LISTENER

Mari

  • 8
  • reviews
  • 13
  • helpful votes
  • 159
  • ratings
  • The Sleeper and the Spindle

  • By: Neil Gaiman
  • Narrated by: Julian Rhind-Tutt, Lara Pulver, Niamh Walsh
  • Length: 1 hr and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 638
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 588
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 590

You may think you know this story. There's a young queen about to be married. There are some good, brave, hardy dwarfs; a castle shrouded in thorns; and a princess cursed by a witch, so rumor has it, to sleep forever. But no one is waiting for a noble prince to appear on his trusty steed here. This fairy tale is spun with a thread of dark magic, which twists and turns and glints and shines.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A suprising twist to the Sleeping Beauty

  • By Jacobus on 12-15-15

Such Fun!

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

Reviewed: 02-17-16

If you could sum up The Sleeper and the Spindle in three words, what would they be?

Traditional yet funky.

What did you like best about this story?

I loved how everything was re-imagined and yet not. There were still the usual queens, helpful dwarves, and magical spells. Still the narratives set in a bar. Still some walking and fighting and then more walking. But everything was set in a whole new light with twists and turns. Best I can describe is that it was creepily bubbly, and I loved that.

I gave the story a 4/5 only because I wanted this story to be longer. I needed some more!

Have you listened to any of the narrators’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Nope, I haven't.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Nothing super moved me, but I was highly entertained by the performances that brought the characters to life.

Any additional comments?

A must listen! Just be prepared to want more and not have any!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Enchantress from the Stars

  • By: Sylvia Engdahl
  • Narrated by: Jennifer Ikeda
  • Length: 10 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 78
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 58
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 60

A Newbery Honor Book and a Book Sense 76 Selection, Enchantress from the Stars is a science-fiction classic. Three alien races meet on the small green world of Andrecia. The Imperial Exploration Corps wants to claim the planet for its own, but the Anthropological Service stands in the way. And when young Elana makes contact with native Georyn, a love story exploring the very depths of human emotion unfolds.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Modern Despite it's Age

  • By Staaj on 01-01-12

Personal Classic

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

Reviewed: 02-17-16

What did you love best about Enchantress from the Stars?

I read it in book form a very long time ago and have been searching for it ever since. Finding it on Audible made my day.

I adore the concept of different beings that have undergone the stages of development discussed in the novel and how each stage is just as competent as the other. I enjoyed the different perspectives (although each perspective is an alteration from the main character.)

What other book might you compare Enchantress from the Stars to and why?

I'm not sure why other than the narration style matches at some points, but "Daughter of the Forest" by Juliet Mailler comes to mind. Although it's purely fantasy (no science fiction here) it still deals with the inner struggle of a young woman maturing through intense circumstances.

Which scene was your favorite?

Why must you ask? Seeing as it is a favorite novel I've searched for for quite some, I'm pretty sure I'm biased by saying I loved ALL OF IT.

Alright, I am a sucker for the medieval-ish perspectives.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes it was! I wish I had a very long road to drive while listening.

Any additional comments?

This is a good novel to come back to after a few years. I was fifteen when I first read it, and I thought I understood it to a T. But ten years later, I had a whole new revelation and was ashamed of younger self's thoughts. This is definitely a re-read/listen novel!

  • The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

  • Mara Dyer, Book 1
  • By: Michelle Hodkin
  • Narrated by: Christy Romano
  • Length: 9 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 741
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 671
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 677

Mara Dyer believes life can't get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there. It can. She believes there must be more to the accident she can't remember that killed her friends and left her strangely unharmed. There is. She doesn't believe that after everything she's been through, she can fall in love. She's wrong.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Not Sure About Mara Dyer

  • By C. Betts on 07-30-14

Bleck

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

Reviewed: 02-17-16

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Oh goodness. What a loaded question.

Easy answer: no.

I want my time back.

Oh yes, the first chapter was a wonderful hook. Mara's killed people, there's a mystery to be solved, and there might be magical powers. That sounds wonderful! I would love to listen to more, if you don't mind.But then we get to High School.

Don't get me wrong, YA usually involves high school but in a way where the main character learns that school isn't what defines your life. Good examples are "The Iron King" or "Timebound." The main characters go to school, but use the limited time spent there as a way to transcend to their next level of character growth.

Here, High School might as well be its own character. Class after class after class after class. Trope after cliche after stigma. School, school, school. And you think that my repetition here is bad? Try a few hours. What happened to the promise of mystery and magic? You can't just throw it in here and there to keep the readers satisfied. And no, more school will not help.

So you want more murder and mystery?

Here's a love interest who is unlovable. I would love to go further on this, but then you'll probably get a few pages on why this romance was completely unnecessary, painful, and unbelievable.

Man, I want to go on and on, but I think I've made my point (plus, I'll only get frustrated.) Holy cow.

If you’ve listened to books by Michelle Hodkin before, how does this one compare?

I have not listened to any of Michelle Hodkin's novels before, and after listening to this one, I probably will not in the future. I know for sure that the sequel is not and will not ever be in my wishlist.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

Her performance was just...ok.

There were obvious mess-ups and some editing errors that could have been smoothed over, but to be honest, I was just bored with listening to her.

What appalled me was finding out that Christy Romano was the voice for Kim Possible. Wait, what? She voiced a cartoon that enchanted my tweenage years with snarky comments and catch phrases that I still remember today (not to mention how lively she was for Even Stevens.) What happened? Goodness, reading a book doesn't mean it's sleep time. Wake up and have fun with it! I know the problem might mostly be because of the content you're reading, but that's where you come in and blow our eardrums out with a fantastic performance!

Was The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer worth the listening time?

No. No it was not.

Any additional comments?

I am highly disappointed. There were so many reviews and articles telling me that this was an astonishing gem that had to be listened to. How very, very wrong they were.Please, just save your credit and skip this novel.

  • Firewalker

  • The Worldwalker Trilogy, Book 2
  • By: Josephine Angelini
  • Narrated by: Emma Galvin
  • Length: 11 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 325
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 300
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 303

Lily is back in her own universe, and she's ready to relax with Rowan. True, she almost died in the Pyre that fueled their escape and must hide her magic for the safety of the world, but compared to fighting the monstrous Woven and leading armies in the alternate Salem, life is looking good. Unfortunately Lillian, ruthless ruler of the 13 Cities, is not willing to let Lily go that easily. If she can't persuade Lily to return to her world, she'll have to find a way to make her come back.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Much Better

  • By Mari on 02-17-16

Much Better

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

Reviewed: 02-17-16

Would you listen to Firewalker again? Why?

Yes, I might when I do my usual re-listen of the books in my library.

What did you like best about this story?

I just love the broken down mechanics of magic. Magic isn't some flighty element that someone just HAS for the fun of it. No unicorns and rainbows. Magic has to be built up with so many components with the help of others. It's dirty and bloody and gross. Logical, hard worked for magic is the best magic.

The muddied morality of each character is a beautiful breath of fresh air, as well. Not everyone is straight evil and not everyone is a saint.

Also, I liked the additional characters brought into this novel so that the two worlds intermingle and are just plain messed up.

What does Emma Galvin bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

First of all, I highly enjoy her performance in this series.

There must be something in Lily's character that really makes Emma Galvin give it her all when performing that the "Divergent Series" didn't have. Perhaps it's the POV and first person just isn't the best for Emma. I've listened to her rendition of "Mediator: Haunted," and though anything would be better than the "Divergent" Tris whine, Emma just seems to be more comfortable in third person.

That being said, I don't think I could listen to another narrator when the third novel comes out. I swear, if they go down the usual road of getting a male narrator to voice out some lines after two solid novels of just a solo reader, I WILL...still listen to it, but be peeved.

There are a lot of characters, and although no one can top Jim Dale in the voice-to-each-character department, she did a fine job giving the voices just what they needed to avoid confusion.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Hmn, there is one specific instance that I'm sure everyone is aware of. Lily promises something that I believe my fellow listeners were like, "Nope! Lily, you silly girl, can't you see you've promised yourself into a plot device that you'll later regret down the road? Geeze!"

Any additional comments?

If you had doubts from the first novel, this one should smooth out the wrinkles for you.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Stolen Songbird

  • By: Danielle L. Jensen
  • Narrated by: Eric Michael Summerer, Erin Moon
  • Length: 14 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,278
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,170
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,174

For five centuries, a witch's curse has bound the trolls to their city beneath the ruins of Forsaken Mountain. Time enough for their dark and nefarious magic to fade from human memory and into myth. But a prophesy has been spoken of a union with the power to set the trolls free, and when Ccile de Troyes is kidnapped and taken beneath the mountain, she learns there is far more to the myth of the trolls than she could have imagined.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Dance Magic Dance

  • By Mari on 10-14-15

Dance Magic Dance

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

Reviewed: 10-14-15

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would recommend this audiobook, but with a weary warning.

So I have always enjoyed me some good regular-gal-meets-powerful-man-to-form-a-strong-relationship stories. “Stolen Songbird” has a whole lot of potential especially because it is only book one of a trilogy. The premise is strong with this one. Magic, a doomed race, royalty, abused servants, and sooo much more. How can one NOT be invested in the plot and characters?

This is where the BUT comes in (unfortunately.) I was hoping Jenson would trust her readers (listeners) to understand the situations and happenstances as they came to be. Don’t spell things out. Don’t dumb the plot down and dress it up with pretty words. I don’t want to get frustrated when the audience and Cécile are given the same information and the audience pieces the clues together faster than the main character.

Oh boy. Don’t get me started on Cécile. That girl piece of work. Like her, but she has some growth the take in.

What other book might you compare Stolen Songbird to and why?

I was constantly reminded of three stories, actually.

"The Princess and the Goblin" because, well, for the obvious.

"The Hollow Kingdom," by Clare B. Dunkle. This novel follows Kate Winslow as she is captured by the goblin king, Marak, as his future bride. Fighting back is the easy part as she slowly starts to fall in love with the "deformed" goblin.

"Labyrinth" the film, you know, the one where David Bowie is the singing Goblin King who captures a girl's brother, forcing her to come to his magical kingdom.

What does Eric Michael Summerer and Erin Moon bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I believe that this audiobook should have only had one narrator. With how many times Tristan has his own point of view (around seven or eight times with only a half hour talking time) there might as well have not been a second narrator at all. Let alone one that really doesn’t fit a teenager. Even if said teenager is the most mentally sophisticated teenagers I’ve been privy to. There is really no point in even getting another narrator if he barely has any point of views to narrate. I’d go as far as to say that Moon should just narrate those sections herself to keep from jarring the audience from her voice for solid two hour blocks only to be slapped with by ten minutes of some voice that doesn’t match with a boy let alone how Moon presents Tristan.


I’d say if one must have two narrators for this (because the trend right now for Young Adult audiobooks with at least two point of views is to have to narrators) then try to find two people who sound somewhat the same. That way we aren’t startled by the extreme contrast from the two. Or at the very very VERY least try to have them speak the same way.


Really, though, I’d rather have stuck with Moon. Sorry movie trailer narrator guy…


If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

"The true trap is what lies in the heart."

Any additional comments?

There is certainly a whole bunch of imaginative imaginings, here. There are many different magics, jobs, customs, physiques, rules, and so much more. There was clearly a lot of thought for this underground society, and I could definitely appreciate how one can tell that everything was strictly planned out.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • White Raven

  • The Raven Series Book 1
  • By: J.L. Weil
  • Narrated by: Caitlin Kelly
  • Length: 9 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 576
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 516
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 517

My past comes back to terrorize me. Someone wants me dead, and the closer I get to the truth, the more I realize my whole life is a lie. I am no longer sure what is more frightening - the attempts on my life or the guy whose heart and soul are synchronized with mine.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Swoon-worthy hero makes this book exciting!

  • By LilMissMolly on 08-05-15

Take it Back a Notch

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

Reviewed: 10-14-15

Would you listen to White Raven again? Why?

Probably not unless I truly want to refresh myself before absorbing the second novel into my library, but I'm too sure I am interest enough to continue. If anything, I would listen just to enjoy Caitlin Kelly's superb narration. Great intonations, no weird quirks, and wonderful Celtic accents.

Would you recommend White Raven to your friends? Why or why not?

Perhaps. I'm not too sure. I believe the idea is a great one. The beginning passages of the novel were chilling and compelling. Unfortunately, I believe the problem I had with the novel was the protagonist, Piper. Yes, I understand that she is a tough cookie. She doesn't like frills or pink or cuteness. Alright. But when her stubbornness is completely over exaggerated to the point where she continually drags the plot down, that's when the attempt to be tough can be detrimental. She peruses a point, obtains the point, refuses the point because she is tough, tries to learn more about the point by herself because she is tough, and learns the hard way the point is true. All of which could have been avoided. I'm not sure if this was an attempt for character growth, but she does not learn from her mistakes, and so I just can't find myself liking her "tough girl" attitude. Hopefully, book 2 can see Piper growing.

Have you listened to any of Caitlin Kelly’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have not listened to one of her performances before, but I would now that I've heard her. Not many narrators can pass the "other gender test" where they sound convincingly like the opposite sex, let alone be able to create variations (I could tell Zane apart from Xander and TJ.) To top it off, she did a wonderful Celtic accent. To triple excel is a gold star in my book.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

"Piper, a heroine so stubborn, she stalls the plot."

Any additional comments?

Maybe book 2 will explain why Zane's family are Celtic but the rest of the island are not, or maybe why they are there in the first place. Goodness, left with so many questions.

  • Reawakened

  • The Reawakened Series, Book 1
  • By: Colleen Houck
  • Narrated by: Phoebe Strole, Mark Deakins
  • Length: 12 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 212
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 191
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 192

When 17-year-old Lilliana Young enters the Metropolitan Museum of Art one morning during spring break, the last thing she expects to find is a live Egyptian prince with godlike powers who has been reawakened after 1,000 years of mummification. And she really can't imagine being chosen to aid him in an epic quest that will lead them across the globe.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • let down

  • By Denise on 08-06-16

Almost There

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

Reviewed: 10-14-15

Where does Reawakened rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I would place "Reawakened" somewhere towards the middle. I'm glad I bought the audiobook, and I might relisten to it before the next of the series comes out, but it wasn't a narration or plot I was completely enamored with.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Reawakened?

I enjoyed when Lily finally understands what Amon is so the plot could continue forwards. Don't get me wrong, I love the tiny miscommunications between Lily and Amon, but it got to a point where myself as the reader knew more than Lily and I was practically shouting at her in my car "He's an immortal mummy! It says so in the synopsis! Let's move on!"

Which scene was your favorite?

I adore all the feasting scenes. It seems that this is when they have time to communicate and understand each other.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Nothing so extreme. I became concerned at the end, believing that this was only a one book deal until I realized, nope, there will be more.

Any additional comments?

Unfortunately, I compared this novel's reading to Colleen Houk's "Tiger's Curse" series. Annika Boris spoiled me with deep, masculine voices and beautiful accents. Though Phoebe Strole did fine with her narration, no weird quirks or stumbles, she missed the mark with masculine and accents. Normally, I would be alright with a missed accent here or there, but seeing as this is a novel full of 'em, it was like a chunk of magic was missing and left Amon was a severe monotone. Again, Strole did alright, but it would be an improvement if she were to attempt an accent in book 2.

  • The Hollow Kingdom

  • THe Hollow Kingdom, Book 1
  • By: Clare Dunkle
  • Narrated by: Jenny Sterlin
  • Length: 8 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 94
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 88
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 89

In 19th-century England, Kate and her sister Emily return to the family estate after their father dies. There, under the guardianship of a distant uncle, they live in a small lodge with two great-aunts. One evening while out late and unable to find their way home, they encounter a nest of goblins. Clare Dunkle unites the human realm and the underworld of the goblin in a fascinating and exciting tale.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • GREAT Fantasy Trilogy

  • By kidsathart on 12-05-16

Fantastic

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

Reviewed: 06-28-13

If you could sum up The Hollow Kingdom in three words, what would they be?

Fantasy come true.

What did you like best about this story?

Basically everything down from the plot, characters, and reader.

Have you listened to any of Jenny Sterlin’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have listened to plenty of Sterlin's performances, but seeing as this is where my love of her narration started way back in 2004, I'd have to lean towards this one being the best!

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

This book has shaped a lot of what I wanted to do with my life. Finding it here on audible.com made my day, week, and year.

Any additional comments?

This is a great, whimsical listen. It is a blend of what goes behind the fairy tale into something darker and a bit more thrilling. The Hollow Kingdom is worth a listen.