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  • Circe

  • By: Madeline Miller
  • Narrated by: Perdita Weeks
  • Length: 12 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,018
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 5,667
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,636

In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child - not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring, like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power - the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Magnificent!

  • By Jim N on 04-18-18

Luscious and Lovely

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

Reviewed: 08-04-18

What a beautiful story of Circe, based on the early Greek mythology, suffused with life by the author and performed with skill by the narrator. It might change your opinion of a few of the characters you thought you knew, as well.

Ms. Weeks’ pacing was perfect and her ability to differentiate the characters was excellent. The only qualm I have is that her voice was sometimes so quiet that it was difficult to hear, and I had to adjust the volume several times.

The story is quite brutal at times—it IS about the gods, after all—and there’s some applicable violence. Mortality is a huge factor in the story, of course. Implied sex but nothing descriptive, no foul language.

Highly recommended and deserves all the praise it’s getting.

  • Dodger

  • By: Terry Pratchett
  • Narrated by: Stephen Briggs
  • Length: 10 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,542
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,400
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,392

A storm. Rain-lashed city streets. A flash of lightning. A scruffy lad sees a girl leap desperately from a horse-drawn carriage in a vain attempt to escape her captors. Can the lad stand by and let her be caught again? Of course not, because he's...Dodger. Seventeen-year-old Dodger may be a street urchin, but he gleans a living from London's sewers, and he knows a jewel when he sees one. He's not about to let anything happen to the unknown girl - not even if her fate impacts the most powerful people in England.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazing Narrator, Great story

  • By Easy Reader on 01-18-13

Great diversion with outstanding narration

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

Reviewed: 07-23-18

This is the story of a young man named Dodger, a "tosher," or finder of treasure in the London sewers, and how he becomes a hero. The characters are fun, Stephen Briggs does an outstanding job with the voices, and there's plenty of humor. Yes, there's quite a bit of silliness around, but consider the source... Terry Pratchett has quite an imagination (understatement of the century). A very enjoyable diversion.

  • Still Life

  • Chief Inspector Gamache, Book 1
  • By: Louise Penny
  • Narrated by: Ralph Cosham
  • Length: 9 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,314
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,755
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,742

Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Surêté du Québec and his team of investigators are called in to the scene of a suspicious death in a rural village south of Montreal. Jane Neal, a local fixture in the tiny hamlet of Three Pines, just north of the U.S. border, has been found dead in the woods. The locals are certain it’s a tragic hunting accident and nothing more, but Gamache smells something foul in these remote woods, and is soon certain that Jane Neal died at the hands of someone much more sinister than a careless bowhunter.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A rare find

  • By Alex on 01-16-15

A Mystery of Character

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

Reviewed: 07-11-18

This is very much a character-driven contemporary murder mystery, set in a small village in southern Quebec. This is the first book in a long series starring Chief Inspector Gamache.

The co-stars—villagers and other policemen—have varied personalities and quirks. Most are interesting and some are annoying (just like our real acquaintances!), which is a sign that Louise Penny knows how to write. Descriptions were wonderful, and I could almost smell the paint, the dead leaves, and the coffee.

I thought the mystery itself was well presented and the pacing was very good, moving along between interviews and insights. The identity of the murderer was uncertain until the last part of the book, and it’s always pleasant to be surprised. I felt a little let down by the climax in this one, but maybe I read too many mysteries.

Ralph Cosham did an great job with the narration. The accents were mostly distinct and I wasn’t bothered by weak female voices this time. I will be continuing this series in audio format and hope he’s the narrator.

Very little violence (except for the murder, of course), no gore, some foul language, and no sex.

  • Sea of Rust

  • A Novel
  • By: C. Robert Cargill
  • Narrated by: Eva Kaminsky
  • Length: 10 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 627
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 589
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 591

It's been 30 years since the apocalypse and 15 years since the murder of the last human being at the hands of robots. Humankind is extinct. Every man, woman, and child has been liquidated by a global uprising devised by the very machines humans designed and built to serve them. Most of the world is controlled by an OWI - One World Intelligence, the shared consciousness of millions of robots uploaded into one huge mainframe brain.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Good Sci-Fi. Becomes less interesting as you go

  • By Christopher on 02-13-18

Robots acting just like Humans

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

Reviewed: 07-10-18

I really liked this sci-fi tale, written from the point of view of a robot who hunts other robots. On post-apocalyptic Earth, robots have taken control and have destroyed humans. Now they are becoming obsolete themselves, and some of them scour the wastelands, tracking older bots for parts to trade.

Meanwhile, the mainframes who control the processors of the majority of other robots (like the Borg on Star Trek) have been fighting each other for dominance, too, and their minions are terrorizing the free bots.

There was certainly enough tension to go around, and danger was everywhere; lots of chasing, firefights, and hiding throughout.

In addition to the action, however, death was a huge theme in this book. The prevalence of the characters' thoughts about their "lives" ending was almost overwhelming. They also felt guilt over their actions against humans in the war, and that was a brilliant addition to the story, in my opinion.

Cargill infuses the bots with personalities and foibles, so readers might forget at times that they're not reading about humans after all. Each major character had their own personality and was unique in some way, as ironic as that may seem. Great characterization throughout. I hope there's a sequel (or two).

Lots of robot violence (mostly with guns), no sex, some foul language.

  • Lessons in French

  • By: Laura Kinsale
  • Narrated by: Nicholas Boulton
  • Length: 12 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 759
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 711
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 715

Trevelyan d'Augustin and Lady Callista Talliafaire were secret sweethearts, until the day her father dismissed him with a whip across the face. Ten years and three jiltings later, shy Callie is resigned to a quiet village life as the late earl's spinster daughter. But now Trev has returned from his estates in France, upending everything, dragging her into adventures, stealing Hubert the prize-winning bull, and flinging Callie's heart into mayhem again.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Holy Cow!! What A Lovely Romance!! ;-)

  • By 🇺🇸🌸DARA on 07-24-14

Delightful historical romance

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

Reviewed: 06-27-18

I don't read a lot of romances but took a chance on this one based on the high ratings. I'm very glad I did! I enjoyed it very much, especially as the narrator, Nicholas Boulton, did a terrific job. I usually don't like male narrators voicing female voices, but he did a superb job this time.

The story is a Regency Romance set in the English countryside, including an English aristocrat (a bluestocking "of a certain age") and a roguish French emigre who lives nearby. The two protagonists are not the perfect creatures I've seen in many similar books, which endears them to the reader even more. Yes, there are silly circumstances and the characters make their own troubles most of the time, but the author includes enough humor to offset the situations.

There are a few steamy scenes, but nothing too explicit, and it's obvious the couple love each other. No profanity, no real violence, and no animals were injured in the production. (LOL) Enjoy!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Dracula [Audible Edition]

  • By: Bram Stoker
  • Narrated by: Alan Cumming, Tim Curry, Simon Vance, and others
  • Length: 15 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,253
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,374
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,382

The modern audience hasn't had a chance to truly appreciate the unknowing dread that readers would have felt when reading Bram Stoker's original 1897 manuscript. Most modern productions employ campiness or sound effects to try to bring back that gothic tension, but we've tried something different. By returning to Stoker's original storytelling structure - a series of letters and journal entries voiced by Jonathan Harker, Dr. Van Helsing, and other characters - with an all-star cast of narrators, we've sought to recapture its originally intended horror and power.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Gothic Horror Never Sounded So Good

  • By N. Houghton on 02-24-12

Introducing the Count of Gothic Fiction

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

Reviewed: 06-07-18

When this novel was first released in 1897, I can only imagine the horror it caused. We’re so inundated with vampire lore, fictional stories, and references these days that I’m afraid this one just doesn’t pack the same punch. We can, however, still give the credit to Stoker for bringing the famous Count Dracula to popular culture. He might not have been the first to write about vampires, but this is definitely a classic of the Gothic genre.

It’s also definitely a British Victorian novel, and the settings and characters confirm the author’s time period. Stoker does a good job with the atmospheric description, and we can feel the chill, smell the smoke, and hear the leather creaking.

Chapters are written from different characters’ points of view, and are in the form of letters and journal entries, with a few newspaper reports.

The characters are fairly stock types for this time period, with the delightful exception of Mina; she shows strength and bravery where Lucy (and one or two of the men) is basically a wimp. There is a lot of sappy conviviality between the “good” characters, which gets old, and many references to Christianity, of course. Good vs evil is the plot, after all.

As for the audio version with a “full cast” of narrators, most of it was great work by some of the best audio stars: John Lee, Simon Vance, Alan Cumming, Katy Kellgren, Tim Curry, etc. However, the weak was very weak; I cringed every time Susan Duerden spoke as Lucy, but I understand her method. The various (and I mean VARIOUS) accents given to Van Helsing were a bit of a distraction, but I’m sensitive to accents.

Overall, I’m glad I listened to this book, as I imagine reading it wouldn’t be near as interesting.

If you are looking for an action-packed, chase-sequence-filled thriller, this one isn’t for you. But if you care to read the basis for 121 years of sequels, plays, films, and adaptations, give it chance.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Phule's Company

  • Phule's Company, Book 1
  • By: Robert Asprin
  • Narrated by: Noah Michael Levine
  • Length: 7 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 410
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 383
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 382

After being court-martialed by the Space Legion for ordering the strafing of a treaty-signing ceremony, multimillionaire Willard Phule receives his punishment: He must command the misfit Omega Company on Haskin's Planet, a mining settlement on the edge of settled space. At his duty station, he leverages his personal money and a knack for managing people to get the company to come together as a unit.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • LOVED the whole experience!

  • By Matt on 11-08-17

Fun sci-fi with reservations

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

Reviewed: 04-19-18

First let me acknowledge the narrator, as Noah Michael Levine did an excellent job. His voices were fun and distinctive.

The plot is a futuristic military unit of misfits and the officer who tries to whip them into shape. The different personalities were enjoyable and they were well-developed. The pacing was good and the story moved along well.

However, my reservations are these: 1) the plot device of the officer's butler introducing the chapters was unnecessary; the POV could have been third-party and just as good, and 2) the constant use of wealth to solve problems was a cop out. I think that the legion commander was too much of a wise-acre and I began to dislike him. He never had a problem he couldn't buy his way out of. That was unrealistic and disappointing.

The book includes very little violence or foul language, no sex.

  • The Monstrumologist

  • By: Rick Yancey
  • Narrated by: Steven Boyer
  • Length: 11 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 443
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 382
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 382

Dr. Warthrop is a scientist who tracks and studies real-life monsters. Assisted by his 12-year-old apprentice, Will Henry, Dr. Warthrop discovers a pod of Anthropophagi and launches a hunt to destroy the foul beasts.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent naration brought the horror to life

  • By Kristin M. Slonski on 12-19-12

Unfinished: Too much gore, not a YA

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

Reviewed: 03-24-18

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

A horror fan might find this entertaining.

What was most disappointing about Rick Yancey’s story?

The amount of gore was overpowering.

What three words best describe Steven Boyer’s performance?

His narration was professional and I will look for other works read by him.

Any additional comments?

I admit I didn't get very far with this one, but I did want to warn those considering it that the book includes some gag-worthy content. This is definitely not for the faint of heart and absolutely not recommended for children. Horror, indeed.

  • The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill

  • Tales From Ivy Hill, Book 1
  • By: Julie Klassen
  • Narrated by: Elizabeth Jasicki
  • Length: 17 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 533
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 493
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 491

The lifeblood of the Wiltshire village of Ivy Hill is its coaching inn, The Bell. But when the innkeeper dies suddenly, his genteel wife, Jane Bell, becomes the reluctant owner. Jane has no notion of how to run a business. However, with the town's livelihood at stake and a large loan due, she must find a way to bring new life to the inn. Despite their strained relationship, Jane turns to her resentful mother-in-law, Thora, for help.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Most enjoyable Book!!

  • By KN on 03-18-17

Fine historical novel; slow narration

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

Reviewed: 03-24-18

This is a delightful English story of a gently-bred young widow coming to terms with her new life as an innkeeper in the 19th century. The characters are well described and not stereotypical. The plot moved forward steadily, although with a few twists.

The narration was, however, very slow, and I listened to the majority of the book at 1.25 speed, which worked well. Ms. Jasicki's accents were sometimes plodding, as well, but effective in the long run to differentiate between characters.

No foul language, sex, or violence. Recommended for Regency romance readers and historical novel enthusiasts.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Wrong Unit

  • A Novel
  • By: Rob Dircks
  • Narrated by: Rob Dircks
  • Length: 5 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,102
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,060
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,059

I don't know what the humans are so cranky about. Their enclosures are large, they ingest over 1,000 calories per day, and they're allowed to mate. Plus, they have me: an Autonomous Servile Unit, housed in a mobile/bipedal chassis. I do my job well: keep the humans healthy and happy.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Futuristic journey without a single misstep

  • By Julie W. Capell on 10-03-16

Touching sci-fi quest with a terrific plot

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

Reviewed: 03-18-18

Any additional comments?

The protagonist of this book isn't even human, yet his story was enough to make me cry.

The plot is a combination of quest, coming of age, and thriller. It's set in a future where machines rule the planet and humans are slaves. It's not quite as depressing as that sounds, but humans are absolutely not in charge anymore. They live in plantation compounds, working for robots, and have very little freedom, even though the AI running the place thinks they "have everything they need."

Never fear, there's a revolution in the works. It's just taking a lot longer than expected.

For most of the book, the point of view is that of HeyYou, a caregiving android forced into a dangerous and puzzling circumstance. His charge is a human baby, and he's totally unprepared for it. However, his common sense and compassion go a long way to save a bad situation.

The writing was excellent and the humor was well-placed; I laughed out loud several times (that's saying a lot).

The author narrated his own work, which can sometimes leave a lot to be desired. However, Mr. Dircks did a fine job, and he certainly knew where to put the emphases.

It's a simple story that will stay with you. Highly recommended for readers of all genres.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful