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  • reviews
  • 11
  • helpful votes
  • 92
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  • 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 417
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 392
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 392

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. Wow.

  • By JadeBrieanne on 08-02-18

Interesting world, main character drives me crazy

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

Reviewed: 06-26-18

I love the world, the history, the culture, the system of magic. But the motivations of the main characters just don't work for me. It is all about revenge and patriotism and, well, neither of those things drive me so I have trouble identifying with most of the characters in this book. I liked the first half of the book, the school and travel. But Rin's decisions for the entire last half of the book make no sense. The main villains genocided your island a generation ago so now you genocide them? No, that doesn't make it okay... It's just not fun to read about someone so consumed with rage that they're willing to kill anyone and yes everyone.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Circe

  • By: Madeline Miller
  • Narrated by: Perdita Weeks
  • Length: 12 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,786
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 7,307
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,261

In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child - not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring, like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power - the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Refined writing with an intimate performance

  • By Michael - Audible Editor on 04-11-18

My New Favorite - very very good.

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

Reviewed: 06-19-18

I have too many good things to say about this book. It spoke to my heart in a way very few books do. It is so good, I want Miller to write more more more, but I also don't believe any other book will be as good. It has my favorite sort of ending - no spoilers, don't worry, but the sort of ending I want to go back and read over and over and over again.

  • The Shadowed Sun

  • Dreamblood, Book 2
  • By: N. K. Jemisin
  • Narrated by: Sarah Zimmerman
  • Length: 17 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 277
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 251
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 250

Gujaareh, the city of dreams, suffers under the imperial rule of the Kisuati Protectorate. A city where the only law was peace now knows violence and oppression. And nightmares. A mysterious and deadly plague haunts the citizens of Gujaareh, dooming the infected to die screaming in their sleep. Trapped between dark dreams and cruel overlords, the people yearn to rise up - but Gujaareh has known peace for too long. Someone must show them the way. Hope lies with two outcasts.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Sequel to The Killing Moon

  • By Blythe on 04-09-16

Trigger Warning: too many rape scenes.

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

Reviewed: 05-19-18

Personally, I frequently feel that one rape scene is too many. But this book has three intimately described rape scenes, one of them fairly violent. Plus two other interrupted almost-rape scenes. Plus the forced incest and long term horrific abuse.
Not to mention that one of the main characters, someone we're eventually supposed to regard as the hero, intentionally and knowingly sets up a woman to get almost raped.
I am not okay with this as a plot line. I have greatly enjoyed many of NK Jemisin's books. I like that her characters are ambiguous and complicated and struggle. But I am not okay with this book.

I love the world building and the intriguing style of magic. I love the different cultures, and the characters learning to check their assumptions about "civilized" or not. I love the un-simple conflict where you can see the different perspectives people bring to an argument.

I love that the story is set up to follow the first woman allowed into an all-male religious and magical role. I love watching her learn about herself, learn about her fellows and how and why they treat her differently. I love that she is not a cliche.

But the cavalier way rape is treated in this story leaves me very unhappy, uncomfortable and angry. Rape is not a convenient way to move the plot along. It is not okay to have your hero treat it as a tool. It is not okay to glorify the horror of rape just to give your character a back story, but not deal with the results. You cannot call one man the villain because he rapes his daughter and forces her to have sex with another man, and call that same other man the hero because he "didn't know" she was being forced. That is still rape. And I am NOT OKAY with the main character, a prince who is rewarded with love and his historic kingdom, being a rapist.

  • The City of Brass

  • A Novel
  • By: S. A. Chakraborty
  • Narrated by: Soneela Nankani
  • Length: 19 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 935
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 864
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 862

Nahri has never believed in magic. Certainly she has power; on the streets of 18th-century Cairo, she's a con woman of unsurpassed talent. But she knows better than anyone that the trade she uses to get by - palm readings, zars, healings - are all tricks, sleights of hand, learned skills, a means to the delightful end of swindling Ottoman nobles and a reliable way to survive. But when Nahri accidentally summons an equally sly, darkly mysterious djinn warrior to her side during one of her cons, she's forced to question all she believes.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Narrator ruined the charaters for me

  • By Jacquelyn S. De Phillips on 01-01-18

I can't figure out if I like this story...

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

Reviewed: 04-26-18

I struggle to identify how I feel about this book.

The fairytale feeling of djinns and magic is wonderful. The sense of place is detailed and fulfilling, you can practically feel the hit wind on your face, the gritty sand, the cool bliss of gardens.

The characters are complex, and are constantly battling to figure out their own morality, questioning what is right and wrong. I like that their struggles aren't simple, it's not a classic good vs evil. And yet... for some of the main characters it should be at least a little bit more obvious.

I got frustrated frequently with some of the characters inability to just get over themselves. Everyone starts murdering each other, each screaming that the other deserves it for the murders they committed in the past. It should be obvious where that will lead...

Not to mention I have zero interest in the main love story.

And I'm never a fan of books that intentionally end in a cliffhanger.

  • The Killing Moon

  • Dreamblood, Book 1
  • By: N. K. Jemisin
  • Narrated by: Sarah Zimmerman
  • Length: 12 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 551
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 504
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 504

In the ancient city-state of Gujaareh, peace is the only law. Upon its rooftops and amongst the shadows of its cobbled streets wait the Gatherers - the keepers of this peace. Priests of the dream-goddess, their duty is to harvest the magic of the sleeping mind and use it to heal, soothe . . . and kill those judged corrupt. But when a conspiracy blooms within Gujaareh's great temple, Ehiru - the most famous of the city's Gatherers - must question everything he knows.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Breathtaking

  • By Jenn on 09-06-12

interesting world, good reader

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

Reviewed: 04-17-18

interesting world building, decent characters. only reason it's not more stars is I just couldn't identify with any of the main characters, and the plot progression was pretty obvious. but still, it is a well crafted story, and the system of magic is unique and interesting. the reader does a great job.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Autonomous

  • A Novel
  • By: Annalee Newitz
  • Narrated by: Jennifer Ikeda
  • Length: 10 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,008
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 933
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 934

Earth, 2144. Jack is an anti-patent scientist turned drug pirate, traversing the world in a submarine as a pharmaceutical Robin Hood, fabricating cheap scrips for poor people who can't otherwise afford them. But her latest drug hack has left a trail of lethal overdoses as people become addicted to their work, doing repetitive tasks until they become unsafe or insane.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Robots, future drugs, slavery, and patent reform

  • By Platypus Man on 10-25-17

good sci fi, interesting world, too much violence

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

Reviewed: 04-13-18

I'm not opposed to violence when it is necessary to move the plot, but I did feel like the violence in this book was used more to set the tone or make a point rather than actually impacting the plot or characters. Reading it felt like playing a video game.

The world was intriguing, if a bit pushy on the "corporate patent future" moralistic bit.

The characters were hard to identify with, but some of them did exhibit growth and change, and that's important to me.

  • Matter

  • Culture, Book 8
  • By: Iain M. Banks
  • Narrated by: Toby Longworth
  • Length: 17 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 645
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 587
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 584

In a world renowned even within a galaxy full of wonders, a crime within a war. For one man it means a desperate flight, and a search for the one - maybe two - people who could clear his name. For his brother it means a life lived under constant threat of treachery and murder. And for their sister, even without knowing the full truth, it means returning to a place she'd thought abandoned forever.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • What happened to Peter Kenny?

  • By Bill on 01-18-16

great story, but reader mumbles a bit.

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

Reviewed: 02-24-18

I love the story, and have read it before in written form. However, I had trouble understanding the reader sometimes. He seems to do different voices by mumbling in different ways. It's a bit like listening to someone tell a story through a door; if you listen carefully you can hear each word, but the moment your attention wanders it just turns into sounds.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • A Hidden Fire

  • Elemental Mysteries, Book 1
  • By: Elizabeth Hunter
  • Narrated by: Dina Pearlman
  • Length: 11 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,010
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 917
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 913

No secret stays hidden forever. A phone call from an old friend sets mysterious book researcher Giovanni Vecchio back on the path of a mystery that has eluded him for centuries. Little does he suspect a young librarian holds the key to an ancient secret, nor could he expect the danger Beatrice De Novo would attract. Now both will follow a twisted maze leading from the archives of a university library, through the fires of Renaissance Florence, and toward a passion that could destroy them both.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Not bad.....

  • By Cheri on 02-14-15

just another vampire romance

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

Reviewed: 10-24-17

This book tricked me. I wasn't looking for a vampire romance, but when I "figured it out" (so subtle, oh yes) I thought I'd roll with it. I can appreciate a good romance, especially if the vampires and main character are book lovers. But this one just went too cliche. Sexy older vampire doctorate, Italian to boot? Young impressionable student? Sure, why not. Over protective, creepily territorial? Tells get what to wear and literally kidnaps her "for her own safety"? No thanks. Also, I just couldn't get over the reader's accents. The main villain sounded like an extra from an old move - I vant to suck your blood! And half the time I couldn't tell the difference between the British butler speaking and the Latina grandmother.

  • The Gullwing Odyssey

  • By: Antonio Simon Jr.
  • Narrated by: Elliott Walsh
  • Length: 10 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 17
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16

Marco's life as a messenger isn't great, but the work is easy, and he gets retirement pay in 30 years. Little does he know his life teeters on the cusp of change.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fun, fantastic, and funny!

  • By Armando on 06-01-15

Fantasy Satire Coming of Age Tale

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

Reviewed: 01-02-16

This book was a riot. I actually listened to it on audio book, which I think really made the characters for me. Nominally it is a (young adult?) humor fantasy novel following the adventures of Marco Gullwing. He is a messenger boy, who in the course of a mission accidentally boards the wrong boat and ends up in places doing things he never expected. Its a classic coming of age tale as Marco really starts out as a bit of an ass, but starts coming into his own through various trials and tribulations.

I would call humor the main genre this book fits into. There's also magic, and dragon people, hence the fantasy. And I assume it is mostly aimed at a young adult audience, as most books with an adolescent main character are, but I waver on that, as the sense of humor is definitely adult. The word-play is fantastic, the satire is delicious, and farce of it all is definitely fun for adults too.

All the characters in the Gullwing Odyssey are parodies of themselves. And yet, the exaggerated characteristics don't make them any less enjoyable to read about, or imagine in your head. Quite the reverse really. As I said, I listened to this book in audio form, and the narration was just perfect. He does all the voices. And if there's one thing that makes an exaggerated character even better, its an exaggerated silly accent voice. Oh yes.

The characters come alive in your head, you can practically see the over-the-top costumes they're wearing as they stride across the back of your eyelids in a vivid colorful world full of snarky dragon princesses, furious pirate queens, and slacker messenger boys.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Journey to the Center of the Earth: A Signature Performance by Tim Curry

  • By: Jules Verne
  • Narrated by: Tim Curry
  • Length: 8 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,165
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,848
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,827

A Signature Performance: Tim Curry, the source of our inspiration, returns – this time, he captures the quirky enthusiasm of this goofily visionary adventure.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Feels like Jules Verne

  • By Ramon on 03-10-11

A classic adventure read by the best voice.

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

Reviewed: 07-28-12

Tim Curry, obviously, is wonderful. And he gives this classic adventure tale a lighthearted feeling. Short and sweet, this audiobook is definitely worth it.