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  • The Accidental Alchemist

  • By: Gigi Pandian
  • Narrated by: Julia Motyka
  • Length: 9 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 4,113
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,806
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,786

Unpacking her belongings in her new hometown of Portland, Oregon, herbalist and reformed alchemist Zoe Faust can't help but notice she's picked up a stowaway. Dorian Robert-Houdin is a living, breathing three-and-half-foot gargoyle - not to mention a master of French cuisine - and he needs Zoe's expertise to decipher a centuries-old text. Zoe, who's trying to put her old life behind her, isn't so sure she wants to reopen her alchemical past... until the dead man on her porch leaves her no choice.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Seriously?

  • By James on 10-04-15

Not Cute Enuff

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-07-17

Would you try another book from Gigi Pandian and/or Julia Motyka?

Very probably not. I found Ms. Pandian's plot contrivances unacceptable. With violence sprouting round the protagonist like mushrooms, no one notices... Sigh.

Would you ever listen to anything by Gigi Pandian again?

I won't let the reader get between me and a book I wish to hear.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

Yes.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Boredom! To the point I quit before finishing it.

Any additional comments?

The living gargoyle is, truly, cute.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Snuff

  • By: Terry Pratchett
  • Narrated by: Stephen Briggs
  • Length: 11 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,447
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,083
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,094

Sam Vimes is on a well-deserved holiday. But for the commander of the City Watch, a vacation in the country is anything but relaxing. The balls, the teas, the muck - not to mention all that fresh air and birdsong - are more than a bit taxing on a cynical city-born and -bred copper. Yet a policeman will find a crime anywhere if he decides to look hard enough, and it’s not long before a body is discovered, and Sam - out of his jurisdiction, out of his element, and out of bacon sandwiches (thanks to his well-meaning wife) - must rely on his instincts, guile, and street smarts to see justice done.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Perfect Pratchett

  • By Tim on 10-14-11

Fun but

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-30-16

Mr P writes wonderfully. This is not his strongest work and possibly a bit self indulgent but still fun

  • Codex

  • By: Lev Grossman
  • Narrated by: Jeff Harding
  • Length: 11 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 356
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 324
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 325

About to depart on his first vacation in years, Edward Wozny, a hotshot young investment banker, is sent to help one of his firm's most important and mysterious clients. His task is to search their library stacks for a precious medieval codex, a treasure kept sealed away for many years and for many reasons.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Artificial sweetener when you expect sugar.

  • By Thomas on 11-16-12

Wonderful for technical detail - only

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-18-16

First, if you haven't read his 3 volumes about Magicians, go do that. It/they is/are world class wonderful
This book not so much. He has, and displays extremely well, an exciting knowledge of - yes, really - library; wrong word but he's got solid material and displays and uses it very well.
Plot is - sigh - shaky with logical and common sense 'gaps'.
Read to me like a first novel and not nearly as bad as other 'firsts' I've read.
Reader/performers, regrettably, don't add to the book.
Has Mr. G other books?
I'd try another than this without hesitation.

  • Murder in Thrall

  • By: Anne Cleeland
  • Narrated by: Marcella Riordan
  • Length: 9 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 603
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 553
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 549

First-year detective Kathleen Doyle is a plucky Irish redhead of humble origins and modest means. Chief Inspector Michael Acton is her antithesis: a British lord turned cop. He's tall, handsome, and enigmatic - to a fault. He also has a knack for solving London's most high-profile crimes. Acton selects Doyle out of the newbie squad to partner with him on a series of investigations because she always knows when someone is lying - a trait that comes in handy when interviewing suspects and witnesses.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great new entry into British mysteries

  • By Tracey on 08-05-13

Didn't Finish it because ...

Overall
1 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-03-16

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

A total re-write; This reader had no sense of the alleged attraction of the male to female lead. Story read by a female Brit and in a range I found 'difficult' to understand.

Has Murder in Thrall turned you off from other books in this genre?

No, but I shall not try this author - or the reader again.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Marcella Riordan?

No idea: Kate Redding reads superbly. But! A poor story is not saved by a reader, no matter how good.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Boredom. Three murders, yawn. Boy/Girl relationship as exciting as used bread.

Any additional comments?

The 'plot' is 'who done it'. The story as told (wrote) was almost exciting as an indifferent yawn.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Jack Reacher: One Shot

  • A Novel
  • By: Lee Child
  • Narrated by: Dick Hill
  • Length: 14 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,319
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,932
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,916

Six shots. Five dead. One heartland city thrown into a state of terror. But within hours the cops have it solved: a slam-dunk case. Except for one thing. The accused man says: You got the wrong guy. Then he says: Get Reacher for me. And sure enough, from the world he lives in - no phone, no address, no commitments - ex–military investigator Jack Reacher is coming. In Lee Child’s astonishing new thriller, Reacher’s arrival will change everything.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent Work of Adventure Fiction

  • By Me & My Girls on 10-21-14

Good First Novel

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
1 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-07-15

Is there anything you would change about this book?

It's I think! first of a series. (e-sources vary on which he wrote first). Stay with Jack Reacher!- it may be an insult (for which I apologize) but - way "Better than Bond," is appropriate. Better telling of violence, thinking and (but of curse) sex.The reader - wow, it's a hail of a thing to say of any pro, but ugh! Pacing 'strange', emphasis 'monotone'. OK, a reader must keep him/her self out of the book, but not to the extent of reciting - in monotone - a grocery list. (Listen, please! to a great reader - Kate Redding, a sex apparently 'not allowed' to read Masculine Male violent books... which is unfair since she's a girl, but still great.)

What was one of the most memorable moments of Jack Reacher: One Shot?

First Novel: BUT! Good sense of the man over all; 'his' description of 'back when' he first encountered the accursed is very good indeed.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Dick Hill?

Me. A dog with whooping cough. OK, I'm being mean. But, geesh... Dunno why a guy has got to read a 'guy' (garbage, but that's how 'they' are marketing it) has to read a 'guy' (see previous paren) novel.

Did Jack Reacher: One Shot inspire you to do anything?

Let's see ... The Bad Guys kill 4+ innocents and JR (oh! sorry about that! pun) kills at least that many. NOT an inspiration which inspires me.

Any additional comments?

On an airport impulse I picked up a (much, I think) later Reacher book than this and it this 'this' was wonderful. Good enough that (a) I gave it to a friend (a 'not often' - twice in 15 years event) and (b) I'm now reading/listening to the series in order.* Author is that good.*Order! appears to be dependent on what e-source one uses. Sigh...

  • The Kill Artist

  • By: Daniel Silva
  • Narrated by: George Guidall
  • Length: 11 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 4,087
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,682
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,671

After the assassination of his wife and son, Gabriel Allon retires from his brutal anti-terrorist career and loses himself in his previous cover job: art restoration. But when Tariq al-Hourani, the Palestinian terrorist responsible for his family’s death, begins a killing spree designed to destroy Middle East peace talks, Gabriel once again slips into the shadowy world of international intrigue. In a global game of hide-and-seek, the motives of Gabriel and Tariq soon become more personal than political.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Reluctant Assassin

  • By Snoodely on 10-30-13

All Back, No Story

Overall
1 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-07-14

OK, not fair, I couldn't get through it. Our Glorious Hero spends LOTS of time being 'nice'. The vicious, rotten, no good, stinking evil villain has enough faults to tire a wrist, arm, shoulder and other body parts shaking a stick at. Worse neither 'reads' well. And, oh, the gloriously beautiful, insanely talented, spectacularly insipid heroine. 'Nuf said?
In the small part I could bear, everybody is dancing - not merrily - to a totally unnecessarily complicated plot.
Heaven help a spy agency as incompetent as those described.
If 'tedious' is you, listen to this book.

  • Red Mars

  • By: Kim Stanley Robinson
  • Narrated by: Richard Ferrone
  • Length: 23 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,375
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 2,599
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,617

Winner of the Nebula Award for Best Novel, Red Mars is the first book in Kim Stanley Robinson's best-selling trilogy. Red Mars is praised by scientists for its detailed visions of future technology. It is also hailed by authors and critics for its vivid characters and dramatic conflicts.

For centuries, the red planet has enticed the people of Earth. Now an international group of scientists has colonized Mars. Leaving Earth forever, these 100 people have traveled nine months to reach their new home. This is the remarkable story of the world they create - and the hidden power struggles of those who want to control it.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Old School Hard Sci Fi, but softly

  • By JLM on 08-21-12

Couldn't Even Get Started Well

Overall
1 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-15-13

I couldn't make it through the first 15 minutes. The reader was fine.
But ... Oh, golly.

Plot ... Totally and completely different from the summary. "The Summary Says," it's about the first 100 on Mars, building a colony.

Nope. Maybe, eventually there may be a flashback, but... as the story opens the population is 1,000 with - oh horrors!! - MINORITIES!!! How dare anyone bring those vile foreign folk anyway? (Never mind that I find the representation of that group as offensive.)

But, let's talk about the 100. Those 100 were - at least it doesn't seem unreasonable to suppose and I believe may have been stated - 'the best and brightest' that COULD be selected. Which didn't hear to me very much like the case...

Of the first 100; presented as 'leaders', one I hear as pretty much a nut case. One more time! This is one of the first 100 ... Maybe they selected folk (never mind what the text says) for instability?

The book allegedly received raves for scientific accuracy. Like building on the surface with a see-through dome where meteors are pretty common?

Oh bother.

Text didn't grab me. Plot seemed to me stupid, childish and not very believable.
Dialogue to me dragged.

I couldn't stay with it.

  • 14

  • By: Peter Clines
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Length: 12 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 40,560
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 37,588
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 37,589

There are some odd things about Nate’s new apartment. Of course, he has other things on his mind. He hates his job. He has no money in the bank. No girlfriend. No plans for the future. So while his new home isn’t perfect, it’s livable. The rent is low, the property managers are friendly, and the odd little mysteries don’t nag at him too much. At least, not until he meets Mandy, his neighbor across the hall, and notices something unusual about her apartment. And Xela’s apartment. And Tim’s. And Veek’s.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Overrated

  • By David on 04-03-13

The Best Story Ever With a Horribly Bad Plot

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-07-13

Mr. Clines writes beautifully, wonderfully, compellingly. I love! his characters. You see these people. Those that are to be liked I loved, and that's almost all of them. How good are they? Wail, even the ones one is supposed not to like are believable; you've met them and know them and I was rooting - hard - against them. The 'good guys'? Wonderful; people you'd like to have for your friends. That's some terrific writing.
But.
Oh, dear. The plot. Ignore it. Has more holes than a paper target after 20 rounds from a 12 gauge at 6". Or more.
The audible reader is excellent.
But, oh that plot.... To list the plot idiocies is to give the book away and the man writes much beter than that. Ignore the plot, love the people.

1 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Elizabeth I

  • A Novel
  • By: Margaret George
  • Narrated by: Kate Reading
  • Length: 31 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 374
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 294
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 295

New York Times best-selling author Margaret George captures history's most enthralling queen-as she confronts rivals to her throne and to her heart. One of today's premier historical novelists, George dazzles here as she tackles her most difficult subject yet: the legendary Elizabeth Tudor, queen of enigma - the Virgin Queen who had many suitors; the victor of the Armada who hated war; the gorgeously attired, jewel-bedecked woman who pinched pennies.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A different view of Elizabeth

  • By Sarda on 05-10-12

Repetition, Anybody?

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-24-12

Kate Reading is one World Class Wonderful Reader. (Yes, I do think she's that good. Thank you for asking.)
Try her reading "Revenge of the Blood Lilly."
Here she's held prisoner by an overwhelmingly repetitious, repetitive story that also keeps saying the same things nearly endlessly.
Oh. yes. by the way. It repeats a lot.
I started it on audio, gave up. On an extended trip I took it along as a sleeping pill and it was too dull - being annoyed with a book does not put this reader to sleep.
"It's not your fault, Kate!" Even the best reader may be a victim to a l - o - n - g and boring novel.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Windup Girl

  • By: Paolo Bacigalupi
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Davis
  • Length: 19 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 5,685
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 3,875
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,900

Anderson Lake is a company man, AgriGen's Calorie Man in Thailand. Under cover as a factory manager, Anderson combs Bangkok's street markets in search of foodstuffs thought to be extinct, hoping to reap the bounty of history's lost calories. There, he encounters Emiko...Emiko is the Windup Girl, a strange and beautiful creature. One of the New People, Emiko is not human; instead, she is an engineered being, creche-grown and programmed to satisfy the decadent whims of a Kyoto businessman.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Al Gore nightmare meets Blade Runner.

  • By Marius on 01-13-10

GDB - Great Darn Book

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-24-12

OK, someone! will complain about the sex parts; "Is it really necessary to have one of the central characters BE that sexual?" (Or if you like, "Suffer such explicit sexual humiliation?")
yes.
This is a future with Genetic Engineering Run Wild. This is a future in a time and place you can see, smell, hear and darn near touch. This is a location that is precisely today and absolutely in a distorted and warped future.
Reader read it well. Writer nailed the locus - and the characters.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful