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hilary

San Francisco, USA | Member Since 2015

30
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 19 reviews
  • 30 ratings
  • 546 titles in library
  • 35 purchased in 2015
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  • Death, Doom, and Detention

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Darynda Jones
    • Narrated By Lorelei King
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (261)
    Performance
    (239)
    Story
    (239)

    The normal part of Lorelei MacAlister's life didn’t just slip away quietly the day Jared Kovach came to town. Nope. The normal part of her life shattered. It exploded. It burst into a gazillion shards of fleeting light. It went out with a bang. Goodbye normal. Hello dark and eerie. While her best friend, Brooklyn, is focusing all of her energy on helping Lorelei hone her abilities, Lorelei is dealing with the reality that Satan's second in command has taken up residence inside her body. Oh, and the fact that she has a crush on the Angel of Death.

    Hassan says: "Another great series from a Great Author"
    "whinny lead character, unbelievable relationship"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I read Darynda Jone's Charlie Davidson series and while the first one needed a bit of work, the humour and characters improved through the series. But this series is a poorly written imitation of Twilight (also a book I would provide a poor review of).
    Weak, whinny lead character with no spunk, painful, unbelievable relationship, poorly developed narrative.
    Don't make my mistake and wait for the next Charlie Davidson book and ignore this series.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Alienated: Alienated, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Melissa Landers
    • Narrated By Madeleine Lambert
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (110)
    Performance
    (101)
    Story
    (103)

    Two years ago, the aliens made contact. Now Cara Sweeney is going to be sharing a bathroom with one of them. Handpicked to host the first-ever L'eihr exchange student, Cara thinks her future is set. Not only does she get a free ride to her dream college, she'll have inside information about the mysterious L'eihrs that every journalist would kill for. Cara's blog following is about to skyrocket. Still, Cara isn't sure what to think when she meets Aelyx. Humans and L'eihrs have nearly identical DNA, but cold, infuriatingly brilliant Aelyx couldn't seem more alien.

    Eric t says: "cant wait for book two."
    "Pretty trashy, but not unenjoyable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    For a sci-fi, YA romance, this is definitely better than most of the drivel I have been downloading of late. Though I am not really in a position to speak so harshly, because despite constant disappointment, I seem to keep trying. The main character is both likeable and tough and while the romance is slightly unbelievable in parts, it is better than most. I will most likely download book two the next time I am going on a long run.However, one point that I would like to highlight to the author (if you ever read reviews Melissa Landers), is something that particularly grated on me.

    Early in the book the human protagonist, who is characterized as academically brilliant asks the highly evolved alien if there are seasons on his planet. (paraphrasing... ), she answers herself, “you live on a planet that revolves around the sun, of course you have seasons...” and the super brain never corrects her!

    The earth revolving around the sun gives us DAYS AND NIGHTS, not seasons. We have seasons because of the earth's obliquity or axial tilt. I am not an American, but I learnt this in the 7th grade. I find it a bit hard to believe that a valedictorian and a highly evolved super brain would not be aware of this.

    I don't really know why, but as one of the few actual "scientific" references in this book was so obviously wrong, and poorly characterized, it diminished my enjoyment of the rest of the book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • UnEnchanted: An Unfortunate Fairy Tale Series #

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Chanda Hahn
    • Narrated By Khristine Hvam
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (129)
    Performance
    (119)
    Story
    (116)

    Mina Grime is unlucky, unpopular and uncoordinated; that is until she saves her crush's life on a field trip, changing her high school status from loser to hero overnight. But with her new found fame brings misfortune in the form of an old family curse come to light. Mina is a descendant from the Brothers Grimm and has inherited all of their unfinished fairy tale business which includes trying to outwit a powerful Story from making her its' next fairy-tale victim.

    Odessa says: "So NOT What I Expected!"
    "Annoying protagonist and unbeliveable relationship"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about UnEnchanted?

    The protagonist of the story is annoying. Hard to find anything to "like" about her. Her uncalled for outbursts make her appear childish. This makes the continued interest of the too perfect love interest unbelievable and hard to sympathise with.

    The story had potential, but I just couldn't get through it felt as if the book had been written by a teenager. Perhaps okay for 10 year olds and down...


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Marshmallow Test: Mastering Self-Control

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Walter Mischel
    • Narrated By Alan Alda
    Overall
    (157)
    Performance
    (139)
    Story
    (134)

    In The Marshmallow Test, Mischel explains how self-control can be mastered and applied to challenges in everyday life - from weight control to quitting smoking, overcoming heartbreak, making major decisions, and planning for retirement. With profound implications for the choices we make in parenting, education, public policy and self-care, The Marshmallow Test will change the way you think about who we are and what we can be.

    André says: "Well written, easy to read and effective"
    "Great performance, but lacking in content"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I did enjoy the listen, but it was over before it really told me any more than what was in Joachim de Posada's TED talk on the marshmallow experiments.
    So, lovely and enjoyable, but does not really add anything to a 9 min TED talk.
    Alan Alda narrates beautifully.

    12 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • Better Homes and Hauntings

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Molly Harper
    • Narrated By Amanda Ronconi
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1895)
    Performance
    (1756)
    Story
    (1762)

    When Nina Linden is hired to landscape a private island off the New England coast, she sees it as her chance to rebuild her failing business after being cheated by her unscrupulous ex. She never expects that her new client, software mogul Deacon Whitney, would see more in her than just a talented gardener. Deacon has paid top dollar to the crews he’s hired to renovate the desolate Whitney estate - he had to, because the bumps, thumps, and unexplained sightings of ghostly figures in 19th-century dress are driving workers away faster than he can say “Boo.”

    Amazon Customer says: "Disappointing"
    "Enjoyable - But not Harper's paranormal standard"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I enjoyed the book, but, no-where near as much as the Half Moon Hollow or Alaskan Werewolves books. However, that was a very high bar, and the combo of Harper and Ronconi is still a pleaser. Still 4/5 for story and 5/5 for Ronconi, who is an amazing narrator.

    The book was a little predictable and the hauntings angle is a bit so-so for me. But the book's characters were charming and their relationships and banter fun.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Shatter Me

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Tahereh Mafi
    • Narrated By Kate Simses
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1055)
    Performance
    (952)
    Story
    (956)

    "You can't touch me," I whisper. I'm lying, is what I don't tell him. He can touch me, is what I'll never tell him. But things happen when people touch me. Strange things. Bad things. No one knows why Juliette's touch is fatal, but The Reestablishment has plans for her. Plans to use her as a weapon. But Juliette has plans of her own.

    Amanda says: "Don't let the sample fool you - So Good!"
    "Not compelled to read the next one"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Had I done the review half or even three quarters of the way through, it would have been a very different one. The ending just does not sit well with the rest of the book, making me uninterested in the sequel.

    A sort of X-men meets Divergent, I enjoyed the narration, the beautiful writing and the book's premise. However, the book somehow travels from the inner monologue of a solitary confinement prisoner to a total reproduction of X-men, right down to a Professor Xavier clone and a "school for the gifted". Somehow the narrative just couldn't make that massive shift believable.

    While it did not work for me, the writing style, especially in the first chapters is unique and really quite beautiful.

    The narration performance was really very good and a great match for the book.

    So, not for me, but not a bad listen.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Immortal Rules: Blood of Eden, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Julie Kagawa
    • Narrated By Therese Plummer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (774)
    Performance
    (711)
    Story
    (715)

    In a future world, vampires reign. Humans are blood cattle. And one girl will search for the key to save humanity.... Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a vampire city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten.

    Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of them. The vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself is attacked - and given the ultimate choice. Die or become one of the monsters.

    Alley McNally says: "BEST VAMPIRE STORY EVER!!!!"
    "vampire/human forbidden love, with a twist!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This vampire/almost zombie apocalypse book does all the right things, develops some complex characters, a well described dystopian world and has a strong female lead. However, it also strays from some of the key formulas in this genre which make a pleasant change.

    The story is set in a post apocalyptic world with ruled by vampires and beset by "Rabids" - which are more or less zombies. Living inhabitance of post apocalyptic cities are either tied to the vampires as a food source with benefits or actively avoiding that fate as "fringe dwellers". The lead character (Allison) is such a fringe dweller, who is caught in a bad situation when scavenging and is turned into a vampire in order to save her life. The story follows her personal development (understanding and acceptance of her vampire monster self) as well as a developing love interest with a human boy. There is a back story/mystery surrounding the source of the disease that led to the apocalypse that keeps the story and the action going.

    The highlight for me? Finally, a female vampire teenager and love struck human male teenager. A nice change!

    The narration performance was good and the narrator a solid match for the book.

    Overall, I liked Divergent, Hunger Games, Enders Game and Angelfall better than this book. But not by THAT much, which is high praise considering the hype surrounding all of those books. It delivers a good balance of action; story development and a love interest. My only complaint is that the *villains* are a bit one dimensional which is somewhat irritating.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Black Arts: Jane Yellowrock, Book 7

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Faith Hunter
    • Narrated By Khristine Hvam
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1333)
    Performance
    (1217)
    Story
    (1218)

    When Evan Trueblood blows into town looking for his wife, Molly, he’s convinced that she came to see her best friend, Jane. But it seems like the witch made it to New Orleans and then disappeared without a trace. Jane is ready to do whatever it takes to find her friend. Her desperate search leads her deep into a web of black magic and betrayal and into the dark history between vampires and witches. But the closer she draws to Molly, the closer she draws to a new enemy - one who is stranger and more powerful than any she has ever faced.

    Angela says: "WELL WORTH THE WAIT!!!"
    "Good Story and narration - but some poor editing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This book continues the Jane Yellowrock story well. Allot of Jane kicking butt as well as a nice bit of soul searching and personal development.

    I had started to loose some respect for Jane in previous books, which had made me wonder if I would continue with the story. However, this book gives us *some* resolution for past slights from key characters which Jane had let slide. Not much, but just enough to nudge it along to the next book.

    The editing *bad*, is in the last 6 chapters or so, where the audio has been laid over another track (another story, with a male narrator), and every now and then there is a split in the track for Black Arts and the audio for this other book breaks in. It is usually only for a few words, but it is a bit distracting. If you are an audio purist, it will most certainly be very off putting.

    Otherwise, all those who have enjoyed books 1-6, you will enjoy this one, it wont light your pants on fire, but you wont be disappointed.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • How to Run with a Naked Werewolf

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Molly Harper
    • Narrated By Amanda Ronconi
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2346)
    Performance
    (2178)
    Story
    (2158)

    Anna Moder has just witnessed a shooting, seen her car pulverized, and rescued a wounded stranger - only to discover he's really a werewolf. And by her recent standards, things are actually looking up. Lycanthropes don't faze Anna. Doctoring a wolf pack outside Grundy, Alaska, is the closest thing to home life she's known in years. But hitching a ride to Anchorage with long-absent pack member Caleb Graham - that's a risk. Part of her itches to whack his nose with a newspaper. The rest is trying unsuccessfully to keep her own paws off every delicious inch of him.

    Hassan says: "A Refreshing Book & Funny too!!!"
    "Excellent, but not as good as book 1"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Molly Harper and Amanda Ronconi are an amazing duo for audio books. I couldn't miss this one, and wont miss future ones. The story only gets 4 out of 5 as while I really enjoyed the listen, it was not as good as "How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf" book one in the series (but better, in my opinion than book 2). Really, it should be a 4.5.

    With this book, Harper has developed the relationship between to likeable and funny characters, and she has kept this series going in a fun direction.

    Recommended for all lovers of Harper and Ronconi. For new-bees to the series, start on book one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Seraphs: Rogue Mage, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Faith Hunter
    • Narrated By Natalie Gold
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (256)
    Performance
    (179)
    Story
    (182)

    Living among humans in a post- apocalyptic ice age, neomage Thorn St. Croix is a source of both fear and fascination for the people of Mineral City - and now she faces her ultimate test. Deep under the snow-covered mountains beyond the village, an imprisoned fallen seraph desperately needs her help. There, hidden in the hellhole, the armies of Darkness assemble to ensure this subterranean rescue will be Thorn's final descent.

    Pauline says: "This Series Is Awesome!"
    "Okay - Descriptions get a bit tedious"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    The series follows "Thorn" a stone mage living (illegally) in a post apocalyptic world ruled by vengeful angels. The post apocalyptic world is split between orthodox and progressive sects of humans, and Thorns life is disrupted by both "dark forces" and the orthodox humans, hating her mage status.

    Through the books Thorn discovers more about herself and her past and bounces between various "love/sex" interests. However, due to a lack of character development it is hard to really care much about any of them.

    As book one was only "okay", I only choose to read book two as I had little time to look for another and I was taking a long flight and needed entertainment. It has some potential and the narration is good, however, the descriptions are too lengthy for audio book, and as noted, character development needs a bit of work. Perhaps if I was reading it in paperback (or kindle) I would be able to skip through long descriptions of magic, clothing and gems and get back to the story. However, in audiobook it gets a bit tedious.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Enclave

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Ann Aguirre
    • Narrated By Emily Bauer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (577)
    Performance
    (509)
    Story
    (507)

    New York City has been decimated by war and plague, and most of civilization has migrated to underground enclaves, where life expectancy is no more than the early 20s. When Deuce turns 15, she takes on her role as a Huntress, and is paired with Fade, a teenage Hunter who lived Topside as a young boy. When she and Fade discover that the neighboring enclave has been decimated by the tunnel monsters—or Freaks—who seem to be growing more organized, the elders refuse to listen to warnings.

    Felicity Fairchild says: "It was supposed to be good."
    "Average"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    No particular likes or dislikes. It was perfectly serviceable. I like the strong heroine, which is why I chose it in the first place. But certainly not a stand out in the genre. The naivety of the heroine is a bit irritating.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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