (97)

    Catch up with Ethan, Lena, and Link as they finally graduate from high school and get ready to leave the small Southern town of Gatlin. But when Dark Caster Ridley makes an appearance, the sometime bad girl can't resist picking a fight with her sometime boyfriend, Link. Angry and rebellious as ever, Ridley ends up alone in New York City and becomes entangled in the dangerous underground Caster club scene, where the stakes are high and losers pay the ultimate price. Where's a Linkubus when you need him?

    MAB says: "Teaser...not a complete story"
    "Teaser...not a complete story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I would recommend this book only to existing fans of the Beautiful Creatures series. You would have to know the history of the series to understand what's going on. For fans of Beautiful Creatures, it will be interesting to see where Ridley and Link end up as the new series progresses.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl ? Why or why not?

    Yes. I enjoyed the Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles) series for the most part. I will probably continue with the new Dangerous Creatures series.


    What does Kevin T. Collins bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I love Kevin T. Collins's narration. He has a wonderful voice. He did a great job as Ethan in the Beautiful Creatures series and I was happy to hear him again.


    Could you see Dangerous Dream being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    No. Aside from the fact that this is a very short story (not even a novella, really), the Beautiful Creatures movie was a stinker and I doubt they'll go down that road again.


    Any additional comments?

    I don't mind cliffhangers, but this was left unfinished. I realize it's meant to be a bridge between Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles) series and the new, upcoming Dangerous Creatures series, but the ending was abrupt.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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