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kristen schick

PRESIDIO OF MONTEREY, CA, US
  • 18
  • reviews
  • 11
  • helpful votes
  • 27
  • ratings
  • Watchers

  • By: Dean Koontz
  • Narrated by: Edoardo Ballerini
  • Length: 16 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 794
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 731
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 723

On his thirty-sixth birthday, Travis Cornell hikes into the foothills of the Santa Ana Mountains. But his path is soon blocked by a bedraggled Golden Retriever who will let him go no further into the dark woods. That morning, Travis had been desperate to find some happiness in his lonely, seemingly cursed life. What he finds is a dog of alarming intelligence that soon leads him into a relentless storm of mankind’s darkest creation....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Best yet

  • By Karen R Moore on 06-03-18

not the best

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

Reviewed: 09-17-18

the narrator is great with his voice and distinguishing genders and individuals.

the general story is fine. cover-ups, thrills, chance meetings. it's rather unimaginative compared to other books I've read from koontz, but overall, it's fine.

my biggest complaint are the people, though, esp. the leading characters. He is very nice and understanding, helpful, buys things for the leading lady and just happens to have no financial issues or otherwise any flaws that aren't obviously contrived. he is a perfect father for the leading lady who is a perfect CHILD. only, wait, they're both grown flippin adults who seem to be developing romantic feelings for each other. and why is so much time being spent inside the lady's head about her LOOKS?! NO ONE DOES THIS. Even people with body positive issues, they'll occasionally spend time thinking about it, but EVERY.SINGLE.MOMENT. inside her head does nothing but talk about how she thinks she looks and if this were a real book, id have thrown it across the room by now due to how, yet again, people have no idea how to write female characters except to turn them into children in some way/make them all cookie-cutters.

just write a guy and then slap on a feminine name. ya done. and look, you've even written an amazing friendship between the two without need for certain romantic situations occurring! anyway, i digress now...

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Warbreaker

  • By: Brandon Sanderson
  • Narrated by: Alyssa Bresnahan
  • Length: 24 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,701
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,884
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,870

Warbreaker is the story of two sisters who happen to be princesses, the God King one of them has to marry, the lesser god who doesn't like his job, and the immortal who's still trying to undo the mistakes he made hundreds of years ago. Their world is one in which those who die in glory return as gods to live confined to a pantheon in Hallandren's capital city and where a power known as BioChromatic magic is based on an essence known as breath that can be collected only one unit at a time.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • My Favorite Sanderson Yet

  • By Carol on 09-10-17

Good

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

Reviewed: 01-01-18

narrator did a good job with voices, each one sounded different, for the most part. most importantly, though,characters that expressed emotion in voice were given that expression by the narrator.

the story itself: few books would try to make the main characters female. many that try to have too many women end up making them all behave the same. that didn't happen here, though we still find shortcomings bc this book does not contain a scene where two females converse without the conversation being about a guy. managing to keep the two sisters be different but, at the end, they both mostly just switched behaviors/responsibilities. so, even though i continue to be annoyed at people's inability to write female characters even though female characters are no different than guy characters... this annoyance aside... the book was still entertaining, and even though the change in personality was obvious in the sisters, they still had an air of being different and, therefore, their own person rather than the same person but with a different name. it all took place in a detailed world of magic based on an interesting idea: of "breath" and granting life to objects, and it does it in a way that makes one very interested in yet morally unsure about the method of "magic..." it has people struggling to find themselves, plot twists that may seem a bit obvious but no less fun when they happen, a colorful city full of different peoples and issues to explore, and so much more is in this book. if you're looking for lots of action and fighting, there is action and fighting, but it certainly isn't what makes this book a good listen/read, though the action scenes certainly were skillfully written.

overall, i was very sad to have ended the book and look forward to reading more from him, and i certainly would not mind listening to a book narrated by bresnahan.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Slaughterhouse-Five

  • By: Kurt Vonnegut
  • Narrated by: James Franco
  • Length: 5 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,045
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,347
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 8,328

Traumatized by the bombing of Dresden at the time he had been imprisoned, Pilgrim drifts through all events and history, sometimes deeply implicated, sometimes a witness. He is surrounded by Vonnegut's usual large cast of continuing characters (notably here the hack science fiction writer Kilgore Trout and the alien Tralfamadorians, who oversee his life and remind him constantly that there is no causation, no order, no motive to existence).

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Everything is nothing, with a twist.

  • By Darwin8u on 01-22-17

sad

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

Reviewed: 12-04-17

first, let me just say this about the narrator: he was good. he did sound a bit bored in some areas, esp. as he continued the lines of, "so it goes." but, overall, he told the story well. we need to understand, there's not a lot of dialogue, it's mostly just him talking about things that happened, you can't add a lot to that type of text, but he did a good job expressing it, and as the lines of, "so it goes" continued, both myself and the narrator stopped being annoyed with that line as we saw the transition and effects that situations can have on people, how sad and messed up life can be and the coping mechanisms created to help ease the burden of life and it's memories... and so it goes that dresden was burned, people coped through healthy and unhealthy actions, and crap still happens.

it was a sad book that would have been less sad if there was meaningful change to the world as a result of the sacrifices of people like in this book. but, maybe that's the point, what's left after a massacre? just the birds.

  • Oathbringer

  • By: Brandon Sanderson
  • Narrated by: Kate Reading, Michael Kramer
  • Length: 55 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 27,513
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 25,925
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 25,871

Dalinar Kholin's Alethi armies won a fleeting victory at a terrible cost. The enemy Parshendi summoned the violent Everstorm, which now sweeps the world with destruction and in its passing awakens the once peaceful and subservient parshmen to the horror of their millennia-long enslavement by humans. While on a desperate flight to warn his family of the threat, Kaladin Stormblessed must come to grips with the fact that the newly kindled anger of the parshmen may be wholly justified.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent. Well written and performed.

  • By JESS REYNOLDS on 05-22-18

another excellent addition

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

Reviewed: 12-04-17

everything one loved from the first two. obviously, worries that the story might get lost as it progresses is understandable as many books in a series, starting on a strong foundation, often seem to go nowhere in the middle sections. and, to an extent, i did find myself less in a situation of, "no, don't go to someone else, i want to find out more!" i always found myself doing that in the first two. but, the characters in this book were together most of the time unlike in the first two books, so even when it shifts character, that story line is still continuing.

the biggest annoyance i found with this book was that i felt the characters were a bit more shallow in their expressions of personality. in the first two, they were all different in both subtle and obvious ways, but in this one, people seemed more or less the same minus their obvious differences... and they were all very introspective of their personalities yet confronted their personality issues in very odd ways. it was as if the writer no longer knew how to distinguish each character unless he made it blatantly obvious to himself. and, still, some minor character behaviors seemed to bleed into each other, what with all the women now suddenly biting their lips. seriously, that's not a thing women do, and it's not the only thing that shows the characters all starting to have similar baseline personalities with the only differences being their gender or other glaring, obvious items. this was the weakness in the wheel of time books with its females. it wasn't a major issue, but I'm just letting you know, if you found yourself constantly yearning to know more about a character in the first two, you'll probably find that feeling greatly diminished here bc of how they go about expressing each character.

still a great book that i enjoyed, and the personality issue was MINOR but when the book is otherwise amazing, that minor problem becomes a bit more stark.

  • Teckla

  • Vlad Taltos, Book 3
  • By: Steven Brust
  • Narrated by: Bernard Setaro Clark
  • Length: 7 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 432
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 382
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 385

Soon after the events of Jhereg, Vlad becomes embroiled in a struggle between the House of the Jhereg and a group of revolutionaries that his wife has joined.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Rebel Uprising

  • By Ron on 08-20-12

Good but...

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

Reviewed: 09-10-15

If you've liked the previous books, you should like this one.

This book focused on the tensions ever present and continuously causing problems within Taltos's world relating to how humans and Tekla are treated.

However, unlike the predecessors, this book didn't revolve around a master plan that had to be figured out but, rather, where Taltos felt he fit in with the world. As I had become accustomed to these puzzles, I did feel mildly let down at having no great master plan to figure out alongside Taltos, so I felt a bit more bored listening to this one.

So, 4 for stars for the story, while I continue to love the narrator. Overall, I'll give a 5 star because the book still gave excellent insight into this world, how it works, etc.

  • A Memory of Light

  • Wheel of Time, Book 14
  • By: Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson
  • Narrated by: Michael Kramer, Kate Reading
  • Length: 41 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 17,929
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 16,353
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 16,367

Since 1990, when Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time® burst on the world with its first book, The Eye of the World, listeners have been anticipating the final scenes of this extraordinary saga, which has sold over 40 million copies in over 32 languages. When Robert Jordan died in 2007, all feared that these concluding scenes would never be written. But working from notes and partials left by Jordan, established fantasy writer Brandon Sanderson stepped in to complete the masterwork.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Finally we have closure!

  • By Cliff on 08-29-13

a journey at its end?

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

Reviewed: 08-30-15

As with many things that is enjoyable, it's sad to see it end, and Brandon Sanderson did an amazing job closing the story, with excellent narration from Kramer and Reading, who have only gotten better as the story progressed.

I appreciate what was began by another, but I truly am happy that it ended with this writer. I had begun to get annoyed with the lack of character development, with how every woman, at the basic level, all acted the same. But, I did not find this here. I found the women were actually becoming their own, and I found I enjoyed learning and seeing more development of other characters of all types. I found I truly was sad to have the story end so that I could no longer follow their journey.

If you were worried that Sanderson could not bring this epic journey to a glorious close, have no fear. You will not be disappointed with these last 3 books.

  • Knife of Dreams

  • Book Eleven of The Wheel of Time
  • By: Robert Jordan
  • Narrated by: Kate Reading, Michael Kramer
  • Length: 32 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,320
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 8,072
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,108

The dead are walking, men die impossible deaths, and it seems as though reality itself has become unstable: All are signs of the imminence of Tarmon Gai'don, the Last Battle, when Rand al'Thor, the Dragon Reborn, must confront the Dark One as humanity's only hope. But Rand dares not fight until he possesses all the surviving seals on the Dark One's prison and has dealt with the Seanchan, who threaten to overrun all nations this side of the Aryth Ocean and increasingly seem too entrenched to be fought off.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Getting us there!

  • By Natasha on 10-24-05

another good installment

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

Reviewed: 07-03-15

And the story continues. I appreciate the detail that goes into describing people and places, as it allows one to form a relatively clear image of the scene in their head, and this book continues to bring such detail. I just dislike the way men and women are portrayed. I can accept the different cultures but most cultures seem to think that men are worthless and women must be protected and men are canon fodder. The only culture that doesn't are with the maidens. I also dislike how, on the basic level, all the women act the same. Sure, they have different motives, but overall, they all behave the same within the scope of their motivators.

Other than this gender issue, the story continues in excellent detail. It's interesting to see how many of the characters have grown or changed, and continue to change. Of course, this doesn't include the women. All women, I guess, were born exactly as they would be for the rest of their lives and act like each other only with different motives. So, excellent character development for the main male characters and excellent weaving of story. But this book continues to fail in the way it's predecessors have - being unable to properly capture the fact that women are as different as men.

  • Jhereg

  • Vlad Taltos, Book 1
  • By: Steven Brust
  • Narrated by: Bernard Setaro Clark
  • Length: 8 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,359
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,235
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,255

Vlad Taltos, a mobster and assassin in the magical metropolis of Adrilankha, is given the largest contract of his career, but the job is even more complicated than he expects.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Dragons, Assassins, and Intrigue

  • By Don Gilbert on 08-16-12

A nice break

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

Reviewed: 06-17-15

What made the experience of listening to Jhereg the most enjoyable?

One cannot listen to the Vlad Taltos books without appreciating the history of that world and how it plays into current events. Further, the speaker is really good at providing different voices for all the characters.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I enjoy Kragar and Loiosh - both of these characters have their own, unique form of adding humor to the story. Yet, at the same time, they both possess that ability to go from a humorous character to a more serious role as their jobs within the story develop.

Which character – as performed by Bernard Setaro Clark – was your favorite?

Still gotta go with Kragar and Loiosh. These two have very distinct voices that make them easy to identify.

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

My initial step into this world was this book and I did not intend to finish it in one sitting. However, I do realize after finishing this one that these books would make excellent road trip accompaniments. I have finished some of the later books in one sitting and had no problem doing so.

Any additional comments?

The only issue I have with this and the other books I've read in the series are the sometimes scant details describing a person or place. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, and it can keep the book short. As such, one of my favorite times to listen to a Vlad Taltos book is when I'm needing a break from a heavier, more involved book. It's a nice break.

  • Path of Daggers

  • Book Eight of The Wheel of Time
  • By: Robert Jordan
  • Narrated by: Michael Kramer, Kate Reading
  • Length: 23 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,614
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 9,947
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,944

The Seanchan invasion force is in possession of Ebou Dar. Nynaeve, Elayne, and Aviendha head for Caemlyn and Elayne's rightful throne, but on the way they discover an enemy much worse than the Seanchan. In Illian, Rand vows to throw the Seanchan back as he did once before. But signs of madness are appearing among the Asha'man.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Another stellar read!!!

  • By Chris on 03-02-13

Another good installment, but gah, the ending!

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

Reviewed: 06-04-15

Another great addition to the story. However, I hope you've got the next book ready to go, because this one ends leaving MUCH desired information unknown.

Any complaints about the book?
Only my usual complaint at all these books - the way women are portrayed. This time the book focused on how women have no control over keeping food in their mouths. I understand throwing up after a huge battle or motion sickness, but come on. Why are women throwing up during a normal conversation? I've never seen it. No matter how bad the conversation, it just doesn't happen. Yet, again, this book portrays women so... illogically. The writer has a decent grasp of men, but no idea about women.

Still, even with this complaint, it only partially detracts from the overall book.

So, if you've liked the other books, do keep reading! Just make sure you've got the next book ready to go because this ending isn't quite as tidy as the prior books in the series.

  • Yendi

  • Vlad Taltos, Book 2
  • By: Steven Brust
  • Narrated by: Bernard Setaro Clark
  • Length: 6 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 587
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 517
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 527

In which Vlad Taltos and his Jhereg learn how the love of a good woman can turn a cold-blooded killer into a real mean SOB.... Vlad tells the story of his early days in the House Jhereg, how he found himself in a Jhereg war, and how he fell in love with the wonderful woman, Yendi, who killed him.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Prequel

  • By Ron on 08-20-12

Really enjoy the speaker, just wish...

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

Reviewed: 05-31-15

The speaker is excellent at giving everyone their own voice.

I also enjoy the story. It does revolve around a good history. In addition, because the "dragon" people live so long, it's clear that the history of the world is very important. It also means plots and ploys are extremely convoluted, but that just adds to the fun of the story.

However, I find that, time and again, a person or place has been described not at all, or almost not at all. As such, I have difficulty picturing the people or locations fairly often. If a bit more detail were given to vlad's surroundings, that would make these books a lot better, I think.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful