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Robin

ratings
136
REVIEWS
107
FOLLOWING
13
FOLLOWERS
19
HELPFUL VOTES
139

  • The Republic of Thieves: Gentleman Bastard Series, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Scott Lynch
    • Narrated By Michael Page
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2095)
    Performance
    (1921)
    Story
    (1931)

    After their adventures on the high seas, Locke and Jean are brought back to earth with a thump. Jean is mourning the loss of his lover, and Locke must live with the fallout of crossing the all-powerful magical assassins the Bonds Magi. It is a fall-out that will pit both men against Locke's own long-lost love. Sabetha is Locke's childhood sweetheart, the love of Locke's life, and now it is time for them to meet again. Employed on different sides of a vicious dispute between factions of the Bonds, Sabetha has just one goal-to destroy Locke forever.

    David says: "A transition and a preface"
    "Sequel and Prequel in one"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book picks up as the 3rd in Locke's story, but at the same time, it features interspersed stories of Locke as a boy and teen, back with Chains and the gang. It's great to see Calo and Galdo again, and finally Sabetha! Lynch does a good job of juxtaposing the two narratives so that the arcs of the stories match.

    However, I didn't give it the 5 stars that I gave the last two.Some parts seemed a bit long. Lynch includes a big part of the play that Locke and his gang perform. He probably had fun writing that, but it slows down the action. Also there are new mysteries introduced and left hanging, so I hope we don't have to wait a long time for the next one.

    Michael Page continues to be outstanding as the narrator.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Kyrathaba Rising: Kyrathaba Chronicles, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By William Bryan Miller
    • Narrated By Christine Padovan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (28)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (27)

    One hundred and seventy years from now, aliens decimate Earth. A relative handful of humans survive, hidden in deep subterranean enclaves that offer some protection from surface radiation. Although the main attack is now seven years in the past, one alien ship remains in orbit, and the conquerors are not content merely to let humanity lick its wounds...

    William says: "Bad aliens vs. rad poisoning"
    "Story may be OK but narrator is intolerable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I received this free in exchange for an honest review. I got about 4 chapters in, which was mostly exposition. It was a bit clunky, as in characters telling each other things they would have known, but if someone like Wil Wheaton had been reading it I'm sure it would have been fine. I could not stand to listen any longer.

    I couldn't believe this book was released with such a strange style of narration. I thought maybe it was just me, but now I see several others commented on it. The narrator emphasizes the end of every sentence, like "We need more informaSHUUUNNN. We'll get it toDAAAAY" It sounds like Valley Speak, and it happens all the time, for every character as well as the 3rd person parts. Generally characters aren't very differentiated and the style is speaking is sort of flat, Longer sentences, even those that are supposed to be in conversation, sound like someone reading a textbook, not someone speaking normally. That isn't great but would have been tolerable without the other quirk.

    I'm sorry I wasn't able to review the book for its writing. Maybe I'll pick it up in print someday. Obviously some listeners weren't bothered by this style. I'm not sure the sample would have helped. It took me more than 5 minutes to realize how odd it was, but after that I couldn't pay attention to anything else. I've sometimes experienced voices or accents I didn't care for or that were dull, but in 30 years of listening to audiobooks, I've never heard anything like this. Where was the editor/producer?

    2 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • The Case of the Missing Servant

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Tarquin Hall
    • Narrated By Sam Dastor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (429)
    Performance
    (317)
    Story
    (318)

    In hot and dusty Delhi, Puri's main work comes from screening prospective marriage partners, a job once the preserve of aunties and family priests. But when an honest public litigator is accused of murdering his maidservant, it takes all of Puri's resources to investigate. How will he trace the fate of the girl, known only as Mary, in a population of more than one billion? Who is taking pot shots at him and his prize chilli plants?

    Brooke says: "Great mystery with local India color"
    "As Mummy would say "Sooo funny!""
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The narration really makes this book stand out, with the distinctive accents and mannerisms of the Indian characters. If you like the Number One Ladies Detective Agency series, you will probably enjoy this as well. I laughed aloud many times as the detective, nicknamed Chubby, who is helped out by his mother, always called Mummy, defies the unending bureaucracy and hidebound traditions of India.

    I did wonder whether Indians would find some of the characters and situations to be stereotypes but I was too busy having a good time to think about that long. Sam Dastor was excellent and I'll be listening to as many more books in this series as I can find.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Full Dark House

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Christopher Fowler
    • Narrated By Tim Goodman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (198)
    Performance
    (166)
    Story
    (170)

    In Full Dark House, Christopher Fowler tells the story of both the first and last case of an unlikely pair of crime fighters - and how along the way they changed the face of detection. A present-day bombing rips through London and claims the life of 80-year-old detective Arthur Bryant. For his partner John May, it means the end of a partnership that lasted over half a century and an eerie echo back to the Blitz of World War II when they first met. Desperately searching for clues, May finds his friend’s notes of their first case....

    Librarian says: "2 English Detective mysteries for the price of 1!!"
    "Unusual detectives span 2 eras"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Professional detectives who are also senior citizens are rare, and characters like Arthur Bryant are rarer still. Brilliant, intuitive, socially inept, and eccentric, he has the perfect foil and partner in the steady, popular, attractive John May. The story starts at the end of their career and revisits a case from 60 years before. The London Blitz is a perfect time to carry out all sorts of crimes, since people go missing daily and law enforcement is stretched thin. It's fun to see our heroes meet as very young men. The mystery itself is pretty farfetched but that's always the least important thing to me. I like a memorable setting and great characters, which I found here. The narration is very good and I'll be listening to further installments.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Escape: Survivor's Club, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Mary Balogh
    • Narrated By Rosalyn Landor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (314)
    Performance
    (287)
    Story
    (283)

    After surviving the Napoleonic Wars, Sir Benedict Harper is struggling to move on, his body and spirit in need of a healing touch. Never does Ben imagine that hope will come in the form of a beautiful woman who has seen her own share of suffering. After the lingering death of her husband, Samantha McKay is at the mercy of her oppressive in-laws - until she plots an escape to distant Wales to claim a house she has inherited. Being a gentleman, Ben insists that he escort her on the fateful journey.

    Kimberly says: "A lovely escape"
    "Light entertainment - ignore anachronisms"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I love Regency romances but I have to sort of pretend that they are not in the actual 19th century England, but on some other planet. On this planet, there are lots of handsome young noblemen, all the servants are happy and loyal, and no one ever gets a toothache, let alone smallpox. The men are strong but also sensitive, doting on their children and respecting independent women. There are modern sensibilities toward the handicapped (never called cripples, morons, or other names that would have been used without thinking), gay characters and characters of different races. In this book, the modern terms "depression", "disability" and even "organizational skills" are used.

    All that said, I greatly prefer this fantasy world to something more realistic like Outlander. I read these books for escape (it's even the title of this one!) and I want some elegance and a reassurance that nothing really awful will happen. This one is rather light on plot, and I didn't realize that there was a novella attached. So I thought there was going to be more to the story, when it rather suddenly ended.

    The narration was quite good and Rosalyn Landor did the Welsh accents well, although at least one name wasn't pronounced correctly.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Half a Crown: Small Change, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Jo Walton
    • Narrated By John Keating, Terry Donnelly
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (86)
    Performance
    (72)
    Story
    (74)

    In 1941 the European war ended in the Farthing Peace, a rapprochement between Britain and Nazi Germany. The balls and banquets of Britain's upper class never faltered, while British ships ferried undesirables across the Channel to board the cattle cars headed east. Peter Carmichael is commander of the Watch, Britain's distinctly British secret police. Its his job to warn the Prime Minister of treason, to arrest plotters, and to discover Jews.

    Donna says: "Priceless Characters, Riveting Plot"
    "Breathless conclusion to the series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I often joke that I stay away from books labeled "gripping" and "chilling". But after the first 2 installments of this series, I had to immediately listen to this one. At first I was disappointed that the action moves forward about 10 years, but Carmichael is back along with his adopted niece, now grown up. It really shows "the banality of evil", as persecution of Jews and other "terrorists" is just a common part of English life along with endless cups of tea and the presentation of young debutantes to the queen.

    It's a very powerful series and John Keating does a great job relating Carmichael's story, as a stoic and professional man who has unseen emotional depths. Some parts were quite terrifying and If I had been reading this in print, I think I would have been compelled to peek ahead to reassure myself, but with audio, you have to stay on for the whole ride. I'm glad I did!

    It's easy to see how similar kinds of oppression and manipulation of public opinion could happen today in the U.S. - or already are happening.

    I'm impressed that Jo Walton can write well in so many different genres.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ha’Penny: Small Change, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Jo Walton
    • Narrated By John Keating, Heather O'Neill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (98)
    Performance
    (80)
    Story
    (82)

    In 1949, eight years after the "Peace with Honor" was negotiated between Great Britain and Nazi Germany by the Farthing Set, England has completed its slide into fascist dicatorship. Then a bomb explodes in a London suburb. The brilliant but politically compromised Inspector Carmichael of Scotland Yard is assigned the case. What he finds leads him to a conspiracy of peers and communists, of staunch king-and-country patriots and hardened IRA gunmen, to murder Britain's prime minister and his new ally, Adolf Hitler.

    Nancy J says: "Excellent Thriller and Alternate History!"
    "Middle book builds a world"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a sequel to Farthing, and is followed by Half a Crown. It occurs right after the first book and features Inspector Carmichael. The other part of the story involves the theater world, which in some ways is a metaphor for all the acting and pretending and shams in this alternate history. It's quite gripping and I had to instantly go to the 3rd book. The narration is excellent, not over the top, just letting the dramatic events speak for themselves.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Farthing: Small Change, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Jo Walton
    • Narrated By John Keating, Bianca Amato
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (256)
    Performance
    (213)
    Story
    (221)

    One summer weekend in 1949 - but not our 1949 - the well-connected "Farthing set", a group of upper-crust English families, enjoy a country retreat. Lucy is a minor daughter in one of those families; her parents were both leading figures in the group that overthrew Churchill and negotiated peace with Herr Hitler eight years before....

    Nancy J says: "It Couldn't Happen Here, Right? RIGHT?"
    "Jo Walton is amazing!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It's astounding to me that Jo Walton can write fantasy (Among Others), faux Victoriana (Tooth and Claw), and then turn around and write a country house murder/political thriller with the added twist of being set in an alternate Britain that made peace with Hitler. The ordinariness of the beginning adds to the scariness of creeping totalitarianism. And although the setting is the 1940's, the debate about restricting liberties to protect the country from terrorism is very relevant. Both narrators were very good, which I can't always say. I immediately started listening to the sequel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • City of Darkness and Light: A Molly Murphy Mystery, Book 13

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Rhys Bowen
    • Narrated By Nicola Barber
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (249)
    Performance
    (210)
    Story
    (215)

    Molly and Daniel Sullivan are settling happily into the new routines of parenthood, but their domestic bliss is shattered the night a gang retaliates against Daniel for making a big arrest. Daniel wants his family safely out of New York City as soon as possible. In shock and grieving, but knowing she needs to protect their infant son, Liam, Molly agrees to take him on the long journey to Paris to stay with her friends Sid and Gus, who are studying art in the City of Light.

    karen says: "Why on earth did I buy this thing?"
    "Best for those who love Paris"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've read all the Molly Murphy books in print so this was my first audio of the series. I thought the narration was fine, though the story was mainly a lot of name-dropping and cameos by famous artists. I happen to enjoy reading anything that takes place in Paris, so that didn't bother me, but some things were pretty far-fetched. For instance, learning French as a schoolgirl some years before does not mean one can carry on complex conversations with natives. I'm sure I'll keep reading the series, but in print where it's faster and I can skim over the background material. But if you've been following the whole series on audio, you probably will like this. Daniel isn't around to get in the way for once.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Christopher Healy, Todd Harris
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (383)
    Performance
    (347)
    Story
    (352)

    Prince Liam. Prince Frederic. Prince Duncan. Prince Gustav. You've never heard of them, have you? These are the princes who saved Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Snow White, and Rapunzel, respectively, and yet, thanks to those lousy bards who wrote the tales, you likely know them only as Prince Charming. But all of this is about to change.

    MissSusie66 says: "Warning Gushing Ahead…….."
    "Fun for all ages"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a bit like Into the Woods, showing you what happens behind or after the "happily ever after" of fairy tales. Bronson Pinchot's narration is what really makes it special and adds to the humor.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Tail of Vengeance: A Chet and Bernie Mystery eShort Story

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 5 mins)
    • By Spencer Quinn
    • Narrated By Jim Frangione
    Overall
    (88)
    Performance
    (79)
    Story
    (79)

    Chet and Bernie - everybody's favorite human-canine detective team - are asked by a beautiful woman to find evidence that would put her cheating boyfriend in the doghouse. This is an e-original short story from New York Times best-selling author Spencer Quinn.

    Bird Lady 147 says: "How can you not love Bernie and Chet the Jet?"
    "Plot discrepancy cleared up"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    In A Cat Was Involved, I was confused by Chet and Bernie meeting when Bernie already has an ex-wife, whereas other books conflicted with that. This story clarifies the time line of Bernie's personal life. Not much suspense in this one, but nothing cheers me up more than hearing Jim Frangione as Chet.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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