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Deraphim

Chicago
  • 8
  • reviews
  • 2
  • helpful votes
  • 17
  • ratings
  • Defy the Worlds

  • By: Claudia Gray
  • Narrated by: Nate Begle, Kasey Lee Huizinga
  • Length: 10 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 67
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 62
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 62

Shunned after a trip through the galaxy with Abel, the most advanced cybernetic man ever created, Noemi Vidal dreams of traveling through the stars one more time. And when a deadly plague arrives on Genesis, Noemi gets her chance. As the only soldier to have ever left the planet, it will be up to her to save its people...if only she wasn't flying straight into a trap. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great follow-up

  • By Deraphim on 11-04-18

Great follow-up

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

Reviewed: 11-04-18

This is the second book in a trilogy, and I'm assuming everyone's either unaware of this (in which case you should begin with Defy the Stars, it's a fantastic book), or you've already read the first book and you're just checking to make sure the sequel keeps up the momentum (It does!)

The same dual narrators return, and personally I'm a big fan of their performances, but I know not everyone is. Whether you liked or hated it before, it's back, and I'm grateful for such a creative delivery of a story that reinforces this is a book for everyone, men and women. (I only wish they had thought to try this with Lost Stars.)

I won't spoil anything of the story, except to say the war with Genesys isn't over, and this is once again the catalyst that drives the plot.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Defy the Stars

  • By: Claudia Gray
  • Narrated by: Nate Begle
  • Length: 11 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 147
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 135
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 136

Noemi Vidal is 17 years old and sworn to protect her planet, Genesis. She's willing to risk anything - including her own life. To their enemies on Earth, she's a rebel. Abandoned in space for years, utterly alone, Abel has advanced programming that's begun to evolve. He wants only to protect his creator and to be free. To the people of Genesis, he's an abomination. Noemi and Abel are enemies in an interstellar war, forced by chance to work together as they embark on a daring journey through the stars.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Just the perfect story

  • By Clarica Claudia on 05-31-17

Much more than C-3PO/Katniss Fan Fiction

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

Reviewed: 03-26-18

For anyone who found this book through Claudia Gray's very excellent Star Wars novels, I suggest picking this up immediately. I was originally worried this would be the awkward romance between characters that were essentially C-3PO and Katniss, but great pains have been taken to make sure this book is just not that simple, and so much more compelling because of it.

I think one of the author's greatest strengths has always been her ability to seamlessly weave parallels from the real world into the story, and that skill is put to good use here, creating a new, original universe worth exploring. With the aid of advanced robotics, humanity has reached the stars, settling a ring of new habitable worlds linked by hyperspace gates. These new colony worlds are ruled with an iron first by an overpopulated and dying Earth, with the exception of a newly discovered paradise, which is in open revolt.

The ideas and writing are both easy to follow and challenging in the issues they present, another hallmark of the author. I also want to add that this is almost first and foremost an adventure novel. The characters have their own goals motivations which drive the plot. Character development is developed naturally as the story unfolds, rather than through agonizing over their odd attractions to the enemy they're stuck with.

Finally, I want to give props to the audible narration. POV changes chapter to chapter (meaning this book works at being targeted for everyone), and the dual narrators are fantastic at emphasizing the differences between the characters in a way that really adds something. Noemi's narrator is soft and emotional, and a little vulnerable. Able is straightforward, and just a little bit (not enough to grate) robotic, while still just a bit human. It really added something for me.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Alanna, The First Adventure

  • Song of the Lioness, Book 1
  • By: Tamora Pierce
  • Narrated by: Trini Alvarado
  • Length: 5 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,361
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,022
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,029

Alanna of Trebond is no ordinary girl: her dream is to become a knight. So she disguises herself as a boy and begins training at the palace of King Roald. Alanna quickly finds out that the road to knighthood is not an easy one, but her skills and stubborness help her become friends with Prince Jonathan and his followers. At the same time, Alanna makes an enemy of the prince's uncle, the overly charming Duke Roger.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • my favorite

  • By Hallie on 08-19-04

Great fantasy I'd never heard of

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

Reviewed: 11-17-17

My girlfriend turned me onto Tamora Pierce after I asked her if she had any recommendations for fantasy I might not have hard of.

Alanna is a great story and an easy read/listen, and it feels to me like it would be a big hit at the old scholastic book fairs I remember from grade school. In it, a young girl rejects the future her uncaring father has set out for her, opting instead to secretly run away to become a knight in training, by disguising herself as a boy. It's a simple and maybe basic premise, but executed expertly.

While I wasn't thrilled when talk of puberty started, it was largely very unobtrusive (and a little bit informational), and shouldn't keep anyone from picking this up or recommending it to any female wishing there was some fantasy written to appeal a bit more to her.

The fact that this is only the first book of an author in an expansive universe composed of at least 3 quadrilogies is fantastic news as I'll definitely look forward to coming back to Alanna's adventures.

  • Girl on a Wire

  • By: Gwenda Bond
  • Narrated by: Marisol Ramirez
  • Length: 10 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 194
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 173
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 176

Sixteen-year-old Jules Maroni’s dream is to follow in her father’s footsteps as a high-wire walker. When her family is offered a prestigious role in the new Cirque American, it seems that Jules and the Amazing Maronis will finally get the spotlight they deserve. But the presence of the Flying Garcias may derail her plans. For decades, the two rival families have avoided each other as sworn enemies.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Mostly dreamy, like a parasol.

  • By S. Powell on 05-13-16

Surprisingly engrossing

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

Reviewed: 11-02-17

The question is whether you're into magical circus crime or not. If you don't know, pick this up and check it out for yourself. That's what happened to me.

Before reading this book, I really hadn't thought about the circus at all, ever. I picked this up primarily because I'm a fan of Gwenda Bond and her excellent Lois Lane YA series. Now I'm hooked.

The characters are deep and fleshed out, the world is detailed and spending so much time reading about the circus may just give you a deeper appreciation for something you haven't thought about in years, if ever. All of this is very capably narrated in a way that serves the purposes of the story w/o distracting. I couldn't ask for more.

AUDIBLE 20 REVIEW SWEEPSTAKES ENTRY

Star Wars (Dramatized) audiobook cover art
  • Star Wars (Dramatized)

  • By: George Lucas, Brian Daley (adaptation)
  • Narrated by: Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels
  • Length: 5 hrs and 56 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,372
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,946
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,952

This landmark production, perhaps the most ambitious radio project ever attempted, began when Star Wars creator George Lucas donated the story rights to an NPR affiliate. Writer Brian Daley adapted the film's highly visual script to the special demands and unique possibilities of radio, creating a more richly textured tale with greater emphasis on character development.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Beyond the film...

  • By Matthew on 10-13-11

There's something special about radio drama

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

Reviewed: 11-02-17

This is an exciting listen that is incredible new way to experience the classic story we all know and love. Put it on during a long car ride or lose yourself in the story at home.

Performance loses 1 star because Han and Leia have been recast. Only Mark Hammil (Luke) and Anthony Daniels (C-3PO) are reprising their roles. The recast actors are... adequate, and it doesn't take a lot to get used to them. They never come close to rivaling the originals however.

Unfortunately, future adaptations (RotJ, maybe ESB) also ditch Mark Hammil as Luke, and aren't as easy to recommend. The original is still a thrilling time however, and well worth checking out for pretty much anyone.

  • Star Wars: Lost Stars

  • By: Claudia Gray
  • Narrated by: Pierce Cravens
  • Length: 11 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,322
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,850
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,843

This thrilling young adult novel gives listeners a macro view of some of the most important events in the Star Wars universe, from the rise of the Rebellion to the fall of the Empire. Listeners will experience these major moments through the eyes of two childhood friends - Ciena Ree and Thane Kyrell - who have grown up to become an Imperial officer and a Rebel pilot. Now on opposite sides of the war, will these two star-crossed lovers reunite, or will duty tear them - and the galaxy - apart?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Cure for the Aftermath Blues

  • By Matt H. on 09-18-15

Wonderful first Star Wars book

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

Reviewed: 11-02-17

A fantastic first Star Wars book with an engrossing tale that's suitable for all ages. Telling the story of two childhood friends who grew up to fight on opposite of the rebellion against the empire, this book does a lot to fill out the world and show what life in the Star Wars universe for everyone that isn't a Jedi or their closest friends.

A lot of mature themes are covered in a way that is approachable for a YA audience without talking down, and the inclusion of sound effects and music cues add something extra to the performance without overwhelming. This is something a family could listen to together.

  • Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi Leia, Princess of Alderaan

  • By: Claudia Gray
  • Narrated by: Saskia Maarleveld
  • Length: 9 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,556
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,414
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,406

Sixteen-year-old Princess Leia Organa faces the most challenging task of her life so far: proving herself in the areas of body, mind, and heart to be formally named heir to the throne of Alderaan. She's taking rigorous survival courses, practicing politics, and spearheading relief missions to worlds under Imperial control. But Leia has worries beyond her claim to the crown.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Claudia Gray is 3 for 3 in Star Wars canon

  • By Ben Gorniak on 10-26-17

Great for fans of Leia and Star Wars

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

Reviewed: 10-16-17

A great YA level book with universal appeal, this coming of age story recounts how a teenage Leia first joined the rebellion against the empire and grew into the character we all love today. While this book isn't filled with lightsaber battles or starship fights, it's an incredible origin story that any fan of Leia can appreciate.

Leia is once again in good hands with Claudia Gray, and the performance is engaging for all ages: Saskia Maarleveld has good range and successfully alters her voice when reading the dialogue for other characters to give them personality, and music and sound effects are used just often and just subtly enough to add to the experience without taking anything away.

I'd recommend this book for anyone that's curious, anyone that's read another Claudia Gray Star Wars book and knows how great they are, anyone who's seen the original trilogy, and especially anyone who thinks Leia just might be their favorite character.

Bonus points for Whispersync!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Handmaid's Tale: Special Edition

  • By: Margaret Atwood, Valerie Martin - essay
  • Narrated by: Claire Danes, full cast, Margaret Atwood
  • Length: 12 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 26,449
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 24,336
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 24,269

After a violent coup in the United States overthrows the Constitution and ushers in a new government regime, the Republic of Gilead imposes subservient roles on all women. Offred, now a Handmaid tasked with the singular role of procreation in the childless household of the enigmatic Commander and his bitter wife, can remember a time when she lived with her husband and daughter and had a job, before she lost everything, even her own name.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • WAIT WAIT WAIT WAIT WAIT

  • By ambER on 04-20-17

Lose 1 Star for no Whispersync

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

Reviewed: 09-03-17

The amazon kindle version of this book is paired with an audible version that ALSO is narrated by Claire Danes, but this being the special edition, whispersync is not compatible between the two versions. Not sure what the difference is, but whatever. If you want to read along or be able to switch, make sure you get the other version.