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Lidia Chymkowska

Poland
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  • 69
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  • 123
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  • Web of Eyes

  • By: Rhett C. Bruno, Jaime Castle
  • Narrated by: Luke Daniels
  • Length: 11 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 188
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 183
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 182

Self-proclaimed “World's Greatest Thief", Whitney Fierstown, has yet to find a trinket or treasure he couldn't steal. He nearly pulls off the heist of the century by snatching the Glass Crown off the dying king's head until rotten luck throws him into the path of Torsten Unger, a steadfast knight determined to save his vulnerable kingdom. Torsten offers this ultimatum: rot and die in a dank cell or join him on a dangerous expedition and put his skills to good use.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I loved this book!

  • By Joliet Jill on 11-15-18

It lacks the magic of great fantasy works...

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

Reviewed: 12-13-18

It's my first book both by the authors Rhett C. Bruno and Jaime Castle and by the narrator Luke Daniels. And although it's an OK meeting, I somehow feel there is something lacking in that epic story - I don't feel the magic here that I usually find in great fantasy novels...

But, that said, it's not a bad book, it keeps you going on, keeps you interested in some characters at least and some events. It has all the elements you want to find in an epic fantasy series: a quest to save the kingdom, mages, demons, knights and thieves... Quite a set of a few interesting characters and quite a chain of adventures and misadventures, really... And yet there were moments when I forced myself to listen on...

The only explanation I can give for that is that the main character, Whitney, really got on my nerves after the first hour of listening. He has nothing that would somewhow warm me up to him; he is arrogant, boastful, never knows when to shut up... And his voice... How old is he? 80 going on 90?... I would probably have liked him better if I just read the book. But the voice he's been given by Mr Daniels is so over the top, so preposterous that it was a real torture for me listening to him. I know other listeners appreciated Mr Daniel's job and I don't deny it, he's an excellent voice actor, great at doing different accents and different male voices (I liked almost all the other voices in the story), but Whithey's voice just literally 'scratched' my brain (you know that dreadful feeling you have when someone scratches the blackboard with fingernails, right?...)

So overall, it's a decent fantasy epic, with some good adventures and interesting characters, very well acted out by Mr Daniels in general, with some small flaws that some listeners may find irritating and irksome.

DISCLAIMER: I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • A Hole in One: A Glass Dolphin Mystery

  • Glass Dolphin Mystery Series, Book 2
  • By: Judy Penz Sheluk
  • Narrated by: Kelli Lindsay
  • Length: 6 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 13

Hoping to promote the Glass Dolphin antiques shop, co-owners Arabella Carpenter and Emily Garland agree to sponsor a hole in one contest at a charity golf tournament. The publicity turns out to be anything but positive, however, when Arabella’s errant tee shot lands in the woods next to a corpse. They soon learn that the victim is closely related to Arabella’s ex-husband, who had been acting as the Course Marshal. With means, opportunity, and more than enough motive, he soon becomes the police department’s prime suspect, leaving Arabella and Emily determined to clear his name.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Hole in One

  • By Christy D on 12-11-18

As good as Book 1 in the series...

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

Reviewed: 12-08-18

The second book in the Glass Dolphin Mystery series is as engaging and entertaining as the first one was.

Arabella and Emily are back, and this time the case is much more personal for them, as both Arabella's ex-husband and Emily's ex-boyfriend are involved in the crime... Will the girls be able to get to the bottom of things...?
As with the previous part, all the characters we meet are full-bodied people, with complicated backgrounds, with their own agendas, with secrets coming out to the light in the most inconvenient situations...:) The plot is really fast though it's mostly through conversations that we get the clues and evidence - which gives the book the great nostalgic vibe of Agatha Christie classics (definitely an advantage for me:)).

The narration by Ms Lindsay is very good. She doesn't do much of voice differentiation but we still follow easily both the plot and the dialogues, and the pace of her reading is OK.

DISCLAIMER: I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

  • By: Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Narrated by: Christopher Preece
  • Length: 2 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 6
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 6
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a Gothic novella by Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson, first published in 1886. The work is also known as The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. It is about a London lawyer named Gabriel John Utterson who investigates strange occurrences between his old friend, Dr. Henry Jekyll, and the evil Edward Hyde. The novella's impact is such that it has become a part of the language, with the very phrase "Jekyll and Hyde" entering the vernacular to refer to people with an unpredictably dual nature.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A very well narrated classic...

  • By Lidia Chymkowska on 12-07-18

A very well narrated classic...

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

Reviewed: 12-07-18

The story of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is so well known that it probably doesn't need any introduction. It may not be as scary nowadays as it used to be when it was first published, but it still remains a great example of the 19th century Gothic literature, with partly epistolary/story-witin-a-story type of narration and some attempts at psychological insight into the behaviour of the main characters...

Narration by Mr Preece is very good indeed. It brings the story to life, adding a second layer of emotions to it and changing what for some may be a dated book into and exciting novella.

DISCLAIMER: I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

  • Blood Codex: A Jake Crowley Adventure

  • Jake Crowley Adventures, Book 1
  • By: David Wood, Alan Baxter
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Waters
  • Length: 8 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 58
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 54
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 54

When Jake Crowley rescues Rose Black from assailants on the streets of London, the two find themselves embroiled in a mystery that could cost them their lives. People are dying, and all the victims have one thing in common with Rose: a birthmark in the shape of an eagle. From beneath the streets of London, to castle dungeons, to the heart of Christendom and beyond, Jake and Rose must race to stay alive as they seek to unlock the secrets of the Blood Codex.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A good writer and a very capable Narrator

  • By cosmitron on 02-15-18

An interesting take on Norse mythology...

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

Reviewed: 12-07-18

It's my introduction to works by both David Wood and Alan Baxter, and it's a very enjoyable one.

The book uses Norse mythology and Viking rituals as the starting point of the plot, and then goes on a rollercoaster of adventures, with one exciting event after another. The pace is really fast, the main characters likeable, the villains... well, villaneous and a bit crazy:) There are some improbabilities and implausibilities in the storyline, but as the book has the feel of the Indiana Jones movies, they do not bother the reader/listener so much.

Narration by Mr Waters is very good. He brings all the characters to life effortlessly, keeps up with the pace of the story, adding excitement to it and making it almost a cinematic experience. Definitely a narrator worth coming back to.

DISCLAIMER: I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

  • The Shadow Rises

  • Witch-Hunter, Book 1
  • By: K.S. Marsden
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Ip
  • Length: 5 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 19
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 19

In the face of dark magic and evil witches, a secret witch-hunting society works tirelessly to keep them at bay. The Malleus Maleficarum Council has strict rules and practises for eradicating magic. Due to their work, witches have been almost forgotten, relegated to myth - but rumours are starting to emerge of a new power that will throw the world into chaos. As the only seventh generation witch-hunter, Hunter Astley is the best the MMC has to offer. With the help of his colleagues, it’s a race to track down this new threat and stop it...in any way he can. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Horror of the Witch Variety

  • By Big Cheese on 06-18-18

The hunter hunt begins...:)

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

Reviewed: 12-01-18

'The Shadow Rises' is the first book in the series - and you can feel it. It has all the elements I like in a good story about the paranormal/witchcraft/magic, but it also has some flaws that are often unavoidable in a first of any series...

The strength of the book are definitely the main characters - Hunter, James and Sophie. They are intriguing, deep, with some well developed background stories, and yet still not so obvious to the reader/listener that you'd say 'I already know everything there's to know about them'... The world of witches and witch hunters is also very well explained, and the idea of the importance of which generation a hunter belongs to and the consequences of that fact gives it a twist not found anywhere else, I think. Another strong point? The description of the development of relationships between different characters is very good - we feel that development, we see the relationships evolving, changing, tightening or loosening...

The weakness of the book, then? There are so many things that have to be explained for the reader/listener to understand the realities of the world created by the author, that the plot itself and the pace of the tale take the background seat and kind of feel slow... There are some scenes of action, good ones (no doubt about that), but there's also so much talk about the world of hunters and their fight against witches that there's not much room left for the actual fight...:)

But that one weakness shouldn't be used as an excuse for you not to give the book a chance. It's a really solid introduction to the series, and it definitely makes you want to read or listen on to find out what happens to Hunter and Sophie and other characters we met...:) Overall, I'd say it's a 3.5 star book - definitely more than 'pretty good' but a bit less than 'great':)

As for the narration, it's very good. I like Mr Ip's interpretation of the male characters, I also like the fact that he doesn't try to sound too feminine when reading females' parts. He adds quite a bit of emotions to the dialogues and makes the whole experience very relaxing.

DISCLAIMER: I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • DragonMan: The Awakening

  • By: Ted Lazaris
  • Narrated by: Gareth Johnson
  • Length: 5 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 11
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 11
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 11

In the distant past, long before people populated the Earth, and before animals roamed the planet, something terrifying and cunning made its home in the vegetation covering the planet like a soft green blanket. Lying in wait for millions of years, this species continued to evolve, patiently crossing over and manipulating the genetic code of different species. And now, this perfect omniscient being, born from oblivion, has awakened and is ready to feed.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Solid Science Fiction Fun

  • By Spooky Mike on 11-16-18

It's 3.5 both for the story and performance...

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

Reviewed: 11-29-18

It's one of these books which are difficult for me to rate...

On the one hand, it has some great characters - the greatest in this case is the villain:). It also has a very fast-paced plot - the events race one after another, the situation changes in a blink of an eye... It has very short chapters, which adds a lot of tension and dynamics to the whole... It's very descriptive - your imagination doesn't have to work very hard for you to envision the places, people and events...

But these strengths are also the book's weaknesses, surprisingly. There are so many characters that it was difficult for me to follow them sometimes - and some of them could have been totally omitted as their presence did not add anything to the story (as this is a part of a bigger series, I understand they play their parts in other books, but the plentitude of them in this case was overwhelming...). The fast pace of the storyline gave me a feeling of really jumping through time without warning - I had a feeling of scenes missing in between main events... Short chapters are great but illogical when a chapter ends in the middle of a conversation and the next one just continues the same conversation, in the same place, between the same people. It's as if you put a fullstop in the middle of a sentence instead of a coma... It made me lose focus a few times and I had to rewind a chapter to get on track with the plot. All of these make me believe that you should probably read the book rather than listen to it - it will be easier to follow.
Oh, and the biggest fault of the book for me? A huuuuge cliffhanger - there's no ending to the adventure....

As for the narration, it's my first by Mr Johnson. As some other reviewers mentioned, especially at the beginning he sounds a bit over the top, but then you do get used to it and finally I've decided he's somewhere between 'pretty good' and 'great'. I'll try to listen to something else by him and see which way it goes. He definitely is fantastic with the 'alien' voices, he is also good at giving voices to individual characters, to be sure; I liked him a bit less in the narrative parts:)

DISCLAIMER: I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

  • A Touch of Fate: Fated for Curves - Book One (Magic, New Mexico 16)

  • By: Aidy Award
  • Narrated by: Gwen Cross
  • Length: 4 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 24
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 24
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 24

Kady Ayininkizi, your anything but average curvy geek girl, has isolated herself in her brand-new tiny house in the mountains because she’s tired of being bullied by the alphaholes of the world. The spaceship that crashes in her backyard brings the first alien she’s ever encountered - make that the sexiest alien ever. When he insists she help him get to some weird place called Magic, New Mexico, she is determined to outwit the men in black in spite of the growing attraction that she knows will never come to fruition.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I loved this!

  • By Brandie @AudiobookObsession on 11-14-18

3.5 rounded up to 4.0 for the story...

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

Reviewed: 11-24-18

Kady and Black - a witch and a shape-shifting alien warrior... the premise sounded intriguing, and the book does not disappoint in that aspect. The plot is fast, has some unexpected turns and twists, and there's a closure to the story - although there's space for continuation, too...

There are a lot of elements in the book that I liked: the idea for the villains of the story - the spectral soul stealers, the way the soul magic works (finally a book which has hot sex scenes for a reason:)), the gnomes and their protective wards...

There are also some elements I found a bit too familiar, tropes that have been overexploited in the shape-shifter romance books over the years, like the mating rituals, for example. Why do they always look the same, no matter who writes the book...? Luckily, the author freshened them up a bit here, so that feeling of 'I've already heard it a million times' wasn't so bothersome:)

To sum it up, it's quite a good story if you don't mind following some familiar paths but just want to have some fun reading a shape-shifter/witch romance.

As for the narration, it's quite good. Ms Cross reads at a steady pace, not too slow, not too fast, with some voice modulation for particular characters so there's no problem with understanding who is who in conversations. There were some scenes I think lacked a bit of emotion on her part, but these were very few, luckily, and generally I liked her interpretation of the book a lot.

DISCLAIMER: I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

  • Dagger's Destiny

  • Curse of Clansmen and Kings Series, Book 2
  • By: Linnea Tanner
  • Narrated by: Kristin James
  • Length: 12 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 8
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 8
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 8

In the rich and vibrant tale, Author Linnea Tanner continues the story of Catrin and Marcellus that began with the awarding-winning novel Apollo’s Raven in the Curse of Clansmen and Kings Series. Book 2: Dagger’s Destiny sweeps you into an epic tale of forbidden love, mythological adventure, and political intrigue in Ancient Rome and Britannia. War looms over 24 AD Britannia where rival tribal rulers fight each other for power and the Romans threaten to invade to settle their political differences. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Forbidden Love, Magic and Evil

  • By AudioBook Reviewer on 11-08-18

The story gets darker with every chapter...

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

Reviewed: 11-18-18

In the first book, Apollo's Raven, Catrin, a princess of Britannia, and Marcellus, the grandson of Marc Anthony, fall in love... But it's forbidden love as they come from warring nations. When Catrin saves Marcellus from certain death in battle, in the eyes of her clansmen she commits treason - and punishment for that is death...

This is the starting point for the second part of the series - Catrin undergoing a trial and accepting her punishment, willing to redeem herself in the eyes of her father, King Amren. But nothing is easy in the times of war, and Amren and his family have a formidable enemy, one who can transform into a wolf, one who can weave powerful magic, one who hates them more than anyone else... And there's also Marcellus, trying to save Catrin as she once saved him, loving her beyond reason, and taking great risks to still try and prevent war between Britannia and Rome...

The plot in Dagger's Destiny is full of suspence, full of emotions, and full of surpries. The tale takes you trough a rollercoster of emotions: hope, despair, anger and joy... With every chapter the story gets more complicated; in one moment we feel that maybe there's a chance of a happy ending for Catrin and her beloved only to discover a moment later that the dark forces at play seem to prevail... The nearer the end, the more violent the whole tale becomes, with fearful battles taking place, with heads being severed and women, children and the elderly mutilated... It's a heart-breaking kind of ending, I must say - with almost all hope lost, with all the main characters losing faith and with more questions left unanswered that we would like... But it definitely is a tale you want to continue reading/listening to - I certainly will.

As for the narration by Ms James, it's very good, although I sped it up a little - it's a long book, and Ms James reads it rather slowly. But she is great at interpreting individual characters and adding emotions to the narrative parts. Generally, it's a pleasure listening to her interpretation of the book.

DISCLAIMER: I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

  • The Avery Nolan Adventure Box Set

  • By: M.L. Hamilton
  • Narrated by: Kelley Hazen
  • Length: 30 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18

Get the complete Avery Nolan Adventures in a single box set - tons of action and adventure set in beautiful Lake Tahoe. The Avery Nolan Adventure series is a contemporary fantasy series, pitting our heroine against supernatural beings residing in Lake Tahoe. Recovering from a recent divorce, Avery finds herself in a situation unlike any she’s ever experienced before.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great Box Set

  • By Ashley Hedden on 11-06-18

A fantastic magical adventure in one set:)

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

Reviewed: 11-09-18

I had already listened to all four books in the box separately so I was really happy to get them all together in one set. You will find my reviews of the individual parts on their respective pages, but here's a short roundup of what I thought of them...:)

In book one - Swift as a Shadow - we get introduced to Avery Nolan. She's just got divorced and wants to start over so she moves to Tahoe with her golden retriever Basil - and that's when her life takes a really strange course and where her adventures begin... The story starts quite slow, the events unfold at a steady pace, with nothing particularly unusual or fantastical/magical happening and then when magic does happen, Avery tries to ignore or rationalize it. But, with all that, you somehow cannot stop listening - the mystery behind Duncan's behaviour won't let you:)

Book two - Short as Any Dream - is definitely more action-packed and emotional, with Duncan captured and an ICE agent asking difficult questions. Every chapter brings new trouble for Avery, Bay and the Aunts, and the emotional strain reaches its peak in a heart-breaking scene near the end of the book.

In the third installment of the series - Brief as Lightning - Avery, with agent Braddock's help, finally sets off to find the portal to Frostfell - and again not everything goes according to plan... There's a lot of action, we meet new fantastic characters - the last of the Rainbow people - and as usual, we get a surprising ending to the adventure, being really the opening/teaser for the next installment...

The final adventure in the series - Momentary as a Sound - brings us many surprises on the way to quite a satisfactory ending to the whole story. The plotline, as with the other three parts, is quite fast-paced, logical and intriguing, and keeps you glued to the pages (player, in my case). There are a lot of action-packed moments, but there are also moments of emotional turmoil which will move your heart. In general, that's a great ending to Avery's story:)

While reading/listening to the set you will fall in love with Avery, but she will also get on your nerves. Sometimes she's a rational human being, sometimes she's as brave and loyal as any superhero, and sometimes she behaves like a crazy lunatic on the brink of hysteria...:) The only thing you won't feel towards her? Indifference...

There are also other characters you won't forget - Duncan, Bay, the Aunts, Agent Braddock, Avery's parents... oh, and little Susan and other kids in Avery's class, too:)... you can't ask for a more colourful bunch of strong individuals with as many faults as they have virtues, and as many not always all-so-clear motives for their behaviour... Character development for sure is one of the strongest points of Ms Hamilton's writing. The world building is equally good: the school where Avery works, the forest where Duncan and Bay live, Frostfell - you just see the places in all their complexity and beauty...

And last but not least: the narration. I can definitely say that Avery Nolan's adventures are Ms Hazen's masterpiece. She gives each character an individual voice - I especially loved the voices of the Aunts and of little Susan (the interpretation of that last character does deserve an Oscar, in my opinion:)) - and she conveys all the emotions, all the happiness and all the turmoil, just perfectly...

DISCLAIMER: I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

  • Hello, My Name Is Oliver

  • By: Paymaneh Ritchie
  • Narrated by: E Roy Worley
  • Length: 1 hr and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 11
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11

Oliver, the funny, SPCA-adopted Beagle-cross is like any other dog and has a basic range of feelings. He just has a lot of them. Anxiety, depression, lack of self-esteem, and loneliness accompany Oliver to his new home where he sheds a few of these issues and teaches his new owners to cope with the rest.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Cute story

  • By TNelly on 10-17-18

Oliver - a dog with depression...:)

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

Reviewed: 11-09-18

It's a very short listen, just a bit over an hour long, but it's very entertaining...

It's written in the 1st person and Oliver turns out to be a wonderful narrator - it's real fun to listen to a dog's perception of human behaviour...:) Oliver is not a sweet, cute, little puppy but a Beagle-cross with anxieties, depression and low self-esteem. He's also witty, observant and very tolerant when it comes to his human parents; you just can't help laughing at some remarks he makes when he comments on himself and on what his human Mum and Dad do...

The book is very well written, both plotwise and language-wise; it has the kind of humour I like, a bit abstract, ironic but subtle. And the main character, Oliver the dog, is a complex individual who brings to mind a filmy kind of grandpa - grumpy on the outside with a heart of gold inside:)

The only fault of the book? It's too short:) It ends rather abruptly, just when you want to find out what will happen when Oliver and Lexi are left home alone while their parents travel to Europe...:)

Narration by Mr Worley is very good. It's quite fast, but clear, and you can defnitely identify with Oliver (however strange it may sound) in his interpretation:)

DISCLAIMER: I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.