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Trudy Owens

Orem, UT, US
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  • The Caves of Steel

  • Robot, Book 1
  • By: Isaac Asimov
  • Narrated by: William Dufris
  • Length: 7 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,757
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,610
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,608

A millennium into the future two advancements have altered the course of human history: the colonization of the galaxy and the creation of the positronic brain. Isaac Asimov's Robot novels chronicle the unlikely partnership between a New York City detective and a humanoid robot who must learn to work together. Like most people left behind on an over-populated Earth, New York City police detective Elijah Baley had little love for either the arrogant Spacers or their robotic companions.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Sci-Fi Mystery at its Best!

  • By HL on 09-16-14

Seminal work in Sci-fi Robotics

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

Reviewed: 07-14-18

If you love robots or space or Star Trek or Star Wars or anything like that, you must become familiar with Isaac Asimov. His I Robot and other early stories about the development of the positronic brain, the Three Laws of Robotics, and the robo-psychologist Susan Calvin (not the one in the movie) are the basis of all we just now accept as natural and true about robots.

This book and its 2 sequels are brilliant in their ability to present a future Earth in such a way that you understand the society and personalities. Then you follow Detective Elijah Bailey as he learns to confront his own assumptions, biases, and cultural fears in order to understand the world of The Spacers. He must learn how to function as a person, and then as a detective, in a culture that should be similar but is so very very different. There is so much here to delight--the linguistic differences, the cultural clash, the workings of robots within a society, and then the murder.

Asimov and his books have stood the test of time and are just as believable today as they were 50 years ago. As I divest myself of physical books and count more on the library and audio books, this is one of my keepers. I love this book. I love R Daneel Olivaw.

Since I have read this book many times over the last 5 decades, I have my own voice for the characters which makes it nearly impossible for any narrator to satisfy my expectation. If you haven't read the book and are just listening for the first time, the narration will probably be perfect.

  • A Boy Called Christmas

  • By: Matt Haig
  • Narrated by: Stephen Fry
  • Length: 4 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 26
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 26
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 26

Eleven-year-old Nikolas - nicknamed "Christmas" - has received only one toy in his life: a doll carved out of a turnip. But he's happy with his turnip doll, because it came from his parents, who love him. Then one day his father goes missing, and Nikolas must travel to the North Pole to save him. Along the way Nikolas befriends a surly reindeer, bests a troublesome troll, and discovers a hidden world of enchantment in the frozen village of Elfhelm.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful magical story!

  • By Twin Cities gal on 01-01-18

maybe for kids

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

Reviewed: 07-14-18

My 7-yo found this story interesting. She liked the mouse and the reindeer and that he became Santa Claus. I hated it. I didn't like the whole setup, the reason for the quest, the people, the lack of character development, the events that occurred. It took me a couple weeks to get through the interminable 4 1/2 hours of this book, and I read 4 or 5 other books while listening to this because I really didn't want to.

  • The Singularity Trap

  • By: Dennis E. Taylor
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Length: 11 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,145
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 7,656
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,631

When Ivan Pritchard signs on as a newbie aboard the Mad Astra, it's his final, desperate stab at giving his wife and children the life they deserve. He can survive the hazing of his crewmates, and how many times, really, can near-zero g make you vomit? But there's another challenge looming out there, in the farthest reaches of human exploration, that will test every man, woman and AI on the ship - and will force Ivan to confront the very essence of what makes him human.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Taylor and Porter team up for another hit

  • By Thomas M. on 06-12-18

with Ray Porter you don't mind that it drags

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

Reviewed: 07-13-18

Ivan signs on with a mining crew in hopes of earning enough money so his family can get ahead. He worries about his wife and kids, and deals with the ribbing and hazing from the older crew. He is getting along fine when the crew finds a mother lode asteroid. On the asteroid, setting it on a course for home, he reaches for a strange object and his whole life changes. Ray Porter is awesome as usual at bringing the characters to life.

The book drags a bit, but the concept is interesting, and there may be a sequel.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Sounds Like Me

  • My Life (So Far) in Song
  • By: Sara Bareilles
  • Narrated by: Sara Bareilles, Ben Folds, Jack Antonoff
  • Length: 3 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,062
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,009
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,007

With refreshing candor, Sounds Like Me reveals Sara Bareilles - the artist and the woman - and her take on songwriting, soul searching, and what's discovered along the way. She shares the joys and the struggles that come with creating great work, all while staying true to herself. Imbued with humor and marked by Sara's confessional writing style, this collection tells the inside story behind some of her most popular songs.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Sounds Like Me, too

  • By Catherine on 11-12-15

I was won over

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

Reviewed: 07-13-18

I read this for an assignment. I didn't know Sara and I wasn't interested in her life. She starts each chapter by singing one of her songs (a capella) and then shares her private life experiences that inspired the song. She quickly turned this chore into a delight as I laughed and cried through her stories and songs. Sara is insightful, eloquent, compassionate, and tender, and a very talented singer/songwriter. I will now be looking up some of her songs.

I am usually very insistent that writers never narrate their own books. This is an exception to that. Sara is also a great actress and presents her material with wonderful intonation and even voices.

  • The Two Minute Rule

  • By: Robert Crais
  • Narrated by: Christopher Graybill
  • Length: 9 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 480
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 382
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 386

When ex-con Max Holman finally gets out of jail, freedom doesn't taste too sweet. The only thing on his mind is reconciliation with his estranged son, who is, ironically, a cop. But then he hears the devastating news: His son and three other Los Angeles police officers were gunned down in cold blood the night before Holman's release.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great Story, Great Characters, Great Writing

  • By Charles Atkinson on 11-20-17

after a slow start, it gets good

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

Reviewed: 07-13-18

Max, a convicted felon--bank robberies, and yes he did it-- is released after serving his 10 years in prison only to discover that his estranged son had become a cop and was just killed. Trying to understand all this, he discovers inconsistencies in the situation, the explanations, and the evidence. Because of his past, he has a hard time convincing anyone to listen or help clear things up. He turns to the FBI agent who arrested him, and she does believe him.

You will figure out what probably happened, but the end may still have a surprise or two. Max ends up being a believable, likable (hate to say hero) main character, and you are happy for his closure. Even though Max has lost everything up until now, he will manage to create a better future.

The narration is best on the character voices where he is actually awesome. The prose reading was not my favorite at first but I got used to it.

  • I Suck at Girls

  • By: Justin Halpern
  • Narrated by: Sean Schemmel
  • Length: 4 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 671
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 610
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 613

Fans of the #1 bests eller Sh*t My Dad Says will recognize the always patient voice of Justin Halpern's dad as it crackles through this hysterical new audiobook. The story begins when Justin announces that he's decided to propose to his girlfriend. "You've been dating her for four years," his dad replies. "It ain't like you found a parallel fucking universe."

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • The Dad is side-splitting funny

  • By GH on 08-20-15

the first few chapters were funny

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

Reviewed: 07-13-18

The actual title of this book is "I Suck at Girls Because All I Want Is Sex.

It started out as a book based off the tweets he made of what his father said. Those were funny. His father is funny. His father gets 2 stars.Then it devolved into a juvenile's hunt for losing his virginity. No longer funny. This is what's wrong with men these days. Women are objects and it's all about their bodies and what those bodies can do for the men.

The narration is good but you can tell how he felt about the girls by the voices he gave them.

  • Last Year

  • By: Robert Charles Wilson
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick
  • Length: 11 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 442
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 406
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 404

In the near future of Robert Charles Wilson's Last Year, the technology exists to open doorways into the past - but not our past, not exactly. Each "past" is effectively an alternate world, identical to ours but only up to the date on which we access it. And a given "past" can be reached only once. After a passageway is open, it's the only road to that particular past; once closed, it can't be reopened.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • didn't think I would like it...

  • By Pree Bee on 05-05-18

less about time travel than about us

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

Reviewed: 07-10-18

Most time travel books deal with space-time continuum conundrums and paradoxes. This one does not. Future folk (us) have set up a Future City theme park to show the Americans of the 1870s what's to come.

The story is more about ethics than changing the future by stepping on a butterfly. It is about how humans react when they encounter something new. It's also about making money. Humanity as a whole is discussed--with all these fantastic wonders, are people any better? Have we conquered our flaws? Is life in the future better?

The book drags a bit, but the ideas are solid, and we do wonder what will happen to our friends.

  • Spelled

  • Storymakers Series, Book 1
  • By: Betsy Schow
  • Narrated by: Arielle DeLisle
  • Length: 8 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 29
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 25
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 24

Fairy Tale Survival Rule number 32: If you find yourself at the mercy of a wicked witch, sing a romantic ballad and wait for your Prince Charming to save the day. Yeah, no thanks. Dorthea is completely princed out. Sure, being the crown princess of Emerald has its perks - like Glenda Original ball gowns and Hans Christian Louboutin heels. But a forced marriage to the not-so-charming prince Kato is so not what Dorthea had in mind for her enchanted future. Talk about unhappily ever after.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • tiresome and convoluted, not for me

  • By Trudy Owens on 07-10-18

tiresome and convoluted, not for me

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

Reviewed: 07-10-18

Spelled is a backwards remake of The Wizard of Oz with many other characters, ideas, and even lines from nearly every other fairy tale. This version has some cute ideas that twist the original's plot. There are many clever puns or reworks of phrases that brought a chuckle, but I found the book tedious and difficult to finish. I read other books in between chapters of this because I didn't really want to read it. The events seemed to repeat themselves, and the ending seemed rushed and unexplained.

Teens may enjoy it, and adults who like this genre better than I do.

  • King of Thieves

  • By: Evan Currie
  • Narrated by: Todd Haberkorn
  • Length: 8 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 952
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 863
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 870

Earth's survivors face devastating new challenges in the wake of recovering from an alien conflict. Battered and mourning tremendous losses, the once fractious peoples of enemy nations must work together to rebuild their shattered world - and prevent the possibility of their attackers' return. What they don't know is that a new, deadlier enemy unlike anything they've ever faced will usher in the dawn of another war.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Gave up half way through

  • By Andreas on 04-11-15

took a long time to get into it

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

Reviewed: 07-03-18

In this space exploration story the crew find a strange metallic moon that seems to hold untold advanced knowledge and technology. But it is also inhabited by deadly creatures. The crew is divided into the landing party, the drop ship, and the main ship, and all are under different sorts of attack. There is mention of conflict due to the crew being made up of former enemies on Earth who now work together in space. This is supposed to cause some tension among the characters, but they weren't as fully developed as could be. Perhaps this will smooth out in future volumes. There is some excitement as the Marines wait for rescue with their backs to the wall, but I had a hard time really getting into the story. It was always a book; it didn't make it to sweeping me away to another world.

  • Moving Day

  • By: Jonathan Stone
  • Narrated by: Christopher Lane
  • Length: 9 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,100
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 991
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 992

Forty years’ accumulation of art, antiques, and family photographs are more than just objects for Stanley Peke - they are proof of a life fully lived. A life he could have easily lost long ago. When a con man steals his houseful of possessions in a sophisticated moving-day scam, Peke wanders helplessly through his empty New England home, inevitably reminded of another helpless time: decades in Peke’s past, a cold and threadbare Stanislaw Shmuel Pecoskowitz eked out a desperate existence in the war-torn Polish countryside, subsisting on scraps, dodging Nazi soldiers.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • What a fantastic story... a real treat!

  • By Joe Crescenzi on 06-03-14

Mitch Rapp it ain't, but this is wonderful

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

Reviewed: 06-30-18

The publisher's summary actually gives away too much and spoils the pleasure of the book.

An elderly couple fall victim to a moving company scam and all their belongings are stolen. Instead of rolling over and collecting the insurance money, 72-yo Stanley Peke goes after the thieves. (Hearing it read as Stanley Peak is more interesting)

There is some Yay! action at the end, but this is not really what I would call "a thriller." It is mostly an introspective, contemplative look into the lives of those involved, especially the two men pitted against each other like old lions (or a lion and a jackal, or perhaps two jackals--you decide). Most of it is prose, detailing each person's thoughts and motivations as well as back story. If you are expecting action, this gets tedious, but if you are prepared for psychology, this is beautifully written. There is restitution, reconnection, and even redemption. All the loose ends are gathered at the end; all your questions like "but what about the ...?" and "why doesn't he...?" are dealt with. Everything that seemed to drag on in the beginning comes into play at the end with a surprising Oh-no! moment, and then a delightful satisfying conclusion.

The narration is wonderful, down to the subtle accents.