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theamazingcatherine

Aotearoa
  • 31
  • reviews
  • 7
  • helpful votes
  • 92
  • ratings
  • Sabriel

  • By: Garth Nix
  • Narrated by: Tim Curry
  • Length: 10 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,780
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,906
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,911

Ever since she was a tiny child, Sabriel has lived outside the walls of the Old Kingdom, away from the random power of Free Magic, and away from the Dead who won't stay dead. But now her father, the Mage Abhorsen, is missing, and to find him Sabriel must cross back into that world.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Enraptured

  • By T. HICKS on 06-20-09

an old favourite

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

Reviewed: 01-20-19

It's got a colourful setting, vivid characters, a tough, kind, smart heroine, and plenty of twists and turns in the action scenes.

That said, while Curry is a perfectly competent narrator, I just didn't warm to his voice and at times listening felt like a chore.

  • The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal

  • By: K. J. Charles
  • Narrated by: Gary Furlong
  • Length: 7 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 123
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 115
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 115

I have been Simon Feximal's companion, assistant, and chronicler for 20 years now, and during that time my Casebooks of Feximal the Ghost-Hunter have spread the reputation of this most accomplished of ghost-hunters far and wide. Here is how my association with Feximal came about. I dare say it may not be quite what you expect.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • KJ Charles is magic

  • By BR on 11-24-17

Holmes and Watson with ghost-hunting and sex

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

Reviewed: 01-08-19

It's solidly written. I didnt rate it higher because I'm just not fond of twinks and the narrator is very, very twinky. Shrug.

The tone shifts a bit. The first chapter is a saucy romp, which I think was originally a stand-alone story. Later chapters, while still sexually explicit, have a more sombre quality. I enjoyed the tie-ins to literature of the period: Carnacki, M R James, "the fat man".

There's also an ever-present frustration from Robert, in being unable to publically declare his relationship with Feximal, to state that he is more than just a chronicler but the love of the man's life, and a vulnerability which the two are constantly aware of, the vulnerability of being charged with illegal sexual relations. And it makes me sad. (It's supposed to.)

  • Her Royal Spyness

  • By: Rhys Bowen
  • Narrated by: Katherine Kellgren
  • Length: 8 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 10,662
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,480
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 9,448

Georgie, aka Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie, cousin of King George V of England, is penniless and trying to survive on her own as an ordinary person in London in 1932. So far she has managed to light a fire and boil an egg... She's gate-crashed a wedding... She's making money by secretly cleaning houses... And she's been asked to spy for Her Majesty the Queen.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I’ve Been Charmed

  • By Em on 06-11-12

There might be a good story somewhere in here...

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

Reviewed: 12-28-18

... but three chapters in I'm bored and annoyed with the characters and the society they dwell in. Oh well, they can't all be great.

The aristocratic drawl of the reader suited the narrative voice, it's true.

  • Bryony and Roses

  • By: T. Kingfisher
  • Narrated by: Justine Eyre
  • Length: 5 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 77
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 71
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 71

Bryony and her sisters have come down in the world. Their merchant father died trying to reclaim his fortune and left them to eke out a living in a village far from their home in the city. But when Bryony is caught in a snowstorm and takes refuge in an abandoned manor, she stumbles into a house full of dark enchantments. Is the Beast that lives there her captor or a fellow prisoner? Is the house her enemy or her ally? And why are roses blooming out of season in the courtyard?

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Not AT ALL the Right Voice for this Wonderful Book

  • By Morro Schreiber on 06-17-16

Brilliant. Some creepy moments.

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

Reviewed: 12-26-18

I enjoyed the unconventional Beauty with her passion for vegetable gardening and the amiable banter she had going on with Beast. The writing is vivid and evocative, as Kingfisher/Vernon's style always is, with an ending that works for the characters.

That said, if you ever had night terrors as a child, best not to listen to this before you go to sleep. Really.

  • The Duchess Deal

  • By: Tessa Dare
  • Narrated by: Mary Jane Wells
  • Length: 7 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 11
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 11
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 11

Witty, saucy Regency romance... 'I am a Duke. I'm not asking you to marry me. I am offering to marry you. It's a different thing entirely.' When the Duke of Ashbury returns from war scarred, he realises he needs an heir - which means he needs a wife! When Emma Gladstone, a vicar's daughter turned seamstress, visits wearing a wedding dress, he decides on the spot that she'll do....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Cute, sweet, lacking in tension

  • By theamazingcatherine on 10-29-18

Cute, sweet, lacking in tension

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

Reviewed: 10-29-18

I dunno, there's a lot I like about it - Dare is great at writing damaged people who deserve love, and she has a lovely warm and gentle humour - it just feels like every time a problem arises, it gets sorted out very quickly, as if most of the book is the HEA epilogue. The dramatic tension just isn't very high.

Still a decent listen, though, and the reader is lively and entertaining to listen to.

  • Arabian Nights: Volume 1

  • An Audible Original Drama
  • By: Marty Ross
  • Narrated by: Zahra Ahmadi, Raghad Chaar, Omid Djalili, and others
  • Length: 8 hrs and 20 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 31
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 30
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 30

This multicast dramatisation of Arabian Nights: Volume 1 is an Audible Original reenvisioning of three iconic tales - with a twist. Adapted by the great Marty Ross, whose previous audio dramas include Romeo and Jude, Dark Shadows, Doctor Who and Blood and Stone, listeners can expect to hear Sheherezade, Ali Baba & 40 Thieves and Julnar the Sea Born as they've never done before.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Can't wait for the next one!

  • By Amazon Customer on 10-31-18

Lavish, funny, sensitive, a little bawdy...

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

Reviewed: 09-08-18

This was amazing. The adaptor dug into the basic text - a mad king, a clever storyteller, her loyal sister, and teased out the emotions and passion and heartbreak. I was constantly reminded of the storyteller's presence, and her audience - not just in the interjections from her husband, her sister, and an impatient executioner wanting more gory bits, but in the choices of story that Scheherazade makes, the characters she dwells on, how themes of loyalty and sexual desire and family might speak to the king's madness. Even villains and bit characters get a chance to have their say.

The voice-acting is well done - lively, colourful, easy on the ears, really bringing out the character personalities - and the sound effects are vivid. (There were a couple of times when the sound dynamics made it difficult to understand a djinni character, though - I wouldn't try listening to it while driving.)

The bulk of this is two stories, "Ali Baba" and another I'm not familiar with "Julnar of the Sea" (sp?) and does take some liberties with the plot, at least with "Ali Baba". They make for an interesting narrative, so I'm happy about them. There are gory bits, and several women speaking extremely frankly about their sexuality, so be aware of that if you want your children to listen.

All in all this was grand, and I hope the next volume comes out soon.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Scarlet Pimpernel

  • By: Baroness Orczy
  • Narrated by: Flo Gibson
  • Length: 8 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 8
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 7
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7

The mysterious Scarlet Pimpernel's daring rescues of French nobility from the threat of the guillotine and the evil Chauvelin's efforts to track him down are all part of the intrigue in this swashbuckling adventure.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • nostalgic

  • By theamazingcatherine on 07-29-18

nostalgic

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

Reviewed: 07-29-18

I hadn't read this since I was a teenager, and it's good to see it stand up solidly. Marguerite's relationship strife really hit home, though there's an uuncomfortable racial caricature near the end. I really liked the whiskey grandma timbre of Flo Gibson's voice. That said, this particular recording is rather tinny.

  • Captives of the Night

  • By: Loretta Chase
  • Narrated by: Kate Reading
  • Length: 13 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 494
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 456
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 457

Leila Beaumont is a gorgeous and talented portrait painter trapped in a loveless marriage with her profligate husband, Francis. Though long ago, Francis very much played the hero, rescuing and wedding the orphaned 17-year-old Leila - Francis' more recent hedonistic lifestyle of drinking, drugging and womanizing has not only earned him quite a few enemies in London, but lost him the love of his wife.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Perfect Pairing of Author and Narrator

  • By Moriah on 01-08-15

I love pretty, tricksy romantic heroes

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

Reviewed: 05-31-18

and grumpy heroines and this really delivered. It's number 2 in a series and there were a couple of times I got thrown by people coming in with very little introduction, but honestly, this was great. There's a recurring theme of mending broken relationships, and the acknowledgement that a grand passion does not excuse bad behaviour. But neither does a past sin render someone entirely wicked... lots of complicated people here. The romance was a slowburn, which is my preference - I like, as a reader, to be wooed - so all the delicate hand touches at the start were delightful.

  • Deadly Engagement

  • A Georgian Historical Mystery (Alec Halsey Mystery Book 1)
  • By: Lucinda Brant
  • Narrated by: Alex Wyndham
  • Length: 9 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 698
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 639
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 637

It's 1763. Career diplomat Alec Halsey returns to London and the shocking news his estranged elder brother, the Earl of Delvin, has not only killed his friend in a duel but become engaged to the woman he had hoped to marry. When Alec reluctantly attends a weekend house party to celebrate his brother's engagement he gets more than he bargained for when a lady's maid is murdered, the bride-to-be is attacked, and a guest is shot dead.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Well written but a little darker than I expected

  • By Amazon Customer on 10-17-15

So. much. exposition.

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

Reviewed: 05-10-18

I'm sorry but I didn't make it past the second chapter. Hero realises that the girl he likes (entirely oblivious to his unexpressed feelings) is about to get married to his hated brother. He promptly gets pissed in a house of debauchery, and when the hangover is done, talks about the situation to his uncle. And talks, and talks, and talks, and talks. When someone coming in with a cup of breakfast coffee would have enlivened the proceedings... or the ex-fiancee's point of view. Or, in fact, anything but two or three men talking about things.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Princess of Flames

  • By: Ru Emerson
  • Narrated by: Roxanne Hernandez
  • Length: 15 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 13
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13

On the stolen throne of Darion sits the ursurper, Sedry, haunted by the silent grey eyes of the half-sister he banished, whose gift for magic was equal to his own; Elfrid, the Bastard. At watch, folded into the darkness, Bal of Korent remembers a half-grown, dark-haired child, swift as a sabre, trained in the ways of the warrior, as no woman before: Elfrid, the Sword. In the hugshed gloom of night, a shadowed figure walks alone. Waiting for the morning, for battle, for vengeance. She has waited in exile for eight long years. Now, Elfrid of Darion has come home....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Interesting and enjoyable story.

  • By Ayla on 11-20-12

The story is as good as I remember

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

Reviewed: 03-07-18

I read this as a teenager and loved it, and the plot is still great: shades of Macbeth and King Lear, vivid characters, politics and intrigue, some good fight scenes and military moments. Young, hesitant love; mature, warm love. (Am trying to avoid spoilers.) Definitely worth a reread.

I just... found the narrator's voice disheartening. She does most of the male voices in a kind of guttural squeak and, well, there are a lot of male characters. Eh. Different strokes and all that.