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Scotia

United States | Member Since 2010

9
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 7 reviews
  • 42 ratings
  • 178 titles in library
  • 16 purchased in 2014
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  • Total Recall

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Sara Paretsky
    • Narrated By Sandra Burr
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (93)
    Performance
    (37)
    Story
    (36)

    In Total Recall, Sara Paretsky brings together several disparate plots in one gripping story. This powerfully suspenseful novel confronts the machinations of a vast and corrupt industry that trades on the victims of Nazi terrorism; the strange and dubious phenomenon of "recovered memory;" and a personal story that brings V. I. Warshawski into the long-buried past of her dearest friend and mentor, Dr. Lotty Herschel.

    Amazon Customer says: "My favorite Sara Paretsky"
    "V.I. Characterization is Awful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I purchased this one accidentally. I meant to get Hard Time which is narrated by Jean Smart. When I fired this one up the other day, I was in for a shock. Sandra Burr, who unfortunately seems to have narrated quite a few V.I. Warshawski audiobooks (which means I'm going to miss out on a lot of them), makes Vic sound like a wide-eyed little girl, or a Stepford Wife. The edge, the wit, and the tough as nails femininity is completely absent. She makes Vic sound like she's on mood stabilizers, and the mood of the story is ruined. When V.I. gets into a heated discussion with one of the other characters, she "shoots back" with a retort, but she could have been talking about how nice sunny days are when the sky is blue. Yes, it's that bad. Unless you're really hard up for a V.I. Warshawski novel, I suggest you skip this and pick up the ones by Jean Smart. Smart nails Vic perfectly.

    (*Reposting this as some of my reviews seem to have been disassociated from my Audible account.)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Hard Time: A V.I. Warshawski Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Sara Paretsky
    • Narrated By Jean Smart
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (122)
    Performance
    (39)
    Story
    (40)

    What secrets hide behind the razzle-dazzle of the entertainment industry? V.I. Warshawski is about to find out. Her friend, reporter Murray Ryerson, has just landed a plum job as host of a Global Entertainment network television show. On her way home from the party celebrating the event, V.I. stops to help a woman lying in the street. Her Good Samaritan act exposes dark truths, and suddenly V.I. finds herself playing a game she can only win by staying alive.

    Ron says: "Excellence Marred By Poor Technology"
    "Excellent V.I. Story With the Best Narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is one of those V.I. Warshawski stories that kept me right on the edge of my seat. I listened to this while commuting to and from work over a period of a few weeks. I found myself white knuckling the steering wheel during the really tense parts... and occasionally taking the long way home just to listen to more. V.I. goes through hell in this one, and takes her closest confidants with her. There is little Lotty in this one, but when she does show, the scenes are packed with emotion that seizes your heart. We are treated to quite a bit of Mr. Contreras and Peppy and Mitch, though. Jean Smart does the best narration of the V.I. novels, in my opinion, with Susan Ericksen falling a close second.

    For those who are passingly familiar with the V.I. timeline, this is book 9, and the book in which she meets Morrell.

    (*Reposting this as some of my reviews seem to have been disassociated with my Audible account).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Magic Slays: Kate Daniels, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Ilona Andrews
    • Narrated By Renée Raudman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1402)
    Performance
    (1120)
    Story
    (1138)

    Plagued by a war between magic and technology, Atlanta has never been so deadly. Good thing Kate Daniels is on the job. Kate Daniels may have quit the Order of Merciful Aid, but she's still knee-deep in paranormal problems. Or she would be if she could get someone to hire her. Starting her own business has been more challenging than she thought it would be - now that the Order is disparaging her good name, and many potential clients are afraid of getting on the bad side of the Beast Lord, who just happens to be Kate's mate.

    Yuriko says: "Another wonderful additon"
    "Not as good as previous books in the series..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was eagerly anticipating this next entry in the series as I enjoyed the previous four books. As an aside, I think books 3 and 4 are probably the best in the series. Books 1 and 2 were good stories, but the prose was a little weak and needed some polish, and the effort they put toward that end is readily apparent in 3 and 4.

    I'm not sure what the heck happened to them for book 5.

    Don't get me wrong, it's a decent enough story. I mean, I've heard/read worse. It was nice to revisit Kate, Curran, Derrick, etc. But were the poorly written "erotica" scenes really necessary? Anyone who's read any of the previous books would have noticed how much these scenes stuck out like a sore thumb. I mean, absolutely jarring. I'm no prude and I do own some well-written erotica as part of my collection of books. It's just that it really had no place in this book. It was enough to make me cringe, honestly. Far from adding to the story, it just took away from it instead.

    To me, one of the strengths of these books is that the writers didn't need to resort to that in previous volumes. There was enough sexual tension there to make a reader smile without having to be beat over the head with it.

    I hope for book 6 (if there is one) that they don't do this again. They were in the process of building a really wonderful series and then they threw rocks through their own windows.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Magic Burns: Kate Daniels, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Ilona Andrews
    • Narrated By Renée Raudman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1575)
    Performance
    (1101)
    Story
    (1103)

    When Kate sets out to retrieve a set of stolen maps for the Pack, Atlanta's paramilitary clan of shapeshifters, she quickly realizes much more is at stake. During a flare, gods and goddesses can manifest and battle for power. The stolen maps are only the opening gambit in an epic tug-of-war between two gods hoping for rebirth. And if Kate can't stop the cataclysmic showdown, the city may not survive.

    A User says: "Love this series and the narrator is fine."
    "Series is getting better!"
    Overall

    There was enough potential in Magic Bites (Book 1) to get me to try this one. Glad I did! The narrator, characters, and story have grown on me, and about halfway through this book, there was a wild turn for the better in the series. Seems the authors have both gotten better in their writing and have gotten a better editor. The prose is more polished. All the technicalities aside, the characters are really starting to come alive. Toss in a dash of old Celtic mythology, and you've got a great story. If you like urban fantasy that's not ruined by the overwrought romance that plagues so many other novels in the genre, give the Kate Daniels series a try. Oh, sure, there's DEFINITELY something brewing between Kate and Curran... but what it is we just don't know quite yet, it's not overwrought, and it doesn't detract from the story. Enjoy!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Magic Bites: Kate Daniels, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Ilona Andrews
    • Narrated By Renée Raudman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2263)
    Performance
    (1485)
    Story
    (1503)

    Atlanta would be a nice place to live, if it weren't for the magic. When the magic is up, rogue mages cast their spells and monsters appear, while guns refuse to fire and cars fail to start. But then technology returns, and the magic recedes as unpredictably as it arose, leaving all kinds of paranormal problems in its wake.

    Sara says: "Pure Steel!"
    "A Good Start With Potential"
    Overall

    While the writing itself is quite obviously amateurish (not bad, just unpolished), the world created here is rather original to me and that's what's driven me to try book 2 in the series. I'm hoping that the more they write, the better their prose will become. It's a credit to the authors that they've created a world that blends the supernatural with the real world, and have done it in an intriguing way. I still don't know WHY some things happen, or WHY some things are the way they are, but that's ok. I much prefer learning about the world as the story goes on rather than having it all explained to me in minute detail. That's the strength of this book. If you can get past the sometimes eye-rolling turn of phrase or monotonous setting description (on this wall there was a painting, on the wall over to the right, that had a crack, was a bookcase, to the left of that.. etc), then I think this is an entertaining listen for anyone into supernatural or fantasy. There's a little bit of romance, but not a whole ton which is good. Every time there's too much, it's a sure sign of a poor story. Thankfully, the authors haven't made that mistake, at least with this first book.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Get Capone: The Secret Plot That Captured America's Most Wanted Gangster

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Jonathan Eig
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (129)
    Performance
    (46)
    Story
    (47)

    Acclaimed journalist and bestselling author Jonathan Eig blows the lid off the Al Capone story. Based on never-before-seen government documents and newly discovered letters written by Al Capone himself, Get Capone presents America's greatest gangster as you’ve never seen him before.

    Jonathan says: "Get this book"
    "Book title is misleading..."
    Overall

    I am about 1/2 to 3/4 of the way through the book and still waiting to hear about the "secret plot" to capture Capone. What I've heard about instead is a bunch of history and numerous profiles about various gangsters in the 20s and 30s. That's interesting, nonetheless, but not why I got this book. I got this book based upon the title, and I have yet to hear anything about it... just a TON of background information that seems to have absolutely nothing to do with the so-called "secret plot" the book is supposed to be about. The narrator, Dick Hill, is great, by the way.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Burn Marks: A V.I. Warshawski Novel

    • ABRIDGED (2 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Sara Paretsky
    • Narrated By Kathy Bates
    Overall
    (16)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    Someone knocking on the door at 3 a.m. is never good news. For V.I. Warshawski, the bad news arrives in the form of her wacky, unwelcome Aunt Elena. The fire that has just burned down a sleazy SRO hotel has brought her to V.I.'s doorstep. Uncovering an arsonist will send V.I. into the seedy world of Chicago's homeless people...and into the Windy City's backroom deals and bedroom politics, where new schemers and old cronies team up to get V.I. off the case by hook, by crook, or by homicide.

    Vincent says: "More Like This Please"
    "Story's good, narration not so much."
    Overall

    Understand, I really like Kathy Bates as an actress. But as a narrator? Not so much. She's got Vic's attitude down ok, and the few times that Lotty shows up in the story she does quite well, but when it comes to the men's voices, Kathy strikes out. They sound comical and really do detract from the story. At some points, they all start to sound the same. Also, since this is an abridged tale, you're missing out on a lot of what makes a Sara Paretsky book good. The details are what makes a book a good book. If you enjoy V.I. Warshawski novels, I recommend something unabridged narrated by Jean Smart or Susan Ericksen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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