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AllAboutThoseBooks

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  • reviews
  • 17
  • helpful votes
  • 77
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  • Lies Sleeping

  • Rivers of London, Book 7
  • By: Ben Aaronovitch
  • Narrated by: Kobna Holdbrook-Smith
  • Length: 10 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 745
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 702
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 700

The Faceless Man, wanted for multiple counts of murder, fraud, and crimes against humanity, has been unmasked and is on the run. Peter Grant, detective constable and apprentice wizard, now plays a key role in an unprecedented joint operation to bring him to justice. But even as the unwieldy might of the Metropolitan Police bears down on its foe, Peter uncovers clues that the Faceless Man, far from being finished, is executing the final stages of a long-term plan. A plan that has its roots in London's 2,000 bloody years of history and could literally bring the city to its knees. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A very satisfying read

  • By Tim on 11-21-18

Urban Fantasy at Its Best

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

Reviewed: 02-13-19

I'll begin by saying that this author is new to me and I only found the series because another reader recommended it on a book forum to which I belong. Specifically, they recommended it to another poster in answer to the question: Can you recommend a series that is really, really well read.

This series may be one of the best performed I have heard. There are SO many different accents, and over the course of the books, SO many different characters (it's very much a police procedural in an urban fantasy setting--so there are lots of cops and lots of paranormal bad guys to catch--and then there's all the "community" work) and Kobna Holbrook-Smith is astonishing at making every voice distinct in book after book. Since it is the bizarre truth that most Americans can't resist a British accent--any of them--(and Peter Grant's Sierra Leonean mother sounds exactly like the only woman I know from Sierra Leone, and I love that cadence, too) it's pretty hard not to have a bit of a crush on Peter Grant by the end of the first book. Also, Beverly Brook. Also, Nightingale.

But THIS book. Oh my heart. First, the books aren't stand-alones. As the series goes along you pick up new characters and learn more about old characters and get your heart shattered by one of them (pretty sure Ben Aaronovitch lives off the tears of his readers) and you learn more and more about both the world of the London Metropolitan Police and the magic and mayhem that is in this fantasy, there are just too many references in the story to understand the importance of this comment or that event without the previous books.

It took me DAYS to get through this book because I had to keep putting it away in order to manage my worries over the dozen or so characters that I could NOT bear to lose. Also, there is a massive story arch that I *needed* to have resolved in order to get on with my life (given that book 8 is a ways off). I ended up bargaining with myself that I would listen to it during my daily workouts, because, "Self," I said, "they are FICTIONAL and the ending is ALREADY written." But my heart didn't really believe the fictional part.

So. That particular story arch *is* resolved. There are still other loose ends to tie up, so I'll be buying the next one when it is published, but if you're the sort of person who likes to wait to buy a series until it's all done, this would be a fine point to jump in because if Ben Aaronovitch dropped dead tomorrow (no offense), we could somehow go on. (Kobna Holbrook-Smith on the other hand...)

Aaronovitch leaves us with a little gift at the end to reward us for all our pain and suffering through the last two books. It's pretty wonderful.

In summary: this series would be worth paying full price for ALL of them. (Or, if you're a member, get the three credit deal so you can pay the reduced cost per credit. I can't imagine spending one credit a month for seven months in a row on this series. I wouldn't have the patience with this series.)

  • A Rare Book of Cunning Device

  • By: Ben Aaronovitch
  • Narrated by: Kobna Holdbrook-Smith
  • Length: 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,490
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,388
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,382

Exclusive to Audio! Somewhere amongst the shadowy stacks and the many basements of the British library, something is very much amiss - and we're not talking late returns here. Is it a ghost, or something much worse? PC Peter Grant really isn't looking forward to finding out....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A Peter Grant bonus short story

  • By Elisabeth Carey on 05-01-17

Fun

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

Reviewed: 02-06-19

And, as usual, read brilliantly. This little short is perfect Peter Grant, without the ongoing tension of the main series. Nice for a break if you're binging the series and spending a little too much time worrying about all your favorite people dying by magic.

  • Foxglove Summer

  • A Rivers of London Novel (Peter Grant, Book 5)
  • By: Ben Aaronovitch
  • Narrated by: Kobna Holdbrook-Smith
  • Length: 10 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,103
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,958
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,940

Peter Grant - cop, magical apprentice, and Londoner to the core - is being forced out of his comfort zone and into the English countryside. His latest case involves the disappearance of children in the small village of Herefordshire, and the local police are unwilling to admit there might be a supernatural element involved. Now Peter must deal with them, local river spirits, and the fact that all the shops close by 4 P.M.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Starts slow but ends strong

  • By Cliff on 01-08-15

May be the best series I've ever heard

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

Reviewed: 01-31-19

This series could be described as an urban fantasy (contemporary paranormal) police procedural. There's a lot of detail in the police elements, so if you dislike police procedurals, I wouldn't. As police procedurals go though, it's phenomenal. I adore the details.

The main character is a snarky, but absolutely good, mixed race young man with a complicated backstory that gives him some wisdom beyond his years. This is somewhat undermined by a tendency to be impulsive, and the sort of hero complex that drives young people to become cops and teachers--and then to stay once they realize the degree to which the public will be ungrateful for the emotional, physical, and mental demands of the job.

The story lines of the books this far, have been sophisticated, engaging, and they swing between some of the most hilarious internal dialogue I have ever heard, and some pretty heartbreaking events. The result is a sensation of true submersion into Peter Grant's world.

There are a lot of secondary characters that we come to know well and care about as the series progresses. If one betrays Peter, they betray us.

This series wouldn't be what it is without this narrator. I've never heard them before, but their ability to manage the extraordinary variety of accents this series calls for is stunning. When I am done listening to this series, I plan to see what else they may have recorded. No. When I am done with this series, I will likely immediately back up and listen the whole thing again. Then I'll do that other thing.

I recommend buying the three credits package and then buying the books. After listening to this reading, it is that rare series where I think it's not necessary to have the print version, too. This is gold.

  • The Salisbury Key

  • By: Harper Fox
  • Narrated by: Hamish Long
  • Length: 11 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 83
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 80
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 79

Shattered by his lover Jason's suicide, archaeologist Dan Logan is struggling to patch his life together again. He's desperately following up Jason's final obsession, a secret buried deep within the military zone on Salisbury Plain. Anything is better than facing the void of his grief. He's convinced he'll never love again. When unexpected help arrives in the form of a soldier named Summer Rayne, the last thing Dan could have predicted is the spark of attraction between them.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Makes you cry, laugh, and scream

  • By E. hughes on 07-20-18

So many feels

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

Reviewed: 01-12-19

First, I don't know how you could listen to this story and not have feelings about Daniel and his grieving process if you had lost someone critical to your happiness. Rayne is everything to this story. I'm not into spoilers, so I'll simply say that the story is unpredictable and extraordinarily well done.

I don't love this narrator. He's got great intonation and pacing. He is consistent and he does a fantastic job with differing voices, which is critical here because there are three female voices in the whole story, and they're bit parts. Eeevryone else is male (higher education and military? Unfortunately, that's pretty legit.). All that is good, hence many stars. However, this narrator also has a very soft t, sounding more like a d, which is more noticeable at some points than others. I found it distracting at points.

  • The Bureau

  • Volume 1
  • By: Kim Fielding
  • Narrated by: Joel Leslie
  • Length: 7 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 74
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 73
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 73

This collection contains the first three Bureau novellas: Corruption, Clay White, and Creature

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Really good!

  • By Jessica on 07-18-18

Dark, but so good

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-18-18

The final book references Frankenstein, and that's perfect, because each of these three stories have at least one monster in them--and you want so much better for them. These are stories of broken men (& beasts) finding redemption through moments of integrity. The smexy bits are well written and narrated. The narrator is fantastic. I'm certain I'll listen to it again.

  • The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal

  • By: K. J. Charles
  • Narrated by: Gary Furlong
  • Length: 7 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 128
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 120
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 120

I have been Simon Feximal's companion, assistant, and chronicler for 20 years now, and during that time my Casebooks of Feximal the Ghost-Hunter have spread the reputation of this most accomplished of ghost-hunters far and wide. Here is how my association with Feximal came about. I dare say it may not be quite what you expect.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • KJ Charles is magic

  • By BR on 11-24-17

Brought me to tears at the end

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-18-18

I like this author very much. I own a t-shirt related to her Magpie series. But I have held off reading this book until drawn in by the start of the Green Men series, which takes place in the same world. I'm convinced that this is that rare book which is best enjoyed in its Audible version, in part because the reading brings the writing to life. The author makes Robert's love for Simon palpable. Ultimately, that is what this collection of stories is--the story of their developing relationship. There is a brief reference to a short, Remnant, co-written with Jordan L. Hawk, that is a cross-over of this world with that of Widdershins. I don't often listen to books more than once, but I think this will be an exception, it was that well read.

  • Dear to My Hart

  • The Susilauma Wolves, Book 1
  • By: Whit Valentine
  • Narrated by: John York
  • Length: 6 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 41
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 40
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 40

Living on his family's farm, Susilauma, the youngest of many brothers and sisters, 25-year-old Riley Jacobson has a predictable and comfortable-if slightly chaotic-life. His older sisters tend to mom him almost to death, and he finds his solace in working on cars, not really considering the future beyond the next project. He's happy enough with the status quo, and though a mate would be nice, he's not really looking. Enter a cutie with big brown eyes who keeps popping up wherever Riley goes, and Riley just might be in trouble.   

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Dear to My Hart

  • By <Stacy> @SoCalBookReviews on 08-20-18

I couldn't finish it

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

Reviewed: 09-17-18

The primary--and in some ways the most important when it comes to an audio book--reason I could not finish this book is because of the atrocious accents. They slid all over the place. In alignment with the characters in the book, the wolf character has a more stable accent, but even so, if "said" falls near the word "Dad," for example, the narrator voiced "sad" (e.g., ~1:44:50). The "red neck" accent was all over the place. The accent ranged from Northern Appalachia to rural Alabama--and those aren't the same thing. There were some words that were mispronounced and could possibly be chalked up to regional difference in pronunciation, but others that were just obvious errors in pronunciation (e.g., conspiratorial pronounced con-spiritual at ~1:43:30). The story itself is likely a reasonable light Sunday afternoon read, if you don't mind True Mate (hard wired insta-love) stories and goofy shifters (there are many like it--I'm not criticizing. Obviously, it's what I was in the mood for if I purchased the book based on the blurb.)

However, I felt the need to post this review because I purchased it based on praise for the narrator in other reviews, and I needed to provide a dissenting opinion. Maybe if you haven't lived in different parts of the United States and you can't discern between accents shifting from something you'd hear in Ohio to something in Wisconsin to Minnesota and back to Ohio again (this is the case when voicing the wolf's accent), then it wouldn't be irritating at all. Is the narration more varied than normal? Yes. The narrator reads with a great deal of energy, and frankly, I'd be interested in hearing them read something that required less regional distinction.

Again, the text itself is middle of the pack when compared to others in its genre. I just couldn't listen to it for one more minute (I made it a little more than third of the way into the book. I *wanted* to like it).

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Witches of London - Lars

  • By: Aleksandr Voinov
  • Narrated by: Matthew Lloyd Davies
  • Length: 8 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 33
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 33
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 33

After a homophobic pagan group rejected him, Lars Kendall is a solitary heathen on the Northern Path, loyal to the gods of the Norse pantheon. But being on his own sucks. So when he finally meets a mixed group of other queer witches and magick users, it’s like finding family. If family involved exploring past lives and casting spells. Rhys Turner quit a stressful job in the city after his high-strung boyfriend of six years walked out. He sold the expensive flat in central London and bought a run-down house out in the suburbs.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Character driven romance

  • By AllAboutThoseBooks on 09-16-18

Character driven romance

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

Reviewed: 09-16-18

If you're looking for a paranormal romance, well, it is and it isn't. The pagan elements of the story are part of the setting, not a mystery or problem to be solved.

There are no alpha males, no stalker ex-boyfriend, no guns, and no ghosts. It's Rhys, learning to love even as he faces his own mortality, and Lars, loving and protecting in the way he knows best. The crisis is realistic. Lars's reaction is in character. The resolution is complete. It's a HEA, not a HFN.

The narrator is good enough that I looked to see what else he had done. There are both some particularly well done moments, and a few (just a very few) where the protagonists voices were not as distinguishable from each other. Overall, quite good.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • The Magpie Lord

  • By: K. J. Charles
  • Narrated by: Cornell Collins
  • Length: 6 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 302
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 292
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 290

Exiled for 20 years, Lucien never planned to return to England. But with the mysterious deaths of his father and brother, it seems the new Lord Crane has inherited an earldom. He's also inherited his family's enemies. He needs magical assistance, fast. He doesn't expect it to turn up angry. Magician Stephen Day has good reason to hate Crane's family. Unfortunately, it's his job to deal with supernatural threats. Besides, the earl is unlike any aristocrat he's ever met, with the tattoos, the attitude...and the way Crane seems determined to get him into bed.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent story and Performance

  • By Riva on 02-03-18

So much better than the sample

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

Reviewed: 09-15-18

It just goes to show you how important reviews are. I had decided, multiple times, not to purchase the book because the sample seemed so monotone. I enjoyed the original series in print, rereading it often. I didn't want that ruined by a bad reading, although I did want to be able to listen to the story in the car.

Finally, a review was posted that specifically gave the narrator credit for strong distinction between the voices. So, I purchased it.

It was very well done. In truth, there isn't so much a distinction in the usual way--a baritone to one, a tenor to the other, or something along those lines. Rather, the two personalities are very different, and that is what is distinctive. Clearly and consistently done, it's both highly entertaining and effective.

  • Forget Me Not

  • Mnevermind, Book 2
  • By: Jordan Castillo Price
  • Narrated by: Seth Clayton
  • Length: 6 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 82
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 77
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 77

No two people are exactly alike, but Elijah Crowe is very, very different. Elijah is on the autism spectrum, so the tasks of day-to-day life most people breeze through are a challenge for him. His career suffered because he never got the hang of schmoozing, and now he wastes his talents teaching classes at the mall. His social circle is limited to his ex, his therapist, and a structured inclusion group at the Rec Center. The one bright spot in his life is the memory science of Mnemography.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazing! My favorite of the series - Love Elijah!

  • By Morgan A Skye on 03-29-17

Phenomenal narrator

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-09-18

Vocal variety is amazing. No two characters are the same. His voice for the main character, who is autistic, is consistent throughout even though it's an unusual speech pattern. I like this author's work, but this is one of those situations where the performed version is better than reading it on your own (ordinarily, I don't listen to books I haven't already read, but this was a long road trip, so....)