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Amber Holcomb

  • 11
  • reviews
  • 3
  • helpful votes
  • 12
  • ratings
  • Perception

  • Perception Trilogy, Book 1
  • By: Lee Strauss, Elle Strauss
  • Narrated by: Luci Christian, Aaron Landon
  • Length: 7 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 110
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 97
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 98

Seventeen-year-old Zoe Vanderveen is a GAP - a genetically altered person. She lives in the security of a walled city on prime waterfront property alongside other equally beautiful people with extended life spans. Her brother, Liam, is missing. Noah Brody is a natural who lives on the outside. He leads protests against the GAPs and detests the widening chasm they've created between those who have and those who don't. He doesn't like girls like Zoe and he has good reason not to like her specifically. Zoe's carefree life takes a traumatic turn. She's in trouble and it turns out that Noah, the last guy on earth she should trust, is the only one who can help her.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Where are the other two audiobooks!!!

  • By Steph O. 🧐📲👍🏿🤩🤨 on 08-02-14

Suspense and Romance: Round 2

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

Reviewed: 10-01-18

I read this story as a Kindle ebook back in 2012 and enjoyed it...enough that I went for Round 2 with the audiobook format. :) Parts of Perception were memorable enough to me or left enough of an impression that they weren't shocking or surprising, despite the years between readings. But it was fun to experience the suspense and romance anew through the narrators' interpretations. A majority of the book is read by the female narrator, but the male narrator gets a decent chunk of reading time too, and I found them both likable in how they conveyed the main characters. Advanced technology, a missing person, and growing threats make this an engaging read/listen. It would be neat if the rest of the series were available as audiobooks too, as I've yet to continue beyond book 1. Still, this is enjoyable on its own, while also making a great start to what promises to be an intriguing series!

  • This Quiet Sky: A Novella

  • By: Joanne Bischof
  • Narrated by: Gail Shalan
  • Length: 3 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 33
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 30
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 31

There is nothing extraordinary about Tucker O’Shay’s dreams. Go to college. Become president. Fall in love. And pretend like he has enough time to get it all done. Sixteen-year-old Sarah Miller doesn’t expect anything out of the ordinary when she begins her first day at the one-room-school house in her new hometown of Rocky Knob. But when she meets seventeen-year-old Tucker O’Shay she finds herself swept up in a friendship that changes the way she sees the world and a love that changes her life.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Absolutely Amazing!! A Must Read!!

  • By Micaela Wood on 03-01-15

Return to This Beautiful Reminder

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

Reviewed: 09-12-18

I previously read and reviewed This Quiet Sky as an ebook, but I loved returning to this touching story as an audiobook. The narrator captures the style and gentleness of the author's writing, and I enjoyed her portrayal of sweet, shy Sarah and teasing, brave Tucker. It's been long enough since my first reading (several years ago) that parts of the experience felt new or like a rediscovery, especially that ending... Hearing the reminders read aloud about perspective and real, eternal hope left an impact. This little story makes a powerful listening journey, a bittersweet presentation of pain and true joy.

*With thanks to the author for providing me with a complimentary audiobook download. This review is my honest opinion.*

  • My Plain Jane

  • By: Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows
  • Narrated by: Fiona Hardingham
  • Length: 10 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 216
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 206
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 205

You may think you know the story. Penniless orphan Jane Eyre begins a new life as a governess at Thornfield Hall, where she meets one dark, brooding Mr. Rochester - and, listener, she marries him. Or does she? Prepare for an adventure of Gothic proportions in this standalone follow-up to My Lady Jane, which was called “an utter delight” (ALA Booklist, starred review), and “an uproarious historical fantasy that’s not to be missed” (Publishers Weekly, starred review).

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Delightful Sequel!

  • By Kaleigh on 07-01-18

A Strange Story Made Stranger...and More Fun!

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

Reviewed: 08-28-18

I became acquainted with Jane Eyre (the book and the 2011 movie adaptation) in college, and I enjoyed it...even though Mr. Rochester is the kind of "hero" to get on one's last nerves! It's a compelling and eerily fascinating story.

This retake combines a bit of history (and a lot of absurdity) with scenarios from the famous novel. It's an odd story full of ghosts and misadventures. Despite the danger and deception, this is definitely a lighter retelling with humorous commentary and humorous performances from the narrator.

The narrator does a great job of giving the characters their own personalities and bringing them to (larger than) life. I quite enjoyed the accents for Branwell and Charlotte, and I found this a very fun audiobook to listen to, just like the first title in this series of "Jane" stories.

If you're looking for a wacky approach to a classic that adds some surprises to an already surprising plot, My Plain Jane has you covered! There's not much depth, but there is a hint of romantic sweetness along with the crazy adventure. Perhaps not a favorite for me, but still fun! (And it made me eager to re-watch Jane Eyre.)

  • My Lady Jane

  • By: Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows
  • Narrated by: Katherine Kellgren
  • Length: 13 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 965
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 907
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 899

At 16, Lady Jane Grey is about to be married off to a stranger and caught up in a conspiracy to rob her cousin, King Edward, of his throne. But those trifling problems aren't for Jane to worry about. Jane gets to be queen of England. Like that could go wrong.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Hysterical Alternate History

  • By JGillSt on 06-17-16

Very Entertaining Retake on History

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

Reviewed: 08-14-18

What a fun cast of characters and a crazy spin on history! This audio book is so entertaining and hilarious. The narrator gives an over-the-top but overall quite enjoyable performance. Between her unique accents and personality-filled deliveries, I had a blast listening to this.

While he doesn't give the greatest impression at first, I fell in love with G and his relationship with his bookish lady. Too cute!

The antics and adventures in this story are definitely wild, and there is one transition that felt a little too abrupt and unexplained to me. I also would have liked a bit more glimpse of the bigger picture for the main characters at the end, a view of their new goals and purposes in light of all that happens and how things began and ended.

Still, this was so much fun and sweetly romantic, and I'm eager to experience more clever storytelling in this series!

  • A Tale of Beauty and Beast

  • Beyond the Four Kingdoms series, Book 2
  • By: Melanie Cellier
  • Narrated by: Esther Wane
  • Length: 8 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18

Princess Sophia has helped her twin sister Lily save the duchy of Marin. But now Sophie faces an even greater threat when she sets out to free the cursed kingdom of Palinar from its beastly prince. Alone, and with danger on every side, Sophie must navigate a magical castle and its even more mysterious master to discover the secret to breaking the curse. Except the more time she spends with Prince Dominic, the more she starts to question who exactly she's supposed to be saving. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Classic Fairy-Tale Fun

  • By Amber Holcomb on 07-30-18

Classic Fairy-Tale Fun

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

Reviewed: 07-30-18

I was so excited to snatch up this audiobook after finishing the first book in the series, A Dance of Silver and Shadow. And A Tale of Beauty and Beast was another enjoyable listen overall! I like Sophie's character and the unique personalities of the secondary characters she encounters on her quest. I confess the story didn't feel quite as original as the first book; it has a lot of the classic elements of the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale and doesn't change it up as much as I might like, especially with the enchanted castle setting. And while I love how the narrator portrays most of the characters (her voice is generally quite pleasant to listen to, and she has some great accents!), I don't think her portrayal of Prince Dominic's deep voice worked for me. It felt a bit...much. However, I'm still a fan of this author and narrator, and I'd love to see more books in this series or the previous one turned into audiobooks! (Also, the ending of this story was definitely exciting, and I was happy with the conclusion!)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • A Dance of Silver and Shadow

  • Beyond the Four Kingdoms Series, Book 1
  • By: Melanie Cellier
  • Narrated by: Esther Wane
  • Length: 10 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 26
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23

When Princess Liliana and her twin sister set sail for new lands, Lily hopes to find adventure and romance. But the people of Marin live under the shadow of a curse-one powerful enough to destroy entire kingdoms. To protect them all, Lily and 11 other princesses are forced to participate in a mysterious and secret tournament. Lily spends her nights competing in a magical underground realm and her days unraveling the dangers of this new court. Although she needs the help of the Marinese prince, Lily knows she can't let herself grow too close to him.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Strong Heroines, Intriguing Competition

  • By Amber Holcomb on 07-18-18

Strong Heroines, Intriguing Competition

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

Reviewed: 07-18-18

This is my first experience with a Melanie Cellier story, but even coming to her work fresh, I loved the portrayals of the kingdoms beyond the realm of her first series. It was fun to picture the story world, to see hints at different fairy tales in the other royals, and to "watch" Lily and her twin sister, Sophie, face the completely unexpected (with no way around it) Princess Tourney. The "always something about to happen" plot helped make this a fascinating listen, and I really enjoyed the narrator's voice/accent. I confess her portrayal of Lily is interesting...coming across as a bit bored or harsh in some ways, perhaps, with the deeper, firmer voice? But it definitely made her character distinct compared to the gentler portrayal of Sophie and some of the other girls, and it didn't keep me from anticipating my time listening to the story. The romance was really sweet and light, with the plight of the princesses taking center stage. I found this to be a clever audiobook about an intriguing competition, and once I was finished, I was super eager to get the second audiobook, A Tale of Beauty and Beast (performed by the same narrator)!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Echo in Time

  • Erasing Time
  • By: C. J. Hill
  • Narrated by: Alexander Doddy
  • Length: 8 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9

Taylor and an ally, Joseph, are selected to go on a mission to destroy the time machine and weapon. But their actions before they do may have major consequences for the future and the past. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Even better than the first

  • By Kindle Customer on 05-14-18

Entertaining Story about Difficult Choices

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

Reviewed: 07-02-18

I confess I knowingly came to this story unprepared, as I haven't read (or listened to) Erasing Time, which is the first book in the series. That did make it a little trickier for me to get invested right away...added to the fact that the narration initially feels a little too casual for a dramatic story like this one.

However, both the story and the narration won me over in time. :) (Reference to the audiobook's title intended!)

I've read several books by Janette Rallison (AKA C.J. Hill), and I'm a big fan of her My Fair Godmother series. While this particular book didn't end up being a favorite, I found it enjoyable and engaging once I became more familiar with the main characters and once the plot really took off with a mission to make things right...which led to a lot of things going quite wrong.

I really appreciate the fact that this story offered some surprises for me (which might have been partly due to me being unfamiliar with book one, but I bet those who are familiar with the series appreciate knowing what happens to the characters after Erasing Time). It's interesting to see how Taylor, Sheridan, and the team adapt to unexpected twists and consequences. When you mess with the time stream, all sorts of mayhem can ensue!

As for the narration, it came across a little flippant and perhaps disengaged at times...but I'm not sure if that might simply be a result of how I heard the narrator's main accent. Ultimately, though, different characters stand out in the voices he performs, and I was impressed with the range of accents and tones the narrator could pull off!

While it wasn't always easy visualizing what was happening, especially at the beginning (being unfamiliar with book one), the story and its characters pulled me in as they faced a range of challenges and discovered love in the midst of danger and change. This is an entertaining futuristic story about the difficult choices that come with power, intelligence, and unalterable circumstances.

*With thanks to the author for providing me with a complimentary audiobook download. This review is my honest opinion.*

  • Daughter of the Pirate King

  • By: Tricia Levenseller
  • Narrated by: Marisa Calin
  • Length: 7 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 569
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 535
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 535

Sent on a mission to retrieve an ancient hidden map - the key to a legendary treasure trove - 17-year-old pirate captain Alosa deliberately allows herself to be captured by her enemies, giving her the perfect opportunity to search their ship. More than a match for the ruthless pirate crew, Alosa has only one thing standing between her and the map: her captor, the unexpectedly clever and unfairly attractive first mate Riden. But not to worry, for Alosa has a few tricks up her sleeve, and no lone pirate can stop the Daughter of the Pirate King.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • WOW!

  • By pet names on 09-17-17

One Sassy and Determined Pirate

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

Reviewed: 05-15-18

Narrator Marisa Calin truly captures the voice of Alosa, a spunky pirate captain with a legendary heritage and a stop-at-nothing determination to find a treasure map for her father. There are a few serious conversations and moments of family bonds and sacrifice, but mostly this story is just a fun and wild pirate adventure focused on Alosa's cleverness. "How will she get out of her cell this time?" "Will she really be able to keep her secret?" "Where will she search for the map next?" Most of the plot takes place at sea, and the story ends with the promise of more excitement and adventure.

I enjoyed following Alosa's journey and listening to her witty banter with her captors. I felt like the narrator was spot-on with Alosa, conveying her emotions, frustrations, and sass. It was fun hearing the narrator's interpretation of some of the other pirates too...although the crew of Alosa's captors seem rather older in their portrayal than the captain and his brother, while my understanding was that they were all supposed to be young. Maybe it was just the accents the narrator gave them. :)

Regarding the content, there's definitely some pirate violence: gratuitous killings, torture, bloody injuries, and threats. The sexual content doesn't go too far, but there is vague talk of sexual experience, along with some romantic tension/lust, kissing, and mention of nudity.

If you're a big fan of Pirates of the Caribbean, this might be up your alley! There aren't a whole lot of inspirational takeaways, but it's an entertaining listening experience. I'm not sure if I want to continue with the next book, although the ending of this one certainly sets the stage for an epic pirate quest!

  • To All the Boys I've Loved Before

  • By: Jenny Han
  • Narrated by: Laura Knight Keating
  • Length: 8 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,233
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,963
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,958

Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control in this heartfelt novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Summer I Turned Pretty series. What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them…all at once?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A YA for Rom-Com fans

  • By The Reading Date on 07-02-14

Authentic Narration and Young Adult Drama

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

Reviewed: 04-25-18

Would you listen to To All the Boys I've Loved Before again? Why?

Maybe sometime! I enjoyed getting to know Lara Jean, her sisters, her dad, and (mostly) the boys she's loved before (and could possibly love again) through Laura Knight Keatings' narration. :)

What did you like best about this story?

The love between the three sisters and their dad, and the way one of Lara Jean's crushes is so warmly accepted by her younger sister and dad. The family interactions are sweet and real, including the drama and teasing that sometimes arise.

Which scene was your favorite?

There are different scenes that stand out in my mind for different reasons. The outing to the estate sale is cute and romantic. And I could totally relate to the scene where Lara Jean and Kitty are driving to and from the grocery store, and Lara Jean is driving crazy slow because she's so nervous! I was definitely scared about driving for a long time and could identify with Lara Jean's thoughts about the dangers of cars and how nice it is to be behind another slow driver sometimes. Also, the scene where a group of the characters are trying to decide on which Christmas cookies to bake is another cute one!

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

No, it's a little too long for that. ;) Plus, the teenage drama can get a bit annoying! But I did mostly enjoy returning to the audiobook and hearing what would happen next.

Any additional comments?

There is language and innuendo in the book...and (as previously noted) a lot of teenage drama. I'm not sure if I would have stuck with it in a different format (like paperback or ebook). Maybe! But I really think the narrator helped a lot. She conveyed the ages and emotions of the characters so well, and even though that meant listening to some whining and the like, I enjoyed getting to know the characters and their distinct personalities in this way. I think her interpretation of the guys' voices grew on me a bit, although it's her interpretation of the three sisters' voices that really shines.

  • My Own Mr. Darcy

  • By: Karey White
  • Narrated by: Heidi Baker
  • Length: 7 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 147
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 138
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 138

After being dragged to the 2005 movie Pride and Prejudice by her mother, sixteen-year-old Elizabeth's life changes when Matthew Macfadyen's Mr. Darcy appears on the screen. Lizzie falls hard and makes a promise to herself that she will settle for nothing less than her own Mr. Darcy. This ill-advised pledge threatens to ruin any chance of finding true love. During the six intervening years, she has refused to give any interested suitors a chance. They weren't Mr. Darcy enough....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • So Much Fun

  • By Kareeleemo on 12-01-13

A Cute and Charming Contemporary Romance

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

Reviewed: 03-30-18

Would you listen to My Own Mr. Darcy again? Why?

Possibly! The narrator did a great job; her voice is sweet and enjoyable to listen to. The story is what you'd want and expect from a clean contemporary romance, with some drama and angst, an interesting love triangle, and some great characters and scenes. One thing I love about the books I've read by Karey White is the places she chooses to feature and how she describes them. It's like taking a tour while having a fun story unfold around you.

What was one of the most memorable moments of My Own Mr. Darcy?

I really liked hearing Elizabeth in her element as she made choices and worked hard on a dream job, especially with the help of a sweet guy. (I'll avoid giving away the details and context of those scenes!) But there were other memorable moments too, from a first meeting to a hiking date to a friend's celebration.

Which character – as performed by Heidi Baker – was your favorite?

I think I liked Elizabeth best, because Heidi really seems to capture her voice and personality. It's like listening to a friend. But I think she did a great job with the guys too!

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

It was heartwarming when Elizabeth came to some realizations at a wedding!