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N. Hopkins

Member Since 2012

ratings
52
REVIEWS
11
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
20

  • A Pale Horse

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Charles Todd
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (281)
    Performance
    (186)
    Story
    (185)

    Late on a spring night in 1920, five boys cross the Yorkshire dales to the ruins of Fountains Abbey, intent on raising the Devil. Instead, they stumble over the Devil himself, sitting there watching them. Terrified, they run for their lives, leaving behind a book on alchemy stolen from their schoolmaster. The next morning, a body is discovered in the cloisters of the abbey--a man swathed in a hooded cloak and wearing a gas mask.

    Marie says: "A wild ride"
    "Outstanding author - Outstanding narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about A Pale Horse?

    This is the third book in the series I've heard, the first being the more recent A Lonely Death. (Audible.com special. It caught my eye.) I thoroughly enjoyed it, as well as the next book in the series, The Confession. That being the most recent one available, I looked at earlier productions but found I had developed a loyalty to Simon Prebble's narration. I downloaded A Pale Horse and was not disappointed. As an author, I can't help but be a little ticked off at Todd's ability to consistently weave a multi-layered, yet highly "readable" story. I wish he'd cut it out. He's making the rest of us look bad. And of course, Simon is simply outstanding as a narrator. One of the best I've heard.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of A Pale Horse?

    As in all crime / mystery books - The Reveal


    Which character – as performed by Simon Prebble – was your favorite?

    Ian Rutledge


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It made me chuckle and I may or may not have developed a frog in my throat at one point or another. Quite frankly, it's none of your business. However, my overall opinion is that you can't go wrong with this author/narrator combination if you enjoy a procedural detective story, with a unique protagonist.


    Any additional comments?

    Go for it. You'll like it. Really.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Heirs and Graces: A Royal Spyness Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Rhys Bowen
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1311)
    Performance
    (1178)
    Story
    (1169)

    As 35th in line for the throne, Lady Georgiana Rannoch may not be the most sophisticated young woman, but she knows her table manners. It's forks on the left, knives on the right - not in His Majesty's back….

    Nancy says: "Enjoyable light murder mystery"
    "Another great listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Heirs and Graces rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Like each book in the series, this is a pleasant listen. It's easy to care about these characters. They're like-able people, wrapped up in interesting plots and challenges.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    These aren't exactly edge-of-your-seat books. They're more like grinning-with-anticipation books. The sometimes awkwardly humorous circumstances and interesting plot twists are certainly enough to keep you interested, but you probably won't be biting any nails off while listening to it.


    What about Katherine Kellgren’s performance did you like?

    Katherine Kellgren is simply outstanding. Her characterizations are spot on, and her interpretation of the text adds a very unique depth to the story. My only problem is the sometimes strident (and certainly over-used) "she said" or "he said." It's almost as though she's adding an odd exclamation point every time she does it.


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

    Again, there's very little that I would describe as moving. Granted, the romance between Georgianna and Darcy is cute, perhaps even touching, but I wouldn't say particularly moving.


    Any additional comments?

    A good entertaining listen. Go ahead and get it. You won't regret it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Libriomancer: Magic ex Libris, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Jim C. Hines
    • Narrated By David DeVries
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (259)
    Performance
    (239)
    Story
    (241)

    Isaac Vainio is a Libriomancer, a member of the secret organization founded five centuries ago by Johannes Gutenberg. Libriomancers are gifted with the ability to magically reach into books and draw forth objects. When Isaac is attacked by vampires that leaked from the pages of books into our world, he barely manages to escape. To his horror he discovers that vampires have been attacking other magic-users as well, and Gutenberg has been kidnapped.

    Simon says: "A reasonable start"
    "Save yourself! Read the book instead!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Jim C. Hines and/or David DeVries?

    Yes, if read by a different narrator. He has a fun style, good sense of humor and good character development. The premise of this book was outstanding and lured me in. Why, oh why did I not listen to a sample, or read the reviews more carefully? Because I'm a sap, that's why. Bringing objects from books to life? How could it not be fascinating? Every book lovers dream, right? And in fact, the story is fascinating. If you can get past the horrible narration.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The tree nymph. Great sense of humor, interesting premise.


    Would you be willing to try another one of David DeVries’s performances?

    Not only no, but by cracky, heck no. It was absolutely horrible. Nothing personal, David. Some people are just meant to be narrators, others are not. I hope you didn't quit your day job.


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

    That's a silly ass question.


    Any additional comments?

    I may very well get the Kindle edition of the sequel. I'd very much like to know what happens to these characters. I just couldn't stand to listen to it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Hard Magic: Book I of the Grimnoir Chronicles

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Larry Correia
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot
    Overall
    (5418)
    Performance
    (4906)
    Story
    (4919)

    Jake Sullivan is a licensed private eye with a seriously hardboiled attitude. He also possesses raw magical talent and the ability to make objects in his vicinity light as a feather or as heavy as depleted uranium, all with a magical thought. It's no wonder the G-men turn to Jake when they need someoneto go after a suspected killer who has been knocking off banks in a magic-enhanced crime spree.

    Clinton says: "Not what I thought it was going to be."
    "Wow. Absolutely outstanding!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Hard Magic again? Why?

    I will most certainly listen to the entire series again. The concepts, the characters, the plot are all developed with such depth, I was drawn into the story immediately.

    The setting of historic people and events tweaked with the insertion of magic creates an intriguing blend that Correia carries off with a real flair. He creates a world we can easily imagine, so clearly in fact that it's difficult not to be disappointed we're stuck in this reality, instead of that of the Grimnoir.

    And of course, Bronson Pinchot is simply superb. He may very well be the best narrator I've heard to date. His performance, particularly the way he interprets the characters and their conversations truly shows his acting chops and he absolutely brings those people to life. Yes. He's that good. The humor, the action, the dialog - his performance enhances them all.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    It's difficult to pinpoint a favorite. Jake Sullivan is certainly an obvious choice, though Lance Talon is a crack up. And then there's Fay. Her view of the world and the people around her is... unique.


    Which character – as performed by Bronson Pinchot – was your favorite?

    Though Bronson's accents and inflections for all of the characters are definitive, I think his interpretation of Fay is my favorite. Her almost random, scatter brained genius is truly brought to life by Bronson.


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

    When Fay realizes she's shot the wrong Sullivan brother and follows him to the Power, it's a haunting though touching scene. And of course, an exciting, action packed ending is always fun. Actually, one of my favorite parts of the book isn't something you can point to, so much as it's an overall tone. The witty banter and plot twists make for some laugh-out-loud moments and a few minutes later, you can't help but be touched by the way these characters work and sacrifice together to beat the bad guys.


    Any additional comments?

    Buy it. Listen to it. You'll be getting the rest of the series and writing a rave review yourself, I guarantee it. (Though not in a legally binding way, of course.)

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Moonrise

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Ben Bova
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki
    Overall
    (203)
    Performance
    (147)
    Story
    (147)

    A 21st century U.S. aerospace company has developed the first permanent human settlement on the Moon, made possible by major scientific breakthroughs, particularly in the practical use of nanotechnology. But conflict within the company's founding family and growing protests against the technology from radical environmentalists and religious fundamentalists on Earth put Moonbase in danger of closure

    Brian says: "A worthy read / listen"
    "Good, though frustrating"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about Moonrise? What did you like least?

    The best part of Moonrise is the science. It's presented in a clear, understandable manner and Bova's extrapolation of current technologies is well considered and logical. While the story is, for the most part intriguing, it was also frustrating. The problem I found was the inconsistencies of the characters. Having been introduced to them in a very detailed manner, I found myself having a hard time believing their actions. Their character as developed in the back story, did not support the actions they took.

    There were also several repetitive concepts and phrases which I found distracting: the smooth walls of the crater, blasted by the microscopic granuals of lunar regolith, the wobbling jowels of Dr. Zimmerman, etc. Once was good, several times was repetitive, distracting and only served to extend a story to 18 hours, that could have been accomplished in significantly less.

    I found the narration to be fairly stiff and it was sometimes difficult to tell which character was which. Some, though not all of the accents were poorly presented and inconsistent.


    Would you recommend Moonrise to your friends? Why or why not?

    I would perhaps recommend the book, but with reservations. The science of the fiction is solid, intriguing and compelling. The fiction that carries the science - not so much. The character development is weak and it's difficult to become attached to any of the characters or relate to them as their behavior just doesn't make sense sometimes.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Stefan Rudnicki?

    Dick Hill comes to mind, though with a little work on his accents and character definition, Stefan Rudnicki would be greatly improved.


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

    This could possibly be movie material, but would require a significantly truncated plot.


    Any additional comments?

    I came very close to abandoning this book after the first few hours. I'm glad I finished it, but probably won't pick up the sequel.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • A Lonely Death: An Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Charles Todd
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (365)
    Performance
    (248)
    Story
    (244)

    Three men have been murdered in a Sussex village, and Scotland Yard has been called in. It's a baffling case. The victims are soldiers who survived the horrors of the Great War only to meet a ghastly end in the quiet English countryside two years later. Each had been garroted, with small ID disks left in their mouths. But even Scotland Yard's presence doesn't deter this vicious and clever killer.

    Marie says: "The best in the series"
    "This series, this narrator!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to A Lonely Death the most enjoyable?

    The combination of believable, multi-dimensional characters, a well conceived plot and outstanding narration would make any story enjoyable.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The main character, Ian Rutledge. Todd has created a relate-able, yet torn and tortured protagonist who's life and trials resonate as clearly now as in the setting of the series, following WWI. ,


    Which character – as performed by Simon Prebble – was your favorite?

    Simon Prebble could read the freakin' phone book and make it spell binding.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    A Lonely Death - It's ... lonely.


    Any additional comments?

    Nope

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Confession: An Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Charles Todd
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (386)
    Performance
    (329)
    Story
    (330)

    Declaring he needs to clear his conscience, a dying man walks into Scotland Yard and confesses that he killed his cousin five years earlier during the Great War. When Inspector Ian Rutledge presses for details, the man evades his questions, revealing only that he hails from a village east of London. With little information and no body to open an official inquiry, Rutledge begins to look into the case on his own. Less than two weeks later, the alleged killer’s body is found floating in the Thames, a bullet in the back of his head.

    Judith A. Weller says: "Most exciting by Todd Yet"
    "Pretty Dang Good"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Confession to be better than the print version?

    I don't think the other drivers on Florida's Turnpike would appreciate me reading the print version, just to compare the two.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Confession?

    There's no one defining moment - it's the inter-weaving of the characters, the depth of their personalities and the story that really make this series. This is just another fine example of the genre.


    What about Simon Prebble’s performance did you like?

    What's not to like? You always know which character is speaking, he's understandable and exceptionally easy to listen to. In fact, after listening to his narration for the duration of one of my longer trips, I found myself thinking with his accent. It was a little disturbing.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    The Confession - OR IS IT?


    Any additional comments?

    Nah.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • A Matter of Justice: Inspector Ian Rutledge Mysteries

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Charles Todd
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (468)
    Performance
    (203)
    Story
    (205)

    After two London men end their business partnership, one of them is savagely murdered in a medieval tithe barn on his estate in Somerset. Investigating the killing, Scotland Yard Inspector Ian Rutledge discovers that the victim was universally despised in Cambury - even the victim's wife and the town's police inspector are suspect. And yet in London circles, the man was highly regarded. What triggered his death?

    Marie says: "Entertaining procedural through the end"
    "Another great Ian Rutledge story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of A Matter of Justice to be better than the print version?

    I have no stinkin' idea. Isn't this Audible.com? I'm confused.


    What other book might you compare A Matter of Justice to and why?

    This series fits in nicely with the best of procedural detective/cop stories. Pick one.


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

    Simon is absolutely outstanding, as always. However it almost sounded as though he had a cold for part of this story. Not a big deal though and of course, he's still better than 90% of the other narrators, if not more (Not to worry. We know Simon recovered, because there are later books in the series.)


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I don't believe in extremes.


    Any additional comments?

    Not so much.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • My Wicked Little Lies

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Victoria Alexander
    • Narrated By Justine Eyre
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (52)
    Performance
    (46)
    Story
    (46)

    Evelyn Hadley-Attwater has it all - a genteel Victorian life replete with loving husband, ball gowns and elegant parties. No one, including the man she married, suspects that she was once “Eve,” a spy for England’s most enigmatic intelligence agency. Summoned for one final assignment, the excitement of her former life and memories of her mysterious, flirtatious boss “Sir” prove too tempting.... Adrian Hadley-Attwater is a respectable, dignified gentleman. But even the most proper gentlemen have secrets of their own. Secrets from the rest of the world, from their families, from their wives.

    N. Hopkins says: "Good story, lazy writing"
    "Good story, lazy writing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    This book was entertaining, though not as much as others. While certainly not a complete waste, I wouldn't list it as one of my favorites.


    What other book might you compare My Wicked Little Lies to and why?

    I've only listened to one other Romance novel, so I'm afraid I have a very limited field of comparison.


    Which character – as performed by Justine Eyre – was your favorite?

    While I truly loved Justine's voice, the problem with her narration is that all characters sound basically the same. In fact, it sometimes became difficult to determine which character was speaking for that very reason. Justine has a beautiful voice, she needs to work on her character development.


    What would have made this romance irresistible?

    More variation in the narration and a thorough editing for repetitive sentences and phrases. If I were still playing drinking games, I'd suggest one for this book: Take a drink whenever you hear the words: "furrowed brow", "wicked smile" or "chose her words with care." You'll be drunk by the end of the second chapter. While the story line is good, these examples of what can only be described as lazy writing are exceptionally distracting.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Gods of Mars: Mars Series, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Edgar Rice Burroughs
    • Narrated By Peter Delloro
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (71)
    Performance
    (53)
    Story
    (53)

    The Gods of Mars begins with John Carter's arrival back on Barsoom (Mars) after a 10-year hiatus, separated from his wife Dejah Thoris, his unborn child, and the Red Martian people of the nation of Helium, whom he has adopted as his own. Unfortunately, Carter materializes in the one place on Barsoom from which nobody is allowed to depart: the Valley Dor, which is the Barsoomian afterlife.

    KMB says: "Choose another narrator for this book"
    "Awful narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I would recommend this book in a heartbeat, if read by a different narrator. This narrator mispronounces words, reads every sentence as if there were an exclamation point at the end and generally ruins the story. I find myself doing two things while listening: first, making fun of his style and second, translating his words as if they were read by a competent narrator.


    What other book might you compare The Gods of Mars to and why?

    This is a typical ERB book. Well written, somewhat predictable but the rewards of a good ending are worth their weight in CD's


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Peter Delloro?

    B. J. Harrison


    Did The Gods of Mars inspire you to do anything?

    Look for the sequel, as read by a more competent narrator


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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