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Julie

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  • War of the Wolf

  • A Novel
  • By: Bernard Cornwell
  • Narrated by: Matt Bates
  • Length: 13 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 1,247
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,147
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,143

While Uhtred might have regained his family’s fortress, it seems a peaceful life is not to be - as he is under threat from both an old enemy and a new foe. The old enemy comes from Wessex, where a dynastic struggle will determine who will be the next king. And the new foe is Sköll, a Norseman, whose ambition is to be king of Northumbria and who leads a frightening army of wolf-warriors, men who fight half-crazed in the belief they are indeed wolves. Uhtred, believing he is cursed, must fend off one enemy while he tries to destroy the other. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Not the End

  • By Nicole Porter on 10-04-18

Another long winter waiting 4 the next 1!

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

Reviewed: 01-18-19

Three stars is the middle (C grade). I add and subtract from there. I don't start at five (A grade) stars; it leaves no room for "better than" ratings. If everyone would do that, reviews would be more revealing and accurate. Sermon over.

OVERALL: 4. I love the characters! I love the cadence, I love the the picture the story and the narrator paint. I'll read (listen) to every one of these chronicles, eagerly.

PERFORMANCE: 5. It took a few narrators to finally get it right, but they have. If you've listened to all the others, you know what I mean. He doesn't sound like a woman when speaking for them (an exception skill) but I can clearly tell and feel he's speaking for a female character. I need to be able to tell who is talking. I get annoyed having to over listen to "s/he said..." . That isn't just for male to female voices. I'd like to distinguish everyone. He does a great job with a different accents. I love Uhtred's voice; It's strong and natural. I love Finnin's voice. He's distinct and easily understandable. It's not over done just for accent sake.

STORY: 3. It isn't new but that's to be expected this many stories in. I'm still suspended, enthralled and eager for the next scene and the next. I do still get annoyed hearing the repetition of certain details: Finnin's eye sight, Wasp Sting's value in the shield wall, how arm rings are acquired, etc.

Worth every minute.

  • The Pagan Lord

  • A Novel
  • By: Bernard Cornwell
  • Narrated by: Matt Bates
  • Length: 11 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,185
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,976
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,986

At the onset of the tenth century, England is in turmoil. Alfred the Great is dead and Edward his son reigns as king. Wessex survives but peace cannot hold: the Danes in the north, led by Viking Cnut Longsword, stand ready to invade and will never rest until the emerald crown is theirs.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great Book, BUT, Not The End! Grrrr.. LOL

  • By G.Monie on 01-10-14

Too much of the same. Best narration of the series

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

Reviewed: 12-14-18

EVERYtime we're in the shield wall, Uhtred explains why he uses Wasp Sting vs Serpent's Breath. Give me some credit; I heard ya the first several times. Ethelflead is his love; I know. I also remember the axe hooks the shield while your buddy takes advantage Much of the detail is like that. I get explaining one time per novel, but multiple times per novel isn't need; it's annoying.

Yet, I love the series. Even this one is worth the listen. This is my second time through.

  • Darkness Falls

  • A Lesbian End-of-the-World Romance Adventure
  • By: KC Luck
  • Narrated by: Violet Dixon
  • Length: 9 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 78
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 72
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 72

When four women from different walks of life are brought together by fate to witness the end of the world as they know it, each must find a way to survive against the odds as well as learn to rely on each other.   

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Thrilling!

  • By Leslie on 09-15-18

A good LGBT+ story that goes beyond romance.

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

Reviewed: 10-13-18

FINALLY!

This was a story first. It's hard to find a good LGBT+ story that GOES BEYOND ROMANCE. This one did and it was refreshing.

The characters could have been straight, but we're lesbians instead. As a lesbian, I was looking for that. Just as black actors can play parts other than those based on slavery (why did that take so long?), "the gays" can do more then just fall in love.

STORY:
This story was realistic, believable, adventurous and perfectly paced. Oh, and it was HOT too, just say'en ;-)

NARRATION:
The narrator is great; actually I loved her. Usually, I rate the narrator on their diversity of character voices. While I could easily tell who was who (mostly contributed to the author), the narrator's skill was in her delivery of emotions. It sounded like she enjoyed reading it, thus, I enjoyed hearing it. There was REAL emotion there. I heard joy, panic, passion, fear etc in her voice.

5 stars because it delivered. It was true to it's description and worth every minute. It's not an earth shattering drama or exhausting action/thriller. It was an adventurous, fictional story in the LGBT+ genre. Well done.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Nightingale

  • By: Kristin Hannah
  • Narrated by: Polly Stone
  • Length: 17 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 48,517
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 43,965
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 43,893

Audie Award, Fiction, 2016. From the number-one New York Times bestselling author comes Kristin Hannah’s next novel. It is an epic love story and family drama set at the dawn of World War II. She is the author of twenty-one novels. Her previous novels include Home Front, Night Road, Firefly Lane, Fly Away, and Winter Garden.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Heroic & Harrowing Work Of Fiction

  • By Sara on 08-21-15

I, straight up, "ugly cried" in my backyard.

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

Reviewed: 09-13-18

I was doing a marathon stretch of yard work while binging this book. At one point, I went behind the privacy fence and wept (big ugly tears).

That said, it wasn't a cry fest The story was so enthralling. I was on the edge of my seat without being exhausted. Wow. I felt as if each of their decisions were mine because I was given enough time to contemplate, cross my fingers and pray for luck.

It's a story of triumph, yet it broke my heart. Don't let that discourage you though. It's NOT depressing. Ultimately, it's a story profound courage.

NARRATION: Great accents, terrible cadence. When in character, she was very good, but when reading between, it was like an electronic voice. Still, worth it.

  • Hearts of Resistance

  • By: Soraya M. Lane
  • Narrated by: Elizabeth Knowelden
  • Length: 10 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 359
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 324
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 323

When Hazel is given the chance to parachute into Nazi-occupied France, she seizes the opportunity to do more for the British war effort than file paperwork. Alongside her childhood friend, French-born Rose, she quickly rises up the ranks of the freedom fighters. For Rose, the Resistance is a link to her late husband, and a way to move forward without him. What starts out as helping downed airmen becomes a bigger cause when they meet Sophia, a German escapee and fierce critic of Hitler who is wanted by the Gestapo.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Grabbed my attention and held it

  • By perrolovr on 04-24-18

Worth the listen.

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

Reviewed: 09-09-18

Accents we're good, but the cadence was too sing-song. Stories like this are important though.

  • Last of the Amazons

  • By: Steven Pressfield
  • Narrated by: Christine McMurdo Wallis, Alyssa Brensnahan, George Guidall
  • Length: 14 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 105
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 96
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 96

Steven Pressfield is the internationally best-selling author of Gates of Fire and Tides of War. An epic of love and war, Last of the Amazons is a gripping, imaginative novel of the ancient world filled with Pressfield’s trademark extraordinary attention to detail. In the time before Homer, the legendary Theseus, king of Athens, journeys to the nation of proud female warriors whom the Greeks called Amazons.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Truly spellbinding

  • By Lea D. Rumbolo on 09-21-15

Fantastic! Make the movie!

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

Reviewed: 08-28-18

It turned my yard work into a battle for Athens!

Great narration. It's a smart book, very thought provoking. Thrilling listen for the third time. It carries you away. I think I'm in love with every character.

Epic.

  • The Dovekeepers

  • A Novel
  • By: Alice Hoffman, Heather Lind
  • Narrated by: Aya Cash, Jessica Hecht, Tovah Feldshuh
  • Length: 19 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,840
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,568
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,564

Over five years in the writing, Alice Hoffman’s most ambitious and mesmerizing work ever, a triumph of imagination and research set in ancient Israel. The author of such iconic bestsellers as Illumination Night, Practical Magic, Fortune’s Daughter, and Oprah’s Book Club selection Here on Earth, Alice Hoffman is one of the most popular and memorable writers of her generation. Now, in The Dovekeepers, Hoffman delivers her most masterful work yet - one that draws on her passion for mythology, magic, and archaeology and her inimitable understanding of women.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Draining story - but beautifully written/told

  • By Kate on 10-14-11

Good enough to finish, but not enough to recommend

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

Reviewed: 08-21-18

IMHO:
The narration was hit and miss.
The story had depth but just didn't draw me in. I felt I was on that same dusty dry desert with them. They didn't enjoy it, nor did I.

  • The Book of Life

  • All Souls, Book 3
  • By: Deborah Harkness
  • Narrated by: Jennifer Ikeda
  • Length: 23 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14,451
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13,261
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13,215

In The Book of Life, Diana and Matthew time travel back from Elizabethan London to make a dramatic return to the present - facing new crises and old enemies. At Matthew’s ancestral home, Sept-Tours, they reunite with the beloved cast of characters from A Discovery of Witches - with one significant exception. But the real threat to their future has yet to be revealed, and when it is, the search for Ashmole 782 and its missing pages takes on even more urgency.  

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Hopes Dashed

  • By Elkay on 08-01-14

Good, but least of the 3.

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

Reviewed: 08-10-18

It was a good conclusion. For me though, it got into the weeds a bit too much, specifically, the DNA. Perhaps some may enjoy that.

The book of life itself, was disappointing. Everything was so grandiose, all the money, all the power, all the connections, etc.. The "answers" in the manuscript were anti climatic in comparison. I didn't like it "becoming" Diana; I'm not sure why though. Maybe it did fit the grandiose nature of the characters. At times, that part did bug me as well.

For the most part, I was completely enthralled with the trilogy. There was some redundancies, grabbed from others, but there was enough originality to excite me and keep me rooted in the fantastical world.

  • The Fifth Season

  • The Broken Earth, Book 1
  • By: N. K. Jemisin
  • Narrated by: Robin Miles
  • Length: 15 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,025
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,150
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,119

This is the way the world ends. For the last time. A season of endings has begun. It starts with the great, red rift across the heart of the world's sole continent, spewing ash that blots out the sun. It starts with death, with a murdered son and a missing daughter. It starts with betrayal and long-dormant wounds rising up to fester. This is the Stillness, a land long familiar with catastrophe, where the power of the Earth is wielded as a weapon. And where there is no mercy.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • ORIGINAL AND MOVING, EXCELLENT!

  • By Fantasy on 12-01-15

Potential, yet disappointing.

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

Reviewed: 07-02-18

Robin Miles is a fantastic narrator, which is part of my disappointment. She can do so many characters, yet mostly, the voices were the same or too similar.

The story was a little too disjointed. Honestly, the "fu-king" and the description of it, seemed out of place, or something? I have nothing against the topic; I love Anne Rice's use of it.

Also, I just couldn't get into the characters.

I did enjoy the freshness of the plot though. It had potential.

  • The Wolves of Midwinter

  • The Wolf Gift Chronicles, Book 2
  • By: Anne Rice
  • Narrated by: Ron McLarty
  • Length: 15 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 807
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 740
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 744

In Anne Rice's surprising and compelling best-selling novel, the first of her strange and mythic imagining of the world of wolfen powers, readers and listeners were spellbound as Rice conjured up a daring new world set against the wild and beckoning California coast.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • It's a bird, it's a plane, it's...MAN WOLF!

  • By Mel on 10-24-13

Narrator has only one voice really, disappointing.

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

Reviewed: 05-18-18

The narrator, NOT terrible, but essentially all the male characters sounded the same. the female characters suffered the same but worse; they sounded like a man reading a woman. Good narrators make you forget that.

The story was slow but still enjoyable. They can't all be the first four in the VC. I'll always enjoy Anne Rich.