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PreRaphaelite

  • 17
  • reviews
  • 14
  • helpful votes
  • 28
  • ratings
  • The Poppy War

  • A Novel
  • By: R. F. Kuang
  • Narrated by: Emily Woo Zeller
  • Length: 18 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 531
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 496
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 496

When Rin aced the Keju - the Empire-wide test to find the most talented youth to learn at the Academies - it was a shock to everyone: to the test officials, who couldn’t believe a war orphan from Rooster Province could pass without cheating; to Rin’s guardians, who believed they’d finally be able to marry her off and further their criminal enterprise; and to Rin herself, who realized she was finally free of the servitude and despair that had made up her daily existence. That she got into Sinegard - the most elite military school in Nikan - was even more surprising.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wow. Just... wow.

  • By superstardrifter on 07-01-18

Stunning!

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

Reviewed: 11-28-18

Loved this book and was sorry to come to the end...but very happy more books await. An incredibly detailed and vivid retelling of historical events from another era, with some inventive twists. Some people warned me against taking on the book because of its length and violence. I hardly noticed the length because the characters and story were so engaging. As for the violence, it seems some modern approaches of eliminating violence -- especially violence against women -- seem to dishonor the struggle of real women in the past who endured violence. If we whitewash it, we risk repeating it because the edited version of the past will no longer serve as a warning. That said, Kuang's telling of historically violent events rings true for the women and men who suffered atrocities. It did not put me off the book and helped explain part of the heroine's motivations.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • A Gentleman in Moscow

  • A Novel
  • By: Amor Towles
  • Narrated by: Nicholas Guy Smith
  • Length: 17 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21,588
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 20,010
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19,937

A Gentleman in Moscow immerses us in an elegantly drawn era with the story of Count Alexander Rostov. When, in 1922, he is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, the count is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life and must now live in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history are unfolding outside the hotel's doors.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant, heartfelt, inspiring

  • By Jon K. Rust on 07-24-17

Exquisite

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

Reviewed: 11-28-18

Simply exquisite! Loved the story and the narration, both top-notch. It's an atmospheric survey of the expansiveness of the life of a man confined to a relatively small space. Through books, friendships, and observed human interactions, his world is vast and colorful. The author's command of language is something savor, as is the nuanced narration.

  • Medusa Uploaded

  • A Novel
  • By: Emily Devenport
  • Narrated by: Caitlin Davies
  • Length: 12 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 75
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 73
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 72

A generation starship can hide many secrets. When an Executive clan suspects Oichi of insurgency and discreetly shoves her out an airlock, one of those secrets finds and rescues her. Officially dead, Oichi begins to rebalance power one assassination at a time and uncovers the shocking truth behind the generation starship and the Executive clans. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Clever and cool

  • By PreRaphaelite on 10-04-18

Clever and cool

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

Reviewed: 10-04-18

What a trip! Kudos to Emily Devenport for creating a complex world, complete with political intrigue and excellent classical music and theatre references, and Oichi, a plucky heroine brave enough to delve into its labyrinthine structure. The twists were fun, and Oichi could give any hero or heroine a run for his/her money with her audacious adventures. Looking forward to the next book!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Book of the Unnamed Midwife

  • The Road to Nowhere, Book 1
  • By: Meg Elison
  • Narrated by: Angela Dawe
  • Length: 9 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,903
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,766
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,772

When she fell asleep, the world was doomed. When she awoke, it was dead. In the wake of a fever that decimated the earth's population - killing women and children and making childbirth deadly for the mother and infant - the midwife must pick her way through the bones of the world she once knew to find her place in this dangerous new one. Gone are the pillars of civilization. All that remains is power - and the strong who possess it.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • "Equals" = "Annoying"

  • By Lulu on 12-26-16

Bleak but beautiful

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

Reviewed: 10-04-18

The story is bleak and more than a little depressing, but its haunting qualities stayed with me long after I finished listening to the book. While the story wandered a bit as it found its pace, once it did, I was eager to listen in every spare moment, to see what would happen next. The narrator did a great job capturing the main character and her grit and resourcefulness.

  • Extinct

  • Extracted, Book 3
  • By: R. R. Haywood
  • Narrated by: Carl Prekopp
  • Length: 12 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 784
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 733
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 730

The end of the world has been avoided - for now. With Miri and her team of extracted heroes still on the run, Mother, the disgraced former head of the British Secret Service, has other ideas.... While Mother retreats to her bunker to plot her next move, Miri, Ben, Safa and Harry travel far into the future to ensure that they have prevented the apocalypse. But what they find just doesn't make sense. London in 2111 is on the brink of annihilation.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • My Favorite Time-Travel Story

  • By Mike Pluta on 05-19-18

Superb conclusion to one of my favorite series!

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

Reviewed: 07-22-18

The Extracted Trilogy has it all: heart-pounding action, terrific friendships, political intrigue, history, and humor. I was sad to finish the third book, the end of this wildly inventive series. The narrator, Carl Prekopp, captures the different characters and their personalities, and enhances the experience of the books. Kudos all around!

  • The Last Days of Magic

  • A Novel
  • By: Mark Tompkins
  • Narrated by: Sile Bermingham
  • Length: 14 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 188
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 181
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 180

Aisling, a goddess in human form, was born to rule both domains and - with her twin, Anya - unite the Celts with the powerful faeries of the Middle Kingdom. But within medieval Ireland, interests are divided, and far from its shores greater forces are mustering. Both England and Rome have a stake in driving magic from the Emerald Isle. Jordan, the Vatican commander tasked with vanquishing the remnants of otherworldly creatures from a disenchanted Europe, has built a career on such plots.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great fun

  • By Tom Bernard on 04-29-16

Love the story, execution fell short

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

Reviewed: 06-18-18

What a fun story. Excellent. I love it. Wish I could give it 5 stars. But sometimes the author talked about characters in a narrative that was a tell-don't show Wikipedia entry, as in this happened, then this, then this. It felt a little clinical. The author excelled when he developed the characters and made them real people you could root for. As the story began to wind down, it seems he used more narrative than character development to wrap up events, and it made the fates of those characters less compelling than if more time (and words) would have been devoted to conveying their stories.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Library at Mount Char

  • By: Scott Hawkins
  • Narrated by: Hillary Huber
  • Length: 16 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,080
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 987
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 991

Carolyn's not so different from the other human beings around her. After all, she was a normal American herself once. That was a long time ago, of course - before the time she calls "adoption day", when she and a dozen other children found themselves being raised by a man they learned to call Father.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Masterful and Thought Provoking

  • By D. Marie on 12-04-15

Blood-soaked, brutal and brilliant

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

Reviewed: 04-20-18

On the one hand, the violence led me to put the book down, but the inventive story led me to pick it up again to see what happened next. It is a brutal, vivid tale that takes you to multiple unexpected places. Clever and witty as it twists in on itself.

  • The Starchild Compact

  • Starchild Series, Book 2
  • By: Robert G. Williscroft
  • Narrated by: Trenton Bennett
  • Length: 14 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 5
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 5
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 5

Jon Stock takes his international exploration team to Saturn's moon, Iapetus, which Earth scientists have determined may be an artifact. Following launch, they discover Saeed Ismail, a Jihadist stowaway, who hopes to sabotage the mission. They arrive at Iapetus, determine it is a derelict starship, and eventually meet with the Founders, descendants of the starship builders. Their revelations impact the entire Solar System with momentous implications.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great story, clever look at the future -- and past

  • By PreRaphaelite on 03-11-18

Great story, clever look at the future -- and past

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

Reviewed: 03-11-18

Thoroughly engaging story about a manned expedition to explore the Saturn moon Iapetus. You have to admit the gas giant's moon captures the imagination, with its passing resemblance to the Death Star and its unusual hexagonal shapes on the surface -- not to mention a seam-like equator. This is setting for Williscroft's enjoyable read, complete with intriguing hard science fiction aspects.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Slingshot

  • The Starchild Series, Book 1
  • By: Robert G. Williscroft
  • Narrated by: Trenton Bennett
  • Length: 13 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 11
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 11
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 11

Slingshot is a love story - about a man, a woman, another man, another woman, some gender bending...and a machine, the largest ever built. It is an adventure - about following a dream, the ocean-deep, outer space. Slingshot is about constructing the first space launch-loop, stretching 2,000 km between Baker and Jarvis Islands in the Equatorial Pacific. It's about high finance, intrigue, unlimited ambition, heroism, fanaticism, betrayal...and about opening space to the common person.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Apparently yet another series begins...

  • By Matthew on 03-16-17

Great story

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

Reviewed: 02-16-18

Very engaging story of a believable future vision. The action was interesting, and he did a great job describing the events and their sequence. Reading about the setting made for a mini vacation, with the sun and sea. Good suspense! It would be nice to see something like this come to life! Likable characters, including the dolphins. Loved that he has woman characters in senior positions. However, their characters were undermined by calling each other "girl" and hugging and kissing strangers, which usually doesn't happen in professional settings. Looking forward to the next book in the series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Lilac Girls

  • A Novel
  • By: Martha Hall Kelly
  • Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell, Kathleen Gati, Kathrin Kana, and others
  • Length: 17 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14,719
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13,456
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13,422

New York socialite Caroline Ferriday has her hands full with her post at the French consulate and a new love on the horizon. But Caroline's world is forever changed when Hitler's army invades Poland in September 1939 - and then sets its sights on France. An ocean away from Caroline, Kasia Kuzmerick, a Polish teenager, senses her carefree youth disappearing as she is drawn deeper into her role as courier for the underground resistance movement.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The cover is a bit misleading, but...

  • By Joy Easton on 05-18-16

I don't usually cry when listening to a book...

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

Reviewed: 11-22-17

Lilac Girls is heart wrenching, devastating, and hopeful. Martha Hall Kelly has given us a marvelous gift by honoring these women with her telling of the story. I feel richer for having learned about Caroline, Kasia, and the Rabbits, and the sobering Herta.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful