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  • 11
  • reviews
  • 34
  • helpful votes
  • 33
  • ratings
  • Shadow of Night

  • By: Deborah Harkness
  • Narrated by: Jennifer Ikeda
  • Length: 24 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14,743
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13,315
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13,318

Now, picking up from A Discovery of Witches' cliff-hanger ending, Shadow of Night plunges Diana Bishop and Matthew Clairmont into Elizabethan London, a world of spies, subterfuge, and a coterie of Matthew's old friends, the mysterious School of Night that includes Christopher Marlowe and Walter Raleigh. Here, Diana must locate a witch to tutor her in magic, Matthew is forced to confront a past he thought he had put to rest, and the mystery of Ashmole 782 deepens. Deborah Harkness has crafted a gripping journey through a world of alchemy, time travel, and magical discoveries.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended, however....

  • By J. Lunsford on 07-15-12

better than the first

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

Reviewed: 09-08-18

much better than the first one, it seems like the author has hit her stride and become comfortable with her characters.

  • Sufficiently Advanced Magic

  • Arcane Ascension, Book 1
  • By: Andrew Rowe
  • Narrated by: Nick Podehl
  • Length: 21 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,710
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 11,959
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,927

Five years ago Corin Cadence's brother entered the Serpent Spire - a colossal tower with ever-shifting rooms, traps, and monsters. Those who survive the spire's trials return home with an attunement: a mark granting the bearer magical powers. According to legend, those few who reach the top of the tower will be granted a boon by the spire's goddess. He never returned. Now it's Corin's turn. He's headed to the top floor, on a mission to meet the goddess.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Very good book

  • By Jason N. on 07-20-17

Not even my favorite narrator could save this one.

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

Reviewed: 06-24-18

Plot is convoluted and writing lackluster. No character development. Support cast is essentially shell characters. The one redeming quality is that the hero contemplates going on a date with another guy which was unique for a typically homophobic genre, but not enough to save the novel. Kudos to Nick Podehl for infusing the narrative with inflection I'm positive isn't in the text.

  • Dawn of Wonder

  • The Wakening, Book 1
  • By: Jonathan Renshaw
  • Narrated by: Tim Gerard Reynolds
  • Length: 29 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 32,712
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 30,750
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 30,672

When a high-ranking officer gallops into the quiet Mistyvales, he brings a warning that shakes the countryfolk to their roots. But for Aedan, a scruffy young adventurer with veins full of fire and a head full of ideas, this officer is not what he seems. The events that follow propel Aedan on a journey that only the foolhardy or desperate would risk, leading him to the gates of the nation's royal academy - a whole world of secrets in itself. But this is only the beginning of his discoveries.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Instant Favorite

  • By Joe on 03-21-16

What fun!!

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

Reviewed: 06-16-18

Reminds me of my favorite parts of the Wheel of Time with more humor and zest. love the narrating voice and can't wait for the next book.

  • Shogun

  • The Epic Novel of Japan: The Asian Saga, Book 1
  • By: James Clavell
  • Narrated by: Ralph Lister
  • Length: 53 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,118
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,831
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,827

A bold English adventurer; an invincible Japanese warlord; a beautiful woman torn between two ways of life, two ways of love - all brought together in an extraordinary saga of a time and a place aflame with conflict, passion, ambition, lust, and the struggle for power.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • amazingly well done!

  • By Ruby Dickson on 04-24-15

Boring book, good Japanese refresher course

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

Reviewed: 04-26-18

I had high hopes for this one. I knuckled down and made it through 40 someodd hours of listening to it thinking "surely it will get better." It never did.

There is one character in this book: the white guy. He is the only individual personality with discernable motives, emotions, or thoughts. Every other character blends into a repetitive litany of penis obsessed "duty and honor" comments. It was initially impossible to keep up with who was who in the supporting character cast. Initially, I thought it was due to my inattention to who was speaking, but then I realized that I couldn't differentiate any of the Japanese characters because they were all developed to the same virtually non-existent level.

This book could very easily be turned into a cast of: the hero, the evil priest, the buddy, the love interest, and 5 dudes wearing the same kabuki mask.

That said, I watched a lot of subtitled anime in my childhood and was surprised by how much of the language I recalled through the protagonist's lessons. That's the only reason I'm reviewing the book and not attempting to return it as a waste of time.

  • Cryptonomicon

  • By: Neal Stephenson
  • Narrated by: William Dufris
  • Length: 42 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,809
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,756
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,781

Neal Stephenson hacks into the secret histories of nations and the private obsessions of men, decrypting with dazzling virtuosity the forces that shaped this century.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Fixed!

  • By Rob J. on 04-16-17

The thesaurus in a loosely narrative form

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

Reviewed: 07-25-16

I don't usually give up on books I paid for, but this one was terrible. I'm pretty sure the main character suffers from Asperger's Syndrome and that might have had something to do with the narrative. I was optimistic that it might change with a new time period and new narrator. Once the author started in on the most bizarre collection of metaphors describing the scenery in a style of prose that would make even Tolkien say "Dear God, man, that's enough already!" I lost patience with it and gave up. Maybe it gets better. I'll leave that for other people to decide because I am over it.

  • The Final Empire

  • Mistborn Book 1
  • By: Brandon Sanderson
  • Narrated by: Michael Kramer
  • Length: 24 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 40,849
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 35,975
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 35,991

For a thousand years the ash fell and no flowers bloomed. For a thousand years the Skaa slaved in misery and lived in fear. For a thousand years the Lord Ruler, the "Sliver of Infinity," reigned with absolute power and ultimate terror, divinely invincible. Then, when hope was so long lost that not even its memory remained, a terribly scarred, heart-broken half-Skaa rediscovered it in the depths of the Lord Ruler's most hellish prison.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A GREAT TRILOGY!!!

  • By Don Gilbert on 11-12-09

Great story, irksome vocabulary

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

Reviewed: 02-09-16

I started with the Stormlight chronicles and needed more, so I came back to the older books. In a way, I feel proud of Sanderson because I can see the framework of the writer he will grow to be. This was a fun story. It's not overly cerebral and it goes in a predictable direction, but there were enough twists to keep it interesting. My only real complaint were a few word choices that kept catching my attention. I love it when I get so lost in a story I forget it isn't real but then an awkward phrase snatches me out. If it weren't for the repetitive uses of "maladroitly" I would have given this book a full 5 stars, but I couldn't get past those jerks back to reality by cumbersome phrases. Luckily, having started with his later work, I know Sanderson will grow out of those diction debacles as he learns.

  • Words of Radiance

  • The Stormlight Archive, Book 2
  • By: Brandon Sanderson
  • Narrated by: Michael Kramer, Kate Reading
  • Length: 48 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 43,575
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 40,754
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 40,741

In that first volume, we were introduced to the remarkable world of Roshar, a world both alien and magical, where gigantic hurricane-like storms scour the surface every few days and life has adapted accordingly. Roshar is shared by humans and the enigmatic, humanoid Parshendi, with whom they are at war.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Book !!; no let down- "Words of Radiance" shines

  • By Don Gilbert on 03-08-14

A great example of fantasy

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

Reviewed: 01-13-16

Very well written despite a cliche plot. Characters moving and likable. Funny. Doesn't take itself too seriously. A good, solid fantasy book with a tight plot and a nice amount of self referencing.

  • Into the Wilderness

  • Wilderness Saga, Book 1
  • By: Sara Donati
  • Narrated by: Kate Reading
  • Length: 30 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,171
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,683
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,690

Weaving a vibrant tapestry of fact and fiction, Into the Wilderness sweeps us into another time and place...and into the heart of a forbidden, incandescent affair between a spinster Englishwoman and an American frontiersman. Here is an epic of romance and history that will captivate readers from the very first page.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful surprise

  • By I like to shop on 04-26-16

So much for "if you like Gabaldon"

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

Reviewed: 11-24-15

I kept getting recommendations for this book saying "if you liked the Outlander series, you'll like this!" No. This book is a rather juvenile attempt at being real historical fiction that gets tangled up in its Mary Sue's ripped bodice. I kept hoping it would get better. There was one part of about 3 hours where they were actually in the wilderness that was interesting, but on a whole that wasn't enough to save it. The only genuinely shocking bit was when Gabaldon's characters briefly popped up in a bit of back story. It was confirmation to what I had suspected the whole time: someone trying to imitate Gabaldon and falling way short of the mark. Their appearance solidified my decision on the book reminding me (painfully) of everything Donati's characters weren't: interesting, compelling, complicated, and imperfect. What they are is flat. Reviews I read before spending my precious one credit a month indicated that this series started rpugh and the author grew into it. I hope that is the case, but I will not be sticking around long enough to see if it's true.

34 of 37 people found this review helpful

  • Outlander

  • Outlander, Book 1
  • By: Diana Gabaldon
  • Narrated by: Davina Porter
  • Length: 32 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 50,369
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 41,680
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 41,539

Why we think it’s a great listen: An all-time Audible favorite that mixes historic fiction, adventure, and romance with one of the most fascinating literary devices: time travel. Outlander introduces an exhilarating world of heroism and breathtaking thrills as one woman is torn between past and present, passion and love. In 1945, former combat nurse Claire Randall returns from World War II and joins her husband for a second honeymoon. But their blissful reunion is shattered....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • The Time Travel VS Romance Quandary

  • By Sara on 09-10-14

Great series!

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

Reviewed: 06-16-15

I love all the adventures of this family. The story keeps its momentum through all of the books.

  • Drums of Autumn

  • By: Diana Gabaldon
  • Narrated by: Davina Porter
  • Length: 44 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 26,250
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 22,029
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 21,952

Twice Claire has used an ancient stone circle to travel back to the 18th century. The first time she found love with a Scottish warrior but had to return to the 1940s to save their unborn child. The second time, 20 years later, she reunited with her lost love but had to leave behind the daughter that he would never see. Now Brianna, from her 1960s vantage point, has found a disturbing obituary and will risk everything in an attempt to change history.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I Can't Get Enough!

  • By Eugenia on 02-15-10

Still wonderful

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

Reviewed: 06-16-15

Love this series. Each book keeps my interest the whole time despite the length. Excellent series.