He was named "Sham" for the sun, this golden red stallion born in the Sultan of Morocco's stone stables. Upon his heel was a small white spot, the symbol of speed. But on his chest was the symbol of misfortune. Although he was as swift as the desert winds, Sham's proud pedigree would be scorned all his life by cruel masters and owners.
Brought back by a brilliant narrator. I may have actually memorized the book over the years. Wonderful to hear it again.
At the height of the air war in Europe, Captain Joe Farley and the baseball-loving, wisecracking crew of the B-17 Flying Fortress Fata Morgana are in the middle of a harrowing bombing mission over East Germany when everything goes sideways. The bombs are still falling, and flak is still exploding all around the 20-ton bomber as it is knocked like a bathtub duck into another world. Suddenly stranded with the final outcasts of a desolated world, Captain Farley navigates a maze of treachery and wonder.
Okay, it's not "brilliant" but it's smart, sharp, and has enough twists and turns to keep you guessing. You know, from the beginning, that' there's a "trick" in there, that something is "off," but it takes a while before you know what it is ... and how it might have something to do with 'us," the now "we." The meeting of modern (1940s) technology with another kind of technology turns up some unpleasant truths about where our future might be going. I enjoyed this one all the way through.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Matthew is the first human wizard to possess the true heritage of the Illeniels, a secret gift no one fully understands. Alone, he travels to another world, seeking the source of their mysterious enemies. There he will discover the origin of their ancient foe, the mysteries of the past, and possibly the future of humankind. If he can survive long enough. In a land beyond death and suffering, he finds the true source of evil, within the heart of humanity, and their newest creation.
It was pretty strong as this sort of thing goes, but got pretty cliched as the end approached. It's like they ran our of creative juice, so it ended sort of blah. For all that, It was fun to read and at least for the first half, pretty creative.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
From the best-selling author of The Chronicles of St Mary's. The Nothing Girl has grown up.... It's life as usual at Frogmorton Farm - which is to say that events have passed the merely eccentric and are now galloping headlong towards the completely bizarre. Once again Jenny struggles to stay afloat in the stormy seas of matrimony with her husband, Russell Checkland, together with an unlikely mix of Patagonian Attack Chickens, Jack the Sad Donkey and Mrs Crisp's mysterious boyfriend.
I'm a big fan of Jodi Taylor's time travel novels. It is rare for me to like something else by the same author as much as I liked the first series. These books are special. Lovely, sweet and warm-hearted. Okay, they are deeply sentimental, but also funny (sometimes laugh-out-loud funny) and joyous. They make me cry every time. I love the animals, the countryside. I love the crazy artists and the dangerous chickens and Thomas, the golden horse. I hope there will be more of them. I also hope the same narrator reads them because she has a wonderful way with the text. You could argue that these are not rational stories, that the behavior of the characters doesn't make sense. Which would be true ... but sometimes, that kind of nit-picking is stupid and pointless. The story works on its own terms. Accept the storyline and everything falls into place.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful
A 16-year-old girl has disappeared. The police believe she is a runaway. Her parents believe she has been taken and is being held against her will. When the parents enlist the services of Frank Rozzani, a former police officer turned private detective, a series of events begins to unfold that implicates a popular local pastor and the religious stronghold of the ultra-conservative community. Frank Rozzani, a transplant to Jacksonville, Florida from Syracuse, New York, must find the young girl despite the obstacles launched at him.
I wasn't thrilled by the book, but the narrator made me crazy. He had a beautiful voice, but no narrative skills. He talked in a slow sing-song that made listening really difficult, and the underlying politics of the author turned my stomach. I really tried, but I couldn't go on with it. Maybe it's someone else's cup of tea and a more professional narrator would be a huge help, regardless.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful
Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi are approached by their part-time colleague, Mr. Polopetsi, with a troubling story: A woman, accused of being rude to a valued customer, has been wrongly dismissed from her job at an office furniture store. Never one to let an act of injustice go unanswered, Mma Ramotswe begins to investigate but soon discovers unexpected information that causes her to reluctantly change her views about the case.
These are always good books, but this one was better. A bit more of the love of Africa came through. There was a kind of passion in it that has been missing in the last few, though all of them are entirely readable.
First, Lisette Lecat is a brilliant narrator. She is one a very few narrators so good I will read a book where she narrates just because it's her. Her ability to give the perfect accent for a region is unmatched by any other narrator I've heard. My husband, who doesn't usually listen, stopped what he was doing to listen to this.
&quot;She's really GOOD,&quot; he said, after which launched into my explanation of her being one of top narrators ever.
The story is typical for these stories. No murders, no gore, no violence. A mystery to be solved, leads to be followed, More important, relationships to be managed, dealt with, understood.
I always feel like crying a little when these books end. Especially, this one.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful
Harry Bosch is back as a volunteer working cold cases for the San Fernando Police Department and is called out to a local drugstore where a young pharmacist has been murdered. Bosch and the town's three-person detective squad sift through the clues, which lead into the dangerous, big business world of pill mills and prescription drug abuse.
You wouldn't think it was possible, but each of these Bosch stories is better than the one before. Bringing in Titus Welliver as narrator certainly helped. He not only plays Bosch on the Amazon series brilliantly, but he's a brilliant narrator, too. A lot of actors are not good narrators -- they over-perform instead of letting the book carry the story. Not Welliver. He's about as good as you get. Enough emotion to make it feel real, but not so much that you lose the sense of being in the book.
This book has a GREAT ending and you will love it, but i'm not going to tell you what it is. I really enjoyed this one -- even more than the last three. Can they keep getting better? I hope so!
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Longtime defense attorney Mickey Haller is recruited to change stripes and prosecute the high-profile retrial of a brutal child murder. After 24 years in prison, convicted killer Jason Jessup has been exonerated by new DNA evidence. Haller is convinced Jessup is guilty, and he takes the case on the condition that he gets to choose his investigator, LAPD Detective Harry Bosch.
It's hard to rate these books because they're all really good. Some are superb, others are &amp;quot;merely&amp;quot; excellent. This was excellent, with periods of greatness. Good, complex plot. Good interaction between Mickey and Harry. Great courtroom stuff.
I could pick it apart here and there, but why bother? It's a really good book. Definitely worth reading and thoroughly enjoyable. Flaws? Yeah, sure, but do they matter in the overall quality of the book? They don't.
I could be wrong, but I also think I see a &amp;quot;Part II&amp;quot; for this one. There were a lot of unanswered questions and Harry had a bone to pick. Harry is such an inordinately good picker of bones, I think we'll find out more. I just don't know when.
I'm having a lot of trouble not putting in spoilers, so I'll quit while I'm ahead. It's good. The narration is good, the writing is outstanding. The plot is sufficiently complex without getting so complicated that you need a notebook to keep track. If you're a Michael Connelly fan, read it. If you aren't, there are other books that might make a better starting point for you.
Peter Giles is -- as always -- an excellent reader.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery: Humanity has conquered all those things and has even conquered death. Now Scythes are the only ones who can end life - and they are commanded to do so in order to keep the size of the population under control. Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe - a role that neither wants. These teens must master the "art" of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.
Every day, Audible.com (part of the Amazon group), offers one book at a huge discount. Often it’s an older book or a classic which, if I missed it along the way, I may buy. Sometimes, I read it years ago, so listening to it in Audio can be a treat … like a movie with all the “action” in my own head. More often, it will be the first book in a series. Pay a few dollars for the audiobook, get hooked, and then you will buy the rest of them. I’ve gotten into a lot of really good series this way and I like it because I run out of books rather more often than I would like. Also, as the years have gone on, I’ve gotten pickier about what I want to read. The world has gotten so outrageous and kind of terrible, I’m looking not for great literature, but for entertainment. If it is going to inform me, it is also going to amuse me or I simply won’t read it.
Scythe is Neal Shusterman’s first entry into a series called, as it turns out, “Arc of a Scythe” and it’s about (you guessed it) the guys who go out and kill people for a living. Humankind, in this world, has perfected medicine. No one dies of disease or disaster. Whatever happens to you — including having your spine snapped or falling off a 120 story building — they can fix you. People age, but very slowly.
No one has to work particularly hard because a giant computer — the Monsterhead (it was a cloud, but it grew to godlike proportions) has taken over the care, feeding, and entire management of the human race. Also mankind was feeling a bit hinky about it in the beginning, the giant computer has been a pretty good god … rather a lot better than the old-fashioned ones from “The Old Days.”
But death … that was a problem. What with medicine having been perfected and no one dying of disease or age or accident, something needed to be done to keep the population in check.
And so a group of men and women were created to take care of this problem. Monsterhead — as a machine — did not feel equipped to handle killing people. He — or really “it” — felt this was a human job for humans to manage. The Scythes were born. A set of rules was created and people were scythed as needed. There wasn’t any particular reason for the reaping. Crime was gone because no one had any reason to be a criminal. Sometimes people who behaved dangerously or just badly were reaped because they were the kind of people who would have done themselves in anyway. More often, it was just … your turn. No reason, but your file came up and a Scythe came to your house and done you in. Quickly, with no fuss or mess.
Even in the most perfect of scheme, the can be “issues” and the Scythes are not perfect. They are Scythes now, but they were people first and a few of them are perhaps “over-eager” and enjoy killing too much. Some of them, in a need to make themselves eve more godlike than they already are — which is pretty godlike — grant too many favors. Reprieves, given for a year or sometimes forever for families of the Scythes themselves.
Being a Scythe is a powerful position not only because it brings death, but also because Scythes have essentially unlimited wealth to go with their power — and therein lies the rub.
This has turned out to be an interesting story and a pretty good mystery. I wasn’t expecting much. I love science fiction and fantasy, but so much of the newer material is the same old stuff. Tired old plots and tired old characters. This is something new and a little different. The plot is a standard mystery of who killed who and I’ve seen it before on a lot of cop shows over the years. But the setting is quite different and the world in which it is happening is nicely unique. I’m also glad it’s a series. Many of my favorite series seem to have run out and I’ve been looking for something new.
This is nicely ghoulish, a tiny bit sexy (not much — don’t go looking for the hot parts because there aren’t any), and the world creation is not absolutely original, but pretty close. Actually, it reminds me somewhat of the world in “City” … but it takes place entirely on earth.
If you are intrigued by the idea of a horde of reaping Scythes as the wild card that will send you to whatever may lie on the other side, this is a good one. Well written, nicely narrated too. Available as a hardcover book from Amazon and probably other booksellers as well. A well-written fantasy novel. No magic … just really super advanced computers which might just as well be magic.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
In keeping with his trademark style, Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code and Inferno, interweaves codes, science, religion, history, art, and architecture in this new novel. Origin thrusts Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon into the dangerous intersection of humankind's two most enduring questions - and the earthshaking discovery that will answer them.
I cannot seem to get the star ratings to work. This should have a nice four star review.
It's entertaining as are all of Dan Brown's book. This one is interesting, but it could have used a tighter edit. It meanders, especially towards the end where I kept thinking it was over, but it wasn't. The author rambles around the end of the book for half a dozen chapters with a good deal of unnecessary repetition.
That being say, it's fun. Not as exciting as it could have been and there were a fair number of threads left hanging ... but I enjoyed it. Wasn't gripped, but definitely entertained.
2 of 4 people found this review helpful