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Karissa Eckert

  • 236
  • reviews
  • 311
  • helpful votes
  • 366
  • ratings
  • Ink and Bone

  • The Great Library
  • By: Rachel Caine
  • Narrated by: Julian Elfer
  • Length: 10 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,616
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,452
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,450

Ruthless and supremely powerful, the Great Library is now a presence in every major city, governing the flow of knowledge to the masses. Alchemy allows the library to deliver the content of the greatest works of history instantly - but the personal ownership of books is expressly forbidden. Jess Brightwell believes in the value of the library, but the majority of his knowledge comes from illegal books obtained by his family, who are involved in the thriving black market.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Poor, Poor Protagonist

  • By Hopeisananchor on 04-08-16

Awesome world-building and characters!

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

Reviewed: 02-06-19

This is the first book in The Great Library series. I believe five books are planned in this series. This had some amazing world-building and wonderful characters. The story was really good as well. It was really the epic world-building that sold me on this book; such a creative alternate history that I just absolutely loved.

I listened to this on audiobook and Elfer did an amazing job narrating it. This is one of those book I would definitely recommend listening to on audiobook if you enjoy audiobooks!

Jess grew up in a family of book smugglers but his dream comes true when he is sent to train for a position at the Great Library in Alexandria. Of course this opportunity comes with a price, Jess’s dad wants Jess to help out the smugglers from inside the library. Along the way Jess meets many amazing students and find out that the Great Library may not be what even his cynical mind thought it was.

All the characters were very well done. I loved Jess and all his classmates. The world-building was amazing and detailed. This is one of those alternate history/steampunk types of books and I was really impressed with the detail and thought that went into the world.

Overall I absolutely loved this. I thought it was a well done alternate history/steampunk book and was impressed with how creative it was. I am incredibly curious as to what will happen next. Can't wait to read the next book! I would recommend to those who enjoy alternate history/steampunk types of epic fantasy.

  • Within the Sanctuary of Wings

  • A Memoir by Lady Trent
  • By: Marie Brennan
  • Narrated by: Kate Reading
  • Length: 10 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 431
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 411
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 408

After nearly five decades, one might think they were wellacquainted with Lady Isabella Trent - dragon naturalist, scandalous explorer, and perhaps as infamous for her company and feats of daring as she is famous for her discoveries and additions to the scientific field. And yet - after her initial adventure in the mountains of Vystrana and her exploits in the depths of war-torn Eriga, to the high seas aboard the Basilisk and then to the inhospitable deserts of Akhia - Lady Trent has captivated hearts along with fierce minds.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • THE BEST ENDING TO A SERIES EVER

  • By Heather D on 05-02-17

Amazing end to this wonderful series!

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

Reviewed: 01-15-19

This is the fifth and final book in the Memoirs of Lady Trent series. I really loved this whole series and this book was an amazing close to it.

I listened to this whole series on audiobook which I would definitely recommend. Reading does an amazing job narrating this book and it’s an absolute joy to listen to.

In this volume Lady Trent and crew end up in the isolated mountains searching for what could be a new type of dragon. However, what Lady Trent stumbles upon is so much more than that.

Brennan does an amazing job of tying everything from the previous books together in this book. She also does an amazing job tying up the memoirs in general. I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of this book and am actual sad this series is over.

My only complaint about this series is that I wish Lady Trent’s son, Jake, had been in it more. He seems like such a fun and amazing character and we only see him a little in the third book. I would love to see a series that chronicles Jake’s adventures!

Overall I adored this whole series. I would highly recommend this to fantasy loves who enjoy scientific theory or cryptozoology. I loved everything about this series; the story, the characters, the adventure, the world-building, and of course the dragons. I can’t wait to see what Brennan comes up with next and am sad to see this series end.

  • The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

  • The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing
  • By: Marie Kondo
  • Narrated by: Emily Woo Zeller
  • Length: 4 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 24,196
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20,923
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20,692

Despite constant efforts to declutter your home, do papers still accumulate like snowdrifts and clothes pile up like a tangled mess of noodles?Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes tidying to a whole new level, promising that if you properly simplify and organize your home once, you'll never have to do it again. Most methods advocate a room-by-room or little-by-little approach, which doom you to pick away at your piles of stuff forever.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I both love and hate this life changing book

  • By Rebecca on 02-22-15

Some helpful ideas, very inspiring

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

Reviewed: 01-15-19

As one of my New Year's resolutions I am trying to get my clothing habit in check and in general adopt a more minimalist attitude towards material items. This book was a great discussion around that and how you can once and for all "tidy" your home and as a result your life and mind.

I listened to this on audiobook and the audiobook was well done. The narration was easy to follow and listen to.

I found this to be a quick and inspiring read and ended up really enjoying some of the ideas presented. The tidying method presented here is very simple and logical, yet not necessarily intuitive.

I liked the idea of only keeping around items that bring you joy and of respecting your items and considering how they would want to be treated. Kondo’s idea that you must physically handle every single item in your house and ask if it brings you joy is a good one; it really brings home how much stuff you have that you don't really love or need.

My only complaints were that I felt that the book was a bit repetitive and that some of this was just pure common sense. Also, I thought Kondo spent a bit too much time "selling" her methods to the reader. I obviously wanted to learn about this since I picked up the book, I didn't need her to convince me that I needed to learn about it.

Additionally she does go into a bit of discussion about the psychology between people and their stuff and this was intriguing to me. This book provided a lot of interesting food for thought and will definitely change how I interact with the material items in my life. It made a huge impression on me.

Overall this was a well done book about minimalism and organizing your materials objects. It could have been a bit less repetitive and done a bit less “selling” and it would have been even better.

  • Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell

  • By: Susanna Clarke
  • Narrated by: Simon Prebble
  • Length: 32 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 7,810
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,482
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 5,484

English magicians were once the wonder of the known world, with fairy servants at their beck and call; they could command winds, mountains, and woods. But by the early 1800s they have long since lost the ability to perform magic. They can only write long, dull papers about it, while fairy servants are nothing but a fading memory.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Hang in there!

  • By D. McMillen on 05-31-05

Beautiful but boring.

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

Reviewed: 01-15-19

I have had this audiobook for quite awhile to listen to and finally decided to give it a go because I was going to be driving 18 hours over a couple days. This book is beautifully written and detailed but is just flat out boring. While Clarke does an excellent job of building a probable world where magic actually existed in London, I always felt very distant from the characters and story. I ended up stopping listening to this about 40% of the way through.

I listened to this on audiobook and the narration was well done. No complaints about the audiobook quality at all.

The story however, meandered between a huge number of characters. I cared less and less about the characters as more and more were introduced and finally gave up on following all the different names. The story was just not interesting. I agreed with most of London society in that Mr. Norrell needed to do something...anything interesting.

Overall this was not the book for me. Although the book is beautifully written, it is an absolute drag to read. I think this book had huge potential, Clarke does an amazing job of creating a probable historical London with magic. However, things moved way too slow, were very drawn out and were just exhaustingly boring.

  • In the Labyrinth of Drakes

  • A Memoir by Lady Trent
  • By: Marie Brennan
  • Narrated by: Kate Reading
  • Length: 10 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 479
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 452
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 450

Even those who take no interest in the field of dragon naturalism have heard of Lady Trent's expedition to the inhospitable deserts of Akhia. Her discoveries there are the stuff of romantic legend, catapulting her from scholarly obscurity to worldwide fame. The details of her personal life during that time are hardly less private, having provided fodder for gossips in several countries.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • could not stop listening

  • By Morgan Reed on 01-05-17

Wonderful series and amazing narration

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

Reviewed: 01-11-19


This is the fourth book in the Lady Trent series and was a wonderful continuation of this series. This series just keeps getting better and better. I love the characters, the adventure, and the alternate history.

I listened to this on audiobook and these audiobooks have been amazingly well done. I would highly recommend listening to these on audiobook if you enjoy audiobooks.

This book sees Lady Trent and Tom employed by the Scirling Army in an effort to start a dragon breeding program. This time Lady Trent’s travels take her to Suhail’s homeland where the politics are just as complicated as in her previous adventures.

I really loved some of the things they learned about the desert drakes and enjoyed all the adventures they went on. I also loved the interactions between Isabella and Suhail. I did miss Jake and wish he had been in the story some (he is off at boarding school for this book).

Overall this was a delightful read and I loved it even more than previous books. I am excited to see where things end up in the final book in the series. I would recommend this series to those who enjoy historical fantasy with a lot of science (about dragons) and adventure.

  • Wings of Wrath

  • Magister Trilogy, Book 2
  • By: C. S. Friedman
  • Narrated by: Elisabeth Rodgers
  • Length: 16 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 441
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 388
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 390

Kamala, a peasant woman, has claimed the powerful sorcery of the Magisters - the ability to draw on the power of the human soul without dying for it- as her own. But in her rise to power, she finds herself hunted by the brotherhood, and flees to a land where spells are warped by a fatal curse. It is a land that even Magisters fear.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • good although not as good as the first one.

  • By Marco on 02-12-15

Excellent classic epic fantasy

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

Reviewed: 12-16-18

This is the second book in Friedman’s Magister series. This has been an amazing fantasy series and is a very good classic fantasy read!

I listened to this on audiobook and the audiobook was very well done. In fact if I weren’t listening to this on audiobook I probably wouldn’t be continuing on with the series. Rodgers just does such an amazing job narrating the story.

Kamala is reeling after events in the first book and is trying to find a way to gain knowledge that she can use as leverage against the rest of the Magisters. She decides to journey towards the Wrath (a magical barrier that separates the North from the rest of the world) and try to learn its secrets. Many secrets are revealed about the Wrath and the Soul Eaters that dwell to the North.

This story switches POV a ton throughout the book and a lot more characters are added to the story. However, I never had trouble following it. Friedman is also not at all afraid of eliminating major characters as a course of the story and adding in new ones.

The Soul Eaters and their companions make the Magisters seem like heroes in this book. I continue to enjoy the good vs evil themes and all the magic and the way life-force is needed to make magic function. I am incredibly curious to see how things wrap up in the third book; this story has been very intriguing and very hard to predict.

Friedman’s writing style is very “classic” fantasy and reminds me a lot of books I read that came out in the 80’s and 90’s. I have been enjoying the nostalgic feel that reading this series gives me!

Overall this has been an incredible fantasy series. I love the complex world, interesting magic system, entangled plot, and the unpredictability of it all. The characters are well done and the world building is epic. I would highly recommend to those who enjoy epic fantasy with a classic feel to it.

  • Throne of Jade

  • Temeraire, Book 2
  • By: Naomi Novik
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 11 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,172
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,715
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,712

When Britain intercepted a French ship and its precious cargo, an unhatched dragon's egg, Captain Will Laurence of HMS Reliant unexpectedly became master and commander of the noble dragon he named Temeraire. As new recruits in Britain's Aerial Corps, man and dragon soon proved their mettle. But now China has discovered that its rare gift, intended for Napoleon, has fallen into British hands, and an angry Chinese delegation vows to reclaim the remarkable beast.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • fast forward part 2

  • By Nicholas on 10-22-07

Move slowly but is well written

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

Reviewed: 12-09-18

This is the second book in the Temeraire series and was a much weaker book than the first book in this series. I still really enjoyed the relationship between Temeraire and Lawrence. However, I felt like nothing really happened in this book and that things were really drawn out.

I listened to this on audiobook and the audiobook was very well done. Vance is a joy to listen to and does a great job with differentiating character voices and portraying emotion.

The whole story is about Laurence and Temeraire journeying to China and then trying to make sure they aren't separated. China thinks Temeraire should be back in China, but Laurence and Temeraire do not want that to happen.

In general this made for a slow and boring read. Lots of time is spent sailing and is spent with Laurence and Temeraire cooling their heels in the Chinese court. I enjoyed watching Temeraire meet other dragons of his type. There was also a battle with a sea dragon that was entertaining.

Overall this was still a very well written book and I enjoyed Temeraire immensely but I don't think I will be continuing with this series. The stories have been very military in nature (something I don’t enjoy), very "day in the life of" and I don't understand the where this series is going plot-wise.

  • Tropic of Serpents

  • Memoir by Lady Trent, Book 2
  • By: Marie Brennan
  • Narrated by: Kate Reading
  • Length: 10 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 689
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 640
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 640

Three years after her fateful journeys through the forbidding mountains of Vystrana, Mrs. Camherst defies family and convention to embark on an expedition to the war-torn continent of Eriga, home of such exotic draconian species as the grass-dwelling snakes of the savannah, arboreal tree snakes, and, most elusive of all, the legendary swamp wyrms of the tropics. The expedition is not an easy one....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Like Listening to the Lady Naturalist Herself

  • By Kbozzerelli on 03-25-15

Another great addition to this series!

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

Reviewed: 11-14-18

This is the second book in the Memoirs of Lady Trent series. I really enjoyed all the adventure in this book and loved exploring the alternate world that Lady Trent lives in.

I listened to this on audiobook and Kate Reading does an amazing job narrating the story. I would definitely recommend listening to on audiobook if you enjoy audiobooks.

Aside from all the wonderful adventures; Lady Trent grows a lot as a naturalist and starts actually making herself a name in this book. I enjoy her character and how dedicated she is to her science. In this novel she is also working on some personal issues and struggling with how to act and engage as a mother to her young son.

Additionally, I really enjoyed learning about some new species of dragons; each book has introduced a new species and built on information from the previous books.

Overall this was another fun fantasy adventure read set in a Victorian-like time period. I have been enjoying this series a lot and plan on continuing it.

  • Dungeon Born

  • Divine Dungeon Series, Book 1
  • By: Dakota Krout
  • Narrated by: Vikas Adam
  • Length: 12 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,680
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,133
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,107

For eons, conquering dungeons has been the most efficient way to become a strong adventurer. Although not everything is as straightforward as it seems. Several questions have always plagued the minds of those who enter these mythical places of power: why are there so many monsters? Where do the amazing weaponry and heavy gold coins come from? Why does the very air fill with life-giving energies? Cal has all of the answers to these age-old questions, for a very simple reason. He is a Dungeon Heart.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Gem in the RPG/Fantasy Genre

  • By SirMehr on 04-01-17

Fun take on RPG based fantasy fiction

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

Reviewed: 11-07-18

This is the first book in the Divine Dungeon series. This was a fun fantasy read that was creative and had a ton of gamer geek culture references in it. I enjoyed it quite a bit.

I listened to this on audiobook and was really impressed with narration. Adam also narrates The Heartstrikers series and does a great job on that series too. I would definitely recommend listening to on audiobook is you love audiobooks.

This book goes between two POVs. The first is that of a newly born dungeon who he trying to grow himself into a more dangerous dungeon. The second is that of a young man who found the dungeon and bought the land the dungeon is on; he is trying to become an adventurer.

The whole idea behind dungeons being grown and being a huge part of society is really intriguing and creative. There are tons of wonderful gamer/geek references throughout that I really enjoyed.

My only complaint is that sometimes it got a bit dry as mechanics for how the dungeon and ranking up were explained...almost reference bookish.

Overall this was a fun read and I plan on continuing the series. I would recommend to those who enjoy fantasy and are into RPGs, the mechanics of gaming, and love reading about dungeon delving.

  • A Natural History of Dragons

  • A Memoir by Lady Trent
  • By: Marie Brennan
  • Narrated by: Kate Reading
  • Length: 10 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,094
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,961
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,954

You, dear listener, continue at your own risk. It is not for the faint of heart - no more so than the study of dragons itself. But such study offers rewards beyond compare: to stand in a dragon's presence, even for the briefest of moments - even at the risk of one's life - is a delight that, once experienced, can never be forgotten….All the world, from Scirland to the farthest reaches of Eriga, know Isabella, Lady Trent, to be the world's preeminent dragon naturalist.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Fantastical, Scientific, and Captivating Joy Ride

  • By Abbygail on 03-06-16

Well done Victorian fantasy!

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

Reviewed: 10-27-18

This is the first of five books in The Memoirs of Lady Trent series. Previous to reading this book I had also read Brennan’s Doppleganger series (enjoyed it) and the first book in her Onyx Court series (didn’t like it). This is a historical fantasy of sorts and is told from an aged Lady Trent's POV. She tells the reader about her childhood and her start into the research of dragons. I ended up enjoying this quite a bit.

I listened to this on audiobook and really enjoyed it. Kate Reading always does a phenomenal job narrating and I loved listening to her read this book. I would highly recommend listening to this on audiobook if you enjoy audiobooks.

I love this kind of Victorian fantasy, and despite being a bit slow at times, I really enjoyed this. I love how scientific minded Lady Trent is and how she is portrayed throughout. She has a witty and dry sense of humor and is never overly sentimental. There isn’t any romance in this book, so if you are looking for that don’t look here.

Overall this was a great read and I will definitely continue this series. I can't wait to find out what happens in the next book. I would recommend to those who enjoy Victorian fantasies about mythical creatures.