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Toertel

Member Since 2008

18
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 30 reviews
  • 85 ratings
  • 941 titles in library
  • 38 purchased in 2014
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  • Borders of Infinity: Miles Vorkosigan Series

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Lois McMaster Bujold
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    Overall
    (852)
    Performance
    (495)
    Story
    (500)

    The popular adventures of Miles Vorkosigan, a clever and outlandish science fiction hero for the modern era, continue in these three tales. In The Mountains of Mourning, Miles is dispatched to a back-country region of Barrayar, where he must act as detective, judge, and executioner in a controversial murder case. In Labyrinth, Miles adopts his alternate persona as Dendarii Mercenary Admiral Naismith for an undercover mission to rescue an important research geneticist from Jackson’s Whole.

    DERALD says: "Even better than expected"
    "Includes "Mountains of Mourning" and "Labyrinth""
    Overall

    This is a collection of three shorter stories featuring Miles, loosely woven together by Miles reporting to Simon Illyan about "Labyrinth" and "Borders of Infinity", and in the course of this remembering his "Mountains of Mourning". I was glad to come across them here as I had been looking for them to no avail.
    All three are enjoyable and Grover Gardner does his usual perfect job.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Iced: A Dani O' Malley Novel, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Karen Marie Moning
    • Narrated By Phil Gigante, Natalie Ross
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1224)
    Performance
    (1120)
    Story
    (1119)

    Dani "Mega" O’Malley plays by her own set of rules - and in a world overrun by Dark Fae, her biggest rule is: Do what it takes to survive. Possessing rare talents and the all-powerful Sword of Light, Dani is more than equipped for the task. In fact, she’s one of the few humans who can defend themselves against the Unseelie. But now, amid the pandemonium, her greatest gifts have turned into serious liabilities.

    Katheryne says: "Dude, It exceeded my expectations"
    "A good story, if a bit too juvenile for me"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Good bits first - the Narration is excellent, you could generally pick out who was speaking based on the different voices and accents. The only issue I had was that quite often, I couldn't tell whether Dani was thinking something or actually speaking out loud, but that was more due to what I disliked about the main character than any narration problem.

    Dani is, according to the book, 14 years old, and truly acts that way, or rather the way that ex-teenagers are bound to think a young person might comport themselves. I kept wanting to tell the brat that no, not EVERYTHING on earth revolves around you, other people do have a life too. I cannot imagine any teenager being quite so self-centered. Apart from that, there was too much wanting to kill everything "bad" and actually enjoying the process. And although there wasn't a whole lot of sex going on, but enough thinking about it that I found it annoying. These points detract from the story line sufficiently that, although I do like the story itself and would be interested in how things develop, I'm not going to get the sequel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bones of the Barbary Coast: A Cree Black Thriller

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Daniel Hecht
    • Narrated By Anna Fields
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (205)
    Performance
    (72)
    Story
    (73)

    In this third novel of the Cree Black mystery series, a friend and homicide inspector asks Cree to help investigate a human skeleton recently unearthed in the foundation of a fine Victorian home, apparently the bones of a victim of the 1906 earthquake. The bones have intrigued the forensic anthropology team at UC Berkeley with their peculiar anatomical deformities. They call the skeleton "Wolfman". Who was the Wolfman?

    C. Pursell says: "Superb"
    "Cree Black and not a single ghost?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    No ghosts involved - which would be all right ordinarily ;-) but even ignoring that Cree Black is the protagonist, the story didn't get me hooked at all. I finally (3 attempts) managed to get through it, and yes, it's interesting, it just felt very long for the amount of content it actually has. No comparison to the first two - if you love those (like I do), this one is still hit or miss. A clear "miss" for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Sleeping Doll: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Jeffery Deaver
    • Narrated By Anne Twomey
    Overall
    (1001)
    Performance
    (362)
    Story
    (361)

    Ten years ago in California, Daniel Pell, a self-styled Charles Manson, was sentenced to life in prison for murdering an entire family: husband, wife, and two children, plus one of his young male followers. He is brought to Salinas, California, to interview with Kathryn Dance after he is implicated in yet another killing. Things go terribly wrong during an interview break, and Pell escapes, intent on killing again.

    Paige says: "A decent listen"
    "Interesting story with twists, if a bit slow going"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The story is a good one, with a lot of detail and several interesting twists. I'm not completely sure about my rating, it felt awfully slow going at times, but I may have been put off by the narration more than by the storyline. Anne Twomey has a very clear diction and everything is understandable perfectly, but, alas, it sounds like a dictionary being read aloud. I hadn't quite realized how mindnumbingly boring a book like this can sound... In hindsight, I would have preferred the paper version. It may deserve 5 stars, but as it is, I'm feeling generous at 4.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • In the Belly of the Bloodhound: Bloody Jack #4

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By L. A. Meyer
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (550)
    Performance
    (334)
    Story
    (324)

    Jacky Faber, having been called a pirate and had a price put on her head by the King of England, has no choice but to stay out of sight. Hoping for a safe hiding place, she returns to the Lawson Peabody School for Young Girls in Boston, but the calm doesn't last long. On a class field trip to Boston Harbor, the girls are abducted and forced into the hold of the Bloodhound, a ship bound for the slave markets on the Barbary Coast where they will be put up on the auction block and sold into Arab harems.

    Michele says: "Loved it! Loved them all."
    "Great for fans, a mixed bag for others"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    My apologies for the length of this review; a shorter one would be - boring, tedious, interesting, badly read, good narration - and it wouldn't make sense. So here's why I'd put all these adjectives.

    This is the only book of the series I have listened to, and it's not a good one to start with. It took 16 chapters before the "real" story began and I struggled through what was, to me, an unbelievably boring 2 1/2 hours of Jackie getting back to Boston and meeting every single person who, presumably, had any walk-on part in one of the earlier books. Being very much addicted to other series, I expect that it would be a different experience for someone remembering all these people from the earlier books.

    Another thing is that the writing style is, at times, quite tedious. Please, when about 30 girls walk into a room, I do not need to have the majority of them mentioned by name. Being told about songs Jackie performs, I do not need 4 of them sung to me or in another instance, the entire lyrics for a song. Although I must say that Katherine Kellgren has a beautiful singing voice, quite different from the voice she uses for the narration.

    Getting back to the story, starting with chapter 17 I did like it. Apart from, at times, being slow in the telling, the storyline itself did capture me, and while I had to struggle to not give up during the first part, I didn't want to put it down once things started happening. Again, the way it is told annoyed me, but it's not a bad book. I must admit that I find it hard to explain my issues with the whole thing, and my ratings are going all over the place because there are things I hate about it and other things I really like.

    The narration is good, in that it fits the characters and the setting. I didn't like it in itself, there's too much bated breah and excited whispering etc. going on, while at the same time I can't distinguish whether something is said or thought by Jackie, which makes the responses of others unclear (are they being polite but miffed, by what Jackie just uttered, or didn't she say it out loud and the other party are actually a bit unfriendly?). But, as I said, the narration fits the characters perfectly, and the main characters (Jackie, her adversary Clarissa, and Jackie's best friend Amy) are easy to recognize at all times. I love the different accents Katherine Kellgren gives characters.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Crewel World

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Monica Ferris
    • Narrated By Susan Boyce
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (261)
    Performance
    (218)
    Story
    (220)

    When Betsy Devonshire arrived in Excelsior, Minnesota, all she wanted was to visit her sister Margot and get her life in order. She never dreamed her sister would give her a place to stay and a job at her needlecraft shop. In fact, things had never looked so good - until Margot was murdered. In a town this friendly, it's hard to imagine who could have committed such a horrible act, but Betsy has a few ideas. There's an ex-employee who wants to start her own needlework store. And there's the landlord who wanted Margot out. Now Betsy's putting together a list of motives and suspects....

    Sara says: "British style mystery set in America"
    "Easy listening"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A whodunnit with needlecraft information ;-) Nothing too thrilling, easy to listen to with half an ear, although I suspect that I must have missed a few clues early on, not paying sufficient attention. It's a bit slow, which had my mind wandering, but still interesting enough to deserve a positive rating (maybe 4 stars are generous, but as I wouldn't pick up a 3 star book, it'll have to be a 4).

    Susan Boyce does an OK job narrating, and although I didn't like it much (emphasis and pauses at odd spots, the voices sligtly different but not to the point where you could actually pick out who might be speaking), it doesn't put me off getting a couple more of the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Criminal

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Karin Slaughter
    • Narrated By Kathleen Early
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1665)
    Performance
    (1403)
    Story
    (1409)

    Will Trent is a brilliant agent with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Newly in love, he is beginning to put a difficult past behind him. Then a local college student goes missing, and he is inexplicably kept off the case by his supervisor and mentor, deputy director Amanda Wagner. Will cannot fathom Amanda's motivation, until the two of them literally collide in an abandoned orphanage they have both been drawn to for different reasons. Decades before - when Will's father was imprisoned for murder - this was his home....

    Melinda says: "Heart Pounding, Gripping Thriller"
    "not too bad as a story; didn't like the narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I like the story itself, except it got very tedious at times with repetitive details about how life was for female members of the police way back when. What annoyed me the most, however, was the narrator; for much of the book, she sounded like a school teacher attempting to get her 3rd graders to share what they'd done over spring break, when in fact she was e.g. describing a gruesome murder. At other times she appeared bored, just sort of plodding along.

    Looking back now, I think I may have been doing the story itself an injustice and have changed the rating from 3 to 4 stars.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs: Jane Jameson, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Molly Harper
    • Narrated By Amanda Ronconi
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5532)
    Performance
    (4248)
    Story
    (4258)

    Maybe it was the Shenanigans gift certificate that put her over the edge. When children's librarian and self-professed nice girl Jane Jameson is fired by her beastly boss and handed $25 in potato skins instead of a severance check, she goes on a bender that's sure to become Half Moon Hollow legend. On her way home, she's mistaken for a deer, shot, and left for dead.

    Denise says: "What a HOOT!!!!!!!"
    "Boring bit of romance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    First - I'm not into romance novels, so I cannot compare it to other romances. What I can say is that there's about a 10 minute action passage, the other n hours it's all about Jane getting used to being a vampire and interacting with other vampires in her home town. She is being framed for murder - twice - but apart from explaining that she was innocent no attempt is made to find out who's the culprit. Eventually, said culprit appears and clears everything up nicely.
    Long story short, it's not very good either as an action novel, whodunnit, or (IMHO) as a vampire story. Like I said, it's possible that it's a good romance, but I'm the wrong person to judge.

    6 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Side Jobs: Stories from the Dresden Files

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Jim Butcher
    • Narrated By James Marsters
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4075)
    Performance
    (2929)
    Story
    (2940)

    Here, together for the first time, are the shorter works of best-selling author Jim Butcher - a compendium of cases that Harry and his cadre of allies managed to close in record time. The tales range from the deadly serious to the absurdly hilarious.

    Brian says: "Know what sucks about this book?"
    "As much fun as the full length Dresden Files"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I got "Side Jobs" to tide me over the long time between Changes and number 14 (yet to be released) which hopefully will be read by James Marsters again.
    Although Jim Butcher states that, in his opinion, some of these stories are not up to scratch, I immensely enjoyed every single one of them. Each story comes with information about its place in the series' timeline, the latest one being placed just after "Changes".
    For anyone new to the series: I'd suggest to get a full length book as this collection of short stories works best if you already know the characters.
    For anyone already stuck into the Dresden files: definitely spend a credit on this one. I'd originally intended to get the paper version as I like to go back and read specific stories again, but I like these so much that there's no need... I'm quite happy to simply listen to the whole thing again ;-)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Monster Hunter International

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Larry Correia
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6961)
    Performance
    (6148)
    Story
    (6143)

    Five days after Owen Zastava Pitt pushed his insufferable boss out of a 14th story window, he woke up in the hospital with a scarred face, an unbelievable memory, and a job offer. It turns out that monsters are real. All the things from myth, legend, and B-movies are out there, waiting in the shadows. Some of them are evil, and some are just hungry. Monster Hunter International is the premier eradication company in the business. And now Owen is their newest recruit.

    Ronn says: "'Men In Black' with a conservative undertone"
    "I'm addicted..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Love the story, and the narrator is among the best I've heard. Just downloading book #2, can't wait!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Until Proven Guilty: J.P. Beaumont Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By J. A. Jance
    • Narrated By Gene Engene
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (192)
    Performance
    (77)
    Story
    (75)

    The little girl was found murdered, her pink nightgown twisted around her throat. She was only five. The woman who came to the funeral to throw a single rose on the coffin was very much alive, and beautiful. The kind of beautiful that homicide detective J. P. Beaumont couldn't resist. But lurking in the dark corners of this bizarre case was not just a demented mind obsessed with murder, but secrets so deadly, so close to Beaumont's own life, that even a street tough cop could die guessing at the answers...

    Siri-Mette Amble says: "I'm hereby a fan"
    "Twisty"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've rewritten this review a couple of times because I find it hard to come up with a way to explain what annoyed me (i.e. why I've only put 3 stars for the story) without giving too much away.
    It is a bit like an Agatha Christie novel where things resolve late in the story, everything that was previously just not quite right, dropping into place cleanly. It also has a lot of romance in it, which bored me to the point of uttering "oh get on with it" under my breath, to surprised looks of fellow travellers (but then, I don't think I've got a romantic bone in my body).
    I generally like J.A. Jance, but this specific novel simply wasn't quite my cup of tea.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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