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Valerie

HEATH, OH, United States | Member Since 2011

25
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 17 reviews
  • 90 ratings
  • 733 titles in library
  • 112 purchased in 2014
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  • World Without End

    • UNABRIDGED (45 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8987)
    Performance
    (3413)
    Story
    (3449)

    In 1989 Ken Follett astonished the literary world with The Pillars of the Earth, set in 12th-century England. Readers and listeners ever since have hoped for a sequel. At last, here it is. Although the two novels may be listened to in any order, World Without End also takes place in Kingsbridge, two centuries after the townspeople finished building their exquisite Gothic cathedral. The cathedral is again at the center of a web of love and hate, greed and pride, ambition and revenge.

    Laura says: "Repetitive, but still enjoyable"
    "Wonderfully long, powerfully engrossing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It took me a while before I tried Ken Follett's historical marathons as I first thought of him as a thriller writer, but now I'm definitely hooked on his portrayals of a slice of the past. A great read.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Devil You Know

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Mike Carey
    • Narrated By Michael Kramer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1068)
    Performance
    (509)
    Story
    (515)

    Felix Castor used to cast out demons for a living, and London was his stomping ground. But in a time when the supernatural realm is in upheaval and spilling over into the mundane world of the living, his skills are in renewed demand. With old debts to pay, Castor is left with no choice but to accept one final, well-paying assignment: a seemingly simple exorcism.

    Jessica says: "wonderful story"
    "So so"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I hardly dare raise my head here to say that I found the narrator's accent distracting to the plot. I can't pretend he's from England which is basic to the performance. It's comparable to an English voice narrating a Mickey Spillane novel.
    Just spoils it really...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Falcon Throne

    • UNABRIDGED (35 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Karen Miller
    • Narrated By Gildart Jackson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (18)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (15)

    When kingdoms clash, every crown will be tarnished by the bloody price of ambition. A royal widow plots to win her daughter's freedom from the ambitious lords who would control them both. An orphaned prince sets his eyes on regaining his father's stolen throne. And two brothers, divided by ambition, will learn that the greater the power, the more dangerous the game.

    L. Tatum says: "Enjoyable, dark epic tale"
    "Story is better than it sounds!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The narration of this book is let down by the way the dialogue is handled. The characters seem to be shouting at each other about 75% of the time and the voices used would be fine if they were in a fairy tale. Real human beings don't talk like that, however.
    It's too bad for the author because the story is quite good and the review would have been much better if it wasn't for the distracting voices.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Lady of the Rivers

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Philippa Gregory
    • Narrated By Bianca Amato
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (774)
    Performance
    (674)
    Story
    (667)

    Jacquetta always has had the gift of second sight. As a child visiting her uncle, she met his prisoner, Joan of Arc, and saw her own power reflected in the young woman accused of witchcraft. They share the mystery of the tarot card of the wheel of fortune before Joan is taken to a horrific death. Jacquetta understands the danger for a woman who dares to dream. Jacquetta is married to the Duke of Bedford, English regent of France, and he introduces her to a mysterious world of learning and alchemy.

    Bonnie-Ann says: "Philippa back on track"
    "Brilliant"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was really exciting and I gobbled it up in 2 days! One of my all time favorite audibles.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Last Chronicle of Barset

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Anthony Trollope
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (84)
    Performance
    (25)
    Story
    (24)

    This last novel in the Chronicles of Barsetshire series involves Mr. Crawley, the impoverished curate of Hogglestock, who is accused of theft when he uses a large check to pay off his debts. The scandal fiercely divides the citizens of Barsetshire and threatens to tear apart Mr. Crawley's family.

    Charles says: "Superb!"
    "Captivating"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It is my first experience of Trollope and I have to say that I expected the style to be rather fusty and Victorian. Instead it was very enjoyable and made me laugh out loud, even though there were a few characters needing a whack upside the head...
    I'm now in the enviable position of exploring the rest of this series, although in reverse order.

    Simon Vance - what can I say? Brilliant!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Barrow

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Mark Smylie
    • Narrated By Michael Page
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (49)
    Performance
    (46)
    Story
    (46)

    When a small crew of scoundrels, would-be heroes, deviants, and ruffians discover a map that they believe will lead them to a fabled sword buried in the barrow of a long-dead wizard, they think they've struck it rich. But their hopes are dashed when the map turns out to be cursed and then is destroyed in a magical ritual. The loss of the map leaves them dreaming of what might have been, until they rediscover the map in a most unusual and unexpected place.

    Daniel says: "If sex sells this book sold out..."
    "Lots of words, not enough story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Maybe I'm just too unsophisticated for this offering but I had to give up. All those words just weren't turning into anything meaty.
    Hey, Joe Abercrombie, all is forgiven!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Half a King: Shattered Sea, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Joe Abercrombie
    • Narrated By John Keating
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (158)
    Performance
    (148)
    Story
    (148)

    Yarvi, second son of the feared King Uthrik and the ruthless Queen Laithlin of Gettland, was born with a useless hand, and cannot hold a shield, or do any of the things expected from a man. Left an outcast, he's surrendered his birthright and been given a woman's place as apprentice to Mother Gundring, Gettland's Minister, training to be an adviser, diplomat, healer and translator. But when his father and brother are murdered by Grom-gil-Gorm, King of neighboring Vansterland, Yarvi is forced to take the Black Chair and become king himself.

    Valerie says: "High hopes cruelly dashed."
    "High hopes cruelly dashed."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Maybe it's unfortunate that Joe Abercrombie set the bar so high with his previous books, but this was a woeful anticlimax. Having come to expect masterly character development I found these characters rather weak, not believable in the same way as Glokta and the Bloody Nine.

    Perhaps my review could have gained another star had the narrator been Steven Pacey, but this reader was not into the story in the same way.

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • An Infamous Army

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Georgette Heyer
    • Narrated By Claire Higgins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (107)
    Performance
    (58)
    Story
    (56)

    When the beautiful and outrageous Lady Barbara Childe meets Charles Audley, her joie de vivre knows no bounds - until the eve of the fateful Battle of Waterloo.

    Carol T. Carr says: "Outstanding"
    "Historical romance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I selected this title with trepidation after reading the reviews, but there is quite a strong romantic theme set against the rather powerful factual backdrop of the battle of Waterloo. I enjoyed it in a different way from the usual "fluffy", improbable tales we're all accustomed to and would happily read more in the same vein (if she'd written any!).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Heroes

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Joe Abercrombie
    • Narrated By Michael Page
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1135)
    Performance
    (909)
    Story
    (916)

    They say Black Dow has killed more men than winter and clawed his way to the throne of the North up a hill of skulls. The King of the Union, ever a jealous neighbor, is not about to stand by smiling while Black Dow claws his way any higher. The orders have been given, and the armies are toiling through the northern mud. Thousands of men are converging on a forgotten ring of stones, on a worthless hill, in an unimportant valley, and they've brought a lot of sharpened metal with them.

    Matt Carothers says: "Thank you, Joe Abercrombie!"
    "a bit disappointing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was OK compared to Joe Abercrombie's other offerings which I feel are brilliant. In the other books the battle scenes are interspersed with interesting narrative whereas this is pretty much all battle scene.
    Michael Page was an adequate reader but he had a hard row to hoe following Steven Pacey, and this added to the impression that this just wasn't up to the usual standard.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Declare

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Tim Powers
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (138)
    Performance
    (105)
    Story
    (107)

    As a young double agent infiltrating the Soviet spy network in Nazi-occupied Paris, Andrew Hale finds himself caught up in a secret, even more ruthless war. Two decades later, a coded message draws Professor Andrew Hale back into Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Elements from his past are gathering in Beirut, including ex-British counterespionage chief and Soviet mole Kim Philby, and a beautiful former Spanish Civil War soldier-turned-intelligence operative.

    art says: "Oh Fish. Art Thou Constant???"
    "Disappointing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This started off well but didn't hold my interest. The characters drawn from history weren't convincing and I think this was the core of my disappointment. The timeline of the story was difficult to follow and as the narrative went on (and on) I stopped caring about where it was going.

    I thought the narrator did a good job, although I did notice a couple of entertaining spoonerisms!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Delicate Truth: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By John le Carré
    • Narrated By John le Carré
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (301)
    Performance
    (265)
    Story
    (262)

    A Delicate Truth opens in 2008. A counter-terrorist operation, codenamed Wildlife, is being mounted on the British crown colony of Gibraltar. Its purpose: to capture and abduct a high-value jihadist arms buyer. Its authors: an ambitious Foreign Office Minister, a private defense contractor who is also his bosom friend, and a shady American CIA operative of the evangelical far right. So delicate is the operation that even the Minister’s personal private secretary, Toby Bell, is not cleared for it.

    Darwin8u says: "A latter-day Jeremiah of espionage & statecraft."
    "Excellent"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is vintage Le Carre at its best. I read other reviews before I chose it, and I have to say that I don't understand why people found the ending disappointing. I thought it all came together perfectly
    I'm amazed that this author continues to produce work to this standard. Long may it continue.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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