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Rachel

Oceanside, CA, United States | Member Since 2014

26
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 57 reviews
  • 57 ratings
  • 169 titles in library
  • 9 purchased in 2015
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  • Days of Blood & Starlight

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Laini Taylor
    • Narrated By Khristine Hvam
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1220)
    Performance
    (1106)
    Story
    (1116)

    In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Karou must come to terms with who and what she is, and how far she'll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, mysteries and secrets, new characters and old favorites, Days of Blood and Starlight brings the richness, color and intensity of the first book to a brand new canvas.

    Katheryne says: "No Sophomore Slump here...Just wow!"
    "Totally different from book 1"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I rated the first book 5 stars all around but I took away one star all around for book 2 for the following reasons:

    Book 1 was so intriguing, fascinating, exciting, and mysterious. It made me want to be Karou... what a fascinating and mysterious life she had! But then at the end you find out she's not actually Karou, but Madrigal, and that is when the fun mystery that has been so built up all comes crashing down- never to be picked back up again.

    In book 2, I was mourning the loss of the exciting, young life of Karou as the whole tone of the story shifted and became dark, anguished, heavy and dry. The whole feel of book 1 that captivated me was gone and I missed it and it was never coming back. In addition to that, the mysterious characters- such as Brimstone, who I so longed to discover more of- were all dead!

    The beautiful imagery that painted book 1 so lovely and made you want to be there was missing from this book. Left mostly to my own imagination, Eretz was vast and empty, without much detail by the way of landscape.

    The story was really heavy and angsty, which got on my nerves. In my review of book 1, I had said I was relieved it wasn't full of angst, but book 2 more than made up for that with plenty of angst. However, once I accepted that this was now a new and different story with a totally different feel, I was able to enjoy the book for what it was, especially for the way it ended.

    Finally, the reason I removed a star for the narrator is because she read this book in a strangely continuous manner. What I mean by that is the story frequently changes locations or perspectives from Madrigal to Karou to other characters, but the narrator transitions from one scene to another completely seamlessly, without even a pause, so if you aren't paying close attention, you may lose track of where you are.

    Like I said, I was still able to enjoy and appreciate this book, but be prepared for a dramatic change to everything you loved about book 1.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Rebel Spring: A Falling Kingdoms Novel, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Morgan Rhodes
    • Narrated By Fred Berman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (86)
    Performance
    (76)
    Story
    (78)

    Auranos has been conquered and the three kingdoms - Auranos, Limeros, and Paelsia - are now unwillingly united as one country called Mytica. But alluring, dangerous magic still beckons, and with it the chance to rule not just Mytica, but the world. . .

    JennyMarie says: "Can't wait for the next book!"
    "Sloooooooow to progress"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This book was slightly better than the first one, but what is frustrating is how painfully slow it is to progress. The author really focuses in on all the little details of the characters lives but much of it is boring or mundane. There isn't enough action and any suspense is long and drawn out to the point that it loses its impact by the time it comes to fruition. I'll still keep listening because I do like the premise (albeit, one that's been done many times and in many ways before) and I have gotten into the story and need to know how it turns out, but I probably won't listen to this series again. It is just OK.

    The narrator is starting to become very annoying. He does OK with the voices but hearing him for hours at a time is grating.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Hunger Like No Other: Immortals After Dark, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Kresley Cole
    • Narrated By Robert Petkoff
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2464)
    Performance
    (2270)
    Story
    (2274)

    After enduring years of torture from the vampire horde, Lachlain MacRieve, leader of the Lykae Clan, is enraged to find the predestined mate he's waited millennia for is a vampire. Sheltered Emmaline Troy finally sets out to uncover the truth about her deceased parents - until a powerful Lykae claims her as his mate and forces her back to his ancestral Scottish castle. But when an ancient evil from her past resurfaces, will their desire deepen into a love that can bring a proud warrior to his knees and turn a gentle beauty into the fighter she was born to be?

    Amazon Customer says: "My new favorite narrator!"
    "I don't get the hype!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I downloaded this book because I listened to the Arcana Chronicles and loved them, and because of the rave reviews Kresley Cole's books always get, and also that she is an automatic download for many people. As I was listening, I was shocked at how unimaginative and superficial this story is. I guess with her YA books she can't fill them up with graphically sexual scenes every 5 minutes so she had to actually come up with an entertaining storyline. No so with this book.

    This book is, in every possible way, written word for word to speak to most women's fantasies. It was painfully unrealistic in the sense that by the end, everything just so happened to work out perfectly for everyone you care about and the bad guys got killed, and rather easily I must say. The characters are one dimensional and so predictable. I just don't see what all the hype is with her novels. I'm guessing that it's just a lot of ladies who get their jollies off on this sort of "romance."

    Narrator did a great job with Lachlan and the other male voices but the women's voices were laughable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Falling Kingdoms: Falling Kingdoms, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Morgan Rhodes
    • Narrated By Fred Berman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (170)
    Performance
    (154)
    Story
    (158)

    In a land where magic has been forgotten but peace has reigned for centuries, a deadly unrest is simmering. Three kingdoms grapple for power - brutally transforming their subjects' lives in the process. Amidst betrayals, bargains, and battles, four young people find their fates forever intertwined.

    Sarah Turner says: "Surprisingly good!"
    "Entertaining, if a bit shallow"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This book was slow to develop with all the plot building and character development, but it was an interesting journey, none the less. It's kind of funny, though, because even after all that development, I felt the story and characters were somewhat shallow. There was also a lot of angst, and this is always my gripe with books in this genre, as I don't think so much angst is necessary to create tension and keep things interesting. However, I did still enjoy this story and I would like to see where it's headed. It held my interest and kept me wanting to know more. The narrator is definitely annoying, though! His women's voices are all ghastly and the men all sound somewhat ridiculous.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mortal Heart: His Fair Assassin Trilogy, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Robin LaFevers
    • Narrated By Jennifer Grace
    Overall
    (70)
    Performance
    (63)
    Story
    (64)

    In the powerful conclusion to Robin LaFever's New York Times best-selling His Fair Assassins trilogy, Annith has watched her gifted sisters at the convent come and go, carrying out their dark dealings in the name of St. Mortain, patiently awaiting her own turn to serve Death. But her worst fears are realized when she discovers she is being groomed by the abbess as a Seeress, to be forever sequestered in the rock and stone womb of the convent.

    Kelley (Oh, the Books!) says: "Five-star Ending to an Incredible Series"
    "I loved every book in this series!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    SPOILERS IN MY REVIEW! I loved each and every book in this series! I loved learning about each girl and her story and then how this final book intertwined them all. What made this book my favorite, though, is that we got to see behind the veil of the spiritual realm and got a glimpse into the life of the gods, mainly Mortain. I had chills when I finally figured out that Death was the guy who Annith was in love with! I mean, he was already dark and mysterious and sexy, but then to find out he was a god! I loved it and I loved him! It was a beautiful, romantic and fascinating story and left me feeling wholly satisfied with the way it all concluded. And for the most part, the narrator did a good job, although she lacked variety with the voices.

    0 of 1 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
    (490)
    Performance
    (450)
    Story
    (452)

    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!"
    "Exciting but not much progress in the storyline"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This was yet another feisty, exciting and spicy installment in the series. The angst-y stuff is very annoying but I still found the story to be entertaining and fun. I loved how Death and Jack had to work together in this book, even though parts of it were unrealistic things for two men in that kind of a situation to do. I do wish we had learned more about the Arcana and met some of the other cards, though. Looking forward to the next book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • City of Fallen Angels: The Mortal Instruments, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Cassandra Clare
    • Narrated By Ed Westwick, Molly C. Quinn
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2690)
    Performance
    (2166)
    Story
    (2202)

    City of Fallen Angels take up where City of Glass left off. With Valentine out of the way, Clary thought she and Jace could finally be together--but when someone starts murdering the Shadowhunters who used to be in Valentine's Circle and leaving their bodies around New York City in a manner designed to destroy the new peace between Downworlders and Shadowhunters, she realizes the past can never be left entirely behind.

    Amazon Customer says: "HATE that female reader!"
    "Dreadful narrators! Worst ever!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This book was just OK. There was nothing that made it very interesting or unique. It felt like a fluffed up transitional book with very lazy writing. There was just so much unnecessary storyline and not much meat. It was just a filler book in the series. Nothing really even happened until the very end.

    As for the narrators... At first when I heard Ed Westwick I was happy because his voice is dreamy. However, this was NOT the right book for him to narrate! It doesn't get worse than a Britt trying to do a Jewish New Yorker accent. It was awful! Simon sounded like a weasely cartoon rat thug and Jace sounded like Sylvester Stallone. It was bad. Then Molly C. Quinn starts her chapter and oh my goodness, I couldn't believe how bad it was. You would think that the director would have run out and found a new narrator the second he heard her start reading, but no, they actually let her continue in her embarrassing train wreck of a performance. She sounded like a high-schooler who was called on in English class to stand up and read aloud to the class. She worked so hard to enunciate every single word perfectly that it sounded completely unnatural. Not to mention that most of her characters had the exact same voice so it was hard to tell who was even talking. It was so bad. Like unbearably bad, as this is the most I have ever written about narrators in a review!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Cybele's Secret

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Juliet Marillier
    • Narrated By Justine Eyre
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (62)
    Performance
    (45)
    Story
    (46)

    For Paula, accompanying her merchant father on a trading voyage to Istanbul is a dream come true. They have come to this city of trade on a special mission to purchase a most rare artifact: a gift from the ancient goddess, Cybele, to her followers. It's the only remnant of a lost, pagan cult. But no sooner have they arrived when it becomes clear they may be playing at a dangerous game.

    Rachel says: "Sweet and enchanting!"
    "Sweet and enchanting!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    The only reason I gave this book 4 stars instead of 5 is because there were a few parts that were a bit long and boring. Aside from that, this was such a lovely story of mystery, bravery, honor, and love. I found myself genuinely caring about the characters and wanting everything to work out for them. The setting was interesting and fun and made me want to be there. Juliet Marillier paints a beautiful world with words. Great, clean-cut story for kids and adults alike.

    Narration was a pleasure to listen to and she did well with all the characters voices.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Maze Runner: Maze Runner, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By James Dashner
    • Narrated By Mark Deakins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5744)
    Performance
    (4962)
    Story
    (5015)

    When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. But he's not alone. When the lift's doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade - a large, open expanse surrounded by stone walls.

    Trav says: "1st book is pretty good. Downhill afterward."
    "Very intriguing and unique!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This is an interesting start to a series. It's totally unique and mysterious. Part of me hates being completely in the dark about what is going on but part of me is enjoying the unfolding of the plot piece by piece. It definitely keeps you guessing and wanting to hear more.

    Narration is great!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Death Cure: Maze Runner, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By James Dashner
    • Narrated By Mark Deakins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2851)
    Performance
    (2510)
    Story
    (2523)

    Thomas knows that Wicked can't be trusted, but they say the time for lies is over, that they've collected all they can from the Trials and now must rely on the Gladers, with full memories restored, to help them with their ultimate mission. It's up to the Gladers to complete the blueprint for the cure to the Flare with a final voluntary test. What Wicked doesn't know is that something's happened that no Trial or Variable could have foreseen. Thomas has remembered far more than they think. And he knows that he can't believe a word of what Wicked says. The time for lies is over.

    Paula says: "Very young adult"
    "A long drawn out dud!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Book one was very intriguing and interesting, but from there it was a long, boring and steady decline to fizzling out at the end. This book can hardly be called the conclusion to the trilogy because it concludes nothing at all. The title of the book is a total lie. Basically the entire storyline of this book was completely pointless. It was disorganized, random, and so unnecessarily long and drawn out... all for nothing. Like other reviewers, I too stopped caring about the characters to the point that when a major character died, I didn't even care. At one point I thought Thomas was going to die and I truly didn't care.

    The questions you have had the entire time you've invested in this series NEVER get answered. You get no background, as Thomas chooses not to get his memories back. What? Seriously, what was the point of everything? What a waste of time and credits! Sadly, I am pretty sure all of my questions would be answered by listening to the prequel, but at this point I am so annoyed and turned off by being strung along through this series that I just want to be done with it and not waste any more time.

    Narration was great, but that was the only good thing about this book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Heir of Fire: Throne of Glass, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Sarah J. Maas
    • Narrated By Elizabeth Evans
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (549)
    Performance
    (500)
    Story
    (500)

    Celaena has survived deadly contests and shattering heartbreak - but at an unspeakable cost. Now, she must travel to a new land to confront her darkest truth - a truth about her heritage that could change her life - and her future - forever. Meanwhile, brutal and monstrous forces are gathering on the horizon, intent on enslaving her world. Will Celaena find the strength to not only fight her inner demons, but to take on the evil that is about to be unleashed?

    Sarina Anderson says: "Exactly Where the Series Needs to Go"
    "Unbearably long!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I read the other reviews and I'm not sure why people loved this book so much, but it seems that I am 1 of only 2 people who thought it was unnecessarily slow and long. For all the wasted hours I had to hear Celaena complaining, whining, and being pissed off or prideful, there could have been an actual storyline there. I just got so tired of her whiny baby attitude... and Rowan was no better. Of course, by the end of the book they suddenly grew up and accepted their fates, but geez, it took them freakin' long enough to get there!

    I was so put off (as I also was by the previous 3 books) by Celaena's childish pride (and everyone else's pride for that matter) that it was hard for me to even get into the story. I think it just wasted a lot of time, got people unnecessarily killed or injured and cheapened the quality of the story. I think you can still take your lead character on a journey from immaturity to maturity and still make them likable to the reader, but that was not the case with Celaena for me. I think this is the first series I have ever read where I strongly disliked the lead character.

    As far as the actual storyline goes, I think it was disjointed and developed really poorly, and because of that I wasn't invested enough in the characters to feel much emotion about all that went on. It also dragged on so long that I was just plain bored. The story also lacks originality, as I felt like I was listening to a mishmash of plots from other books I've read lately.

    I don't care for the narrator either, as I think she may be adding some inflections of pride or anger to all the character's voices that might not have been there had I read the book instead of listened. Oh, and the whole time I thought this was the final book but clearly it's not and I'm actually annoyed by that. I've invested so much time in this series that I feel like I have to follow it through to the end to see how it turns out. But if the last book is anything like this one, I may pull my hair out before making it all the way through.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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