LISTENER

J.S. Ramiro

Leiria, PT
  • 14
  • reviews
  • 37
  • helpful votes
  • 43
  • ratings
  • Smoke and Mirrors

  • Short Fictions and Illusions
  • By: Neil Gaiman
  • Narrated by: Neil Gaiman
  • Length: 10 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,298
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,204
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,201

In Smoke and Mirrors, Gaiman's imagination and supreme artistry transform a mundane world into a place of terrible wonders - where an old woman can purchase the Holy Grail at a thrift store, where assassins advertise their services in the Yellow Pages under "Pest Control," and where a frightened young boy must barter for his life with a mean-spirited troll living beneath a bridge by the railroad tracks.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • almost perfect

  • By Jorge I. Figueroa on 12-10-14

Underwhelming and Disappointing

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

Reviewed: 02-03-17

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Hard to say. This is a collection of different stories that go from really innocent to incredibly obscene. I might recommend it solely for the final story—a reimagining of Snow White, told from the "Evil Queen"'s perspective.

What was most disappointing about Neil Gaiman’s story?

I love Neil Gaiman's work most of the time—I love Trigger Warning, his other book of short stories—but this was... bad. The most disappointing part was his inability to write sex; I don't believe I've ever read/heard such unappealing descriptions of sex (even in their awkward contexts). The stories without terribly written sex were simply devoid of the usual magic and wonder you'd expect from Gaiman. This isn't completely atrocious, and I understand how someone else might like it precisely for the reasons why I don't but, to me, it's bad.

Which scene was your favorite?

The ending of the final story.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • 14

  • By: Peter Clines
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Length: 12 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 40,522
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 37,550
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 37,552

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
  • Not for me...

  • By Kristin on 08-30-12

Mysterious, Fun, and Creepy!

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

Reviewed: 07-31-16

Would you listen to 14 again? Why?

Oh, I will. Because it's such a good book!I was so sure of everything. I knew exactly what was going on. And then the mystery was revealed, we got into room 14, and it turned out I was COMPLETELY wrong. It was amazing (and I hate being wrong so make of that what you will). It was so much better than what I imagined!

What was one of the most memorable moments of 14?

Probably the first time the levels shift from zero but there are many others.

Which scene was your favorite?

There is a message in the story, written in Old Slavic, that is later translated in the story. It sent a shiver down my spine.

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

I can, with all certainty, say that this was the first book that made me shiver. I had to stop listening, and take a break because... I was fangirling, okay? I couldn't hold all my feels. I think I woke up my neighbours.

Any additional comments?

Don't do the same thing I did and ignore 14 for months (hell, I even removed it from my wish list at one point). Get it. Get it now.
If you like H. P. Lovecraft, The Twilight Zone, and The Father of Modern Technology, you will not be disappointed.

0 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • An Ember in the Ashes

  • By: Sabaa Tahir
  • Narrated by: Fiona Hardingham, Steve West
  • Length: 15 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,638
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,293
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,277

Laia is a Scholar living under the iron-fisted rule of the Martial Empire. When her brother is arrested for treason, Laia goes undercover as a slave at the empire's greatest military academy in exchange for assistance from rebel Scholars who claim that they will help to save her brother from execution.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A fabulous listen!

  • By Amazon Customer on 06-01-15

Great Characters Save An Average Plot

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

Reviewed: 07-19-16

Where does An Ember in the Ashes rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It is definitely up there with the best but it's not an ultimate favourite.

What was one of the most memorable moments of An Ember in the Ashes?

Without spoiling much, it was near the end, and it involved a bit of fire.

Which character – as performed by Fiona Hardingham and Steve West – was your favorite?

If I'm to be honest, the narrators were nothing special. Fiona Hardingham sounds as if she's on the verge of tears at all times, and Steve West, while good, was a bit unremarkable. Where she was too emotional, he wasn't emotional enough (or, perhaps, he was but the contrast was too great, and I'm judging him unfairly).
Anyway, onto the actual question. I liked Hardingham's interpretation of Keenan, and West's Keris Veturia (the Commandant).

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

Not at first; so much so that I stopped listening for days but, once I picked it up again, it gripped my attention, and I finished it all in one sitting.

Any additional comments?

I didn't think the book was particularly special plot wise but the characters are complex (even if infuriatingly naive, at times) and it's worth it for the relationships. I was especially fascinated by Helene in the last scene of the book.
If it feels like the book's a bit boring in the beginning, give it a couple more hours, and it might win you over, as it did me.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane

  • A Novel
  • By: Neil Gaiman
  • Narrated by: Neil Gaiman
  • Length: 5 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17,856
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16,546
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16,523

A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. He is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock. Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie - magical, comforting, wise beyond her years - promised to protect him, no matter what.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Gaiman delivers an intimate masterpiece

  • By Talia on 08-07-13

Heartbreaking and Magical!

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

Reviewed: 05-31-16

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

Yes. Gaiman doesn't just write beautifully, he reads just as well, and the story itself, though short, is one that will stick with you after it ends.

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

I have, and the quality of his reading is consistently good. He does the voices perfectly, and he conveys emotion with every word.

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

I listened to it all in one sitting (way past my bedtime), and it's short, so...

Any additional comments?

Ocean at the End of the Lane will tug at your heartstrings, and it will make you wonder if maybe, just maybe, you too have met the Hempstocks.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Aeronaut's Windlass

  • The Cinder Spires, Book 1
  • By: Jim Butcher
  • Narrated by: Euan Morton
  • Length: 21 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14,331
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13,449
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13,441

Since time immemorial the Spires have sheltered humanity, towering for miles over the mist-shrouded surface of the world. Within their halls aristocratic houses have ruled for generations, developing scientific marvels, fostering trade alliances, and building fleets of airships to keep the peace. Captain Grimm commands the merchant ship Predator. Fiercely loyal to Spire Albion, he has taken their side in the cold war with Spire Aurora, disrupting the enemy's shipping lines by attacking their cargo vessels.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A Brave New World

  • By Don Gilbert on 10-02-15

Perfectly Average

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

Reviewed: 05-27-16

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

No. I make a habit of only recommending fantastic books, and this is not a fantastic book.

Would you ever listen to anything by Jim Butcher again?

He isn't a bad writer - I've read his Dresden Files series is quite good - so, I might try another of his books, just none from this particular series.

What three words best describe Euan Morton’s voice?

Deep. Versatile. Melodramatic (just a little).

Could you see The Aeronaut's Windlass being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

I can see that but I'm not invested enough to fangirl about it. I know I wouldn't watch it, either.

Any additional comments?

This is a perfectly average book; not bad but not great, either. For those of us who expect more substance and complexity, it is a one time listen. At least, it is not infuriatingly bad, as most of the stuff I see around.
It took me about two months to finish this, though. Make of that what you will.

  • Ink Mage

  • A Fire Beneath the Skin, Book 1
  • By: Victor Gischler
  • Narrated by: Fiona Hardingham
  • Length: 11 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,197
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,016
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,024

In the first installment of the A Fire Beneath the Skin trilogy, the city of Klaar has never fallen. No enemy has ever made it across the Long Bridge or penetrated the city's mighty walls. Even when a powerful invading army shows up at the gates, the duke and his daughter, Rina Veraiin, are certain that it poses little threat. But they are cruelly betrayed from within and, in a horrific spasm of violence, the city is brought to its knees.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Good Chars, Weak Story

  • By Jenny on 01-12-16

Pleasantly Average.

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

Reviewed: 03-20-16

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

No. Though it is a nice little read (or listen) it isn't good enough for me to recommend - unless someone is looking for a nice simple plot.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

It was too sudden, and unclear. Clearly a planned open ending but it could have been more polished.

Which character – as performed by Fiona Hardingham – was your favorite?

I'm afraid I cannot spell his name but it was Rina's snobbish friend; she voiced him perfectly. I love that comfort seeking bastard.

Do you think Ink Mage needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

It definitely does, so much so that it actually has, and I'll definitely pick up the following books.

Any additional comments?

The Ink Mage may not have a mind-blowing story but it never allows itself to be boring. The author keeps the plot moving, and just interesting enough to make you keep listening. It is simple but pleasant.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Passage

  • A Novel (Book One of The Passage Trilogy)
  • By: Justin Cronin
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick, Adenrele Ojo, Abby Craden
  • Length: 36 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17,612
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13,218
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13,198

First, the unthinkable: a security breach at a secret U.S. government facility unleashes the monstrous product of a chilling military experiment. Then, the unspeakable: a night of chaos and carnage gives way to sunrise on a nation, and ultimately a world, forever altered. All that remains for the stunned survivors is the long fight ahead and a future ruled by fear—of darkness, of death, of a fate far worse.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • A new type of vampire

  • By Randall on 06-29-18

Why? Just... why?

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

Reviewed: 03-17-16

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

Cutting all the unnecessary words and repeated sentences, reducing the number of POVs, and having an actual plot. Basically, a good rewrite.

Has The Passage turned you off from other books in this genre?

One book is not enough to turn me off a whole genre. Hopefully, it will not be held as a standard of quality for future books of the same genre.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

At this point, I am so mad at this book and the time it stole from me that I think I might be taking it out a bit on the narrator. He wasn't bad... but he wasn't great either.

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

Boredom. Incredible and exhausting boredom. And disappointment.

Any additional comments?

This is not a good book.
To quote from my Goodreads review "There's an exhausting dose of melodrama, a miracle child together with it's ever present religious propaganda, and about three near death situations that will not have you on the edge of your seat." And why don't they have you on the edge of your seat? Because the characters are always saved by people or situations that just come out of nowhere, and make no sense, a phenomenon also known as the deus ex machina.

16 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Ties That Bind

  • The Veil Series Book 5
  • By: Pippa DaCosta
  • Narrated by: Hollie Jackson
  • Length: 9 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 229
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 208
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 205

The veil fell. Demons are here. Muse knows she can stop the slaughter, but to do so, she must return to the battle-scarred streets of Boston and face the cold, hard, truth. Her old life is ashes. Her love, turned to dust. But all is not lost; a spark of hope remains. A spark from which an inferno can blaze.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Closing the Veil

  • By Angela on 01-31-16

Good But Not Great

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

Reviewed: 01-26-16

Where does Ties That Bind rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Given the limited number of audiobooks I've listened to so far, this one is definitely above average. But it is the weakest of the series.

What about Hollie Jackson’s performance did you like?

She's very good at voicing Muse's witty persona. Although, there were a few times when she made me cringe, as she voiced Dawn - she overdid it.

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

There is a scene where Muse needs to use her Lust on Stefan, and drive him momentarily insane (and this is nowhere near as sexy as it sounds, believe me). That scene almost broke me.

Any additional comments?

As the final book in such a fantastic series, I expected better. Perhaps, I didn't feel some of the main emotional tugs because they were about Akil, and I don't really care about Akil.
All in all, the book was still satisfying (even if a bit repetitive, towards the end), and the series has earned a place in my small list of favourites.
Also, though she can be irritatingly emotional and unreasonable at times, Muse is a badass.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Drowning in the Dark

  • The Veil Series, Book 4
  • By: Pippa DaCosta
  • Narrated by: Hollie Jackson
  • Length: 8 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 230
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 203
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 203

As the veil begins to fall and the demons bleed through onto the streets of Boston, Muse knows the battle is lost before it's even begun. To make matters worse, Adam and the Institute have captured Akil at a time when the city has never needed him more. Muse believes Akil's incarceration is a ruse, because if he truly is at the mercy of the Institute, she must choose which side she'll fight for. Human or demon?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great Book #4

  • By Lynnz on 07-25-16

Painfully Good!

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

Reviewed: 01-25-16

If you could sum up Drowning in the Dark in three words, what would they be?

Ice-cream. Heartbreak. Devastation.

What did you like best about this story?

The characters, without a doubt. They are so well crafted they feel like real people. Every single one of them has redeeming qualities, and none are painted exclusively in black or white. They do what they must, for reasons that are perfectly justifiable from their points of view, and they fail. Don't get me wrong, there are some hard earned victories but it is so well constructed that you will never be completely sure of who'll walk out of a battle alive, who will die, and who will get out of it with a fate worse than death.

Which scene was your favorite?

I can't tell (because it would spoil it) but it is the first scene involving ice-cream (and there is a lot of ice-cream in this book).

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

Yes! I wish I could have.

Any additional comments?

This series keeps getting better. Even when I thought it would disappoint me at a specific scene, it turned things around, and gripped my attention right back with newfound glee.
The book ended in such way that left me half-desperate for the next (and last) one, and I can almost taste its greatness.

  • The Veil Series (Books 1-3): A Muse Urban Fantasy

  • By: Pippa DaCosta
  • Narrated by: Hollie Jackson
  • Length: 28 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 343
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 308
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 306

Get the first three audiobooks in the Veil Series and discover the urban fantasy story fans describe as mesmerizing and epic!

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • FILES UPDATED! (11/6/15)

  • By Narratrix on 11-06-15

So Good I Can't Even!

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

Reviewed: 01-24-16

Would you listen to The Veil Series (Books 1-3): A Muse Urban Fantasy again? Why?

Why, yes - yes I would.
Because it's so good! It's so good I want to cry!
I cannot say the plot is groundbreaking - it is not - but the characters are so complex; layered and complicated... When Muse is facing an enemy or a situation that she wouldn't believably overcome, the author doesn't pull a Deux-Ex Machina to save the day. Oh, no. Muse fails, a lot, and with each new fail my frozen heart was crushed to a point that had me weeping, and I do not weep. Ever. But the truth is the truth, and Pippa DaCosta has no mercy.
Jokes aside, this is an author who isn't afraid to throw her characters into difficulties, and watch them struggle, crack, fail, and try with all they have. This is how a good writer writes, and lately, I haven't seen much of that, anywhere.
I will gladly listen to this again, and again.

Which character – as performed by Hollie Jackson – was your favorite?

The main character - Muse. She is just so incredibly witty, and emotionally expressive! All other characters were well performed but Hollie Jackson utterly succeeded with Muse.

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

Extreme reactions... Don't talk to me about this book and extreme reactions - it is an emotional torture device! I might love it.

Any additional comments?

In a world suffocated by series with mediocre characters, and plots that are stretched so thin they make one wonder if there is a plot at all, The Veil Series is a luff of fresh air. It is dark, gritty, sensual, carefully constructed, and properly split; tackling a new subject with each book while building up its main plot.
If you like character-driven stories, you will, almost certainly, like this.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful