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Rachel

YAKIMA, WA, United States
  • 110
  • reviews
  • 287
  • helpful votes
  • 191
  • ratings
  • The Sky Is Yours

  • A Novel
  • By: Chandler Klang Smith
  • Narrated by: Kirsten Potter
  • Length: 15 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 43
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 39
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 38

In the burned-out, futuristic city of Empire Island, three young people navigate a crumbling metropolis constantly under threat from a pair of dragons that circle the skies. When violence strikes, reality star Duncan Humphrey Ripple V, the spoiled scion of the metropolis' last dynasty; Baroness Swan Lenore Dahlberg, his tempestuous, death-obsessed betrothed; and Abby, a feral beauty he discovered tossed out with the trash; are forced to flee everything they've ever known.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Disappointed

  • By Rachel on 11-12-18

Disappointed

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

Reviewed: 11-12-18

I first heard of this book on a list of best Science Fiction by women, so I went looking for it.
And I wanted to love it. I tried. I read other reviews to figure out why I should. But I didn't.

Some of the concept was interesting--the sociological issues of being raised entirely within what is essentially a jail, vs being raised by the ultra wealthy, vs growing up isolated from all human contact on a garbage pile.
But I couldn't get past the SUPER INTENSELY ANNOYING male protagonist (whose name I have now blocked out). This dude was written like the author was a man. You know all that garbage where we have to listen to the male protagonist write about how he should be getting more sex, etc (I'm looking at you Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, East of Eden, and any number of books I've abandoned because I don't enjoy the immature hormonal teenage male perspective).

I did enjoy the different perspectives and the fact that the story moved back and forth and I could appreciate that the male characters annoyingness was balanced by the different annoyingness of the two female characters, but this still wasn't for me.

#Dystopian # UrbanFantasy #Dark #ChildProtagonist #FemaleProtagonists #Tagsgiving #Sweepstakes

  • Miniatures

  • The Very Short Fiction of John Scalzi
  • By: John Scalzi
  • Narrated by: Khristine Hvam, Peter Ganim, Luke Daniels, and others
  • Length: 2 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,327
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,229
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,234

The ex-planet Pluto has a few choice words about being thrown out of the solar system. A listing of alternate histories tells you all the various ways Hitler has died. A lawyer sues an interplanetary union for dangerous working conditions. And four artificial intelligences explain, in increasingly worrying detail, how they plan not to destroy humanity. Welcome to Miniatures: The Very Short Fiction of John Scalzi.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Small doses of "Scalzian" humor

  • By Andre Wallace Simonsen on 01-05-17

Fun and Short

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

Reviewed: 11-12-18

I'm not generally a huge fan of short stories because I always feel like I want more.
I am generally a huge fan of Scalzi. The combination was about what I'd expect. They were fun, but not as satisfying as a longer story. However, my daughter listened with me to the one about the cat and robot and she still talks about that one.

#FelinePerspective #Monsters #NearFuture #Tagsgiving #Sweepstakes

  • Emma

  • An Audible Original Drama
  • By: Jane Austen, Anna Lea - adaptation
  • Narrated by: Emma Thompson, Joanne Froggatt, Isabella Inchbald, and others
  • Length: 8 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,466
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,726
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,673

This Audible Original production of Jane Austen’s Emma is narrated by Emma Thompson (Academy Award, Golden Globe, Emmy and BAFTA winner, Love Actually, Harry Potter, Sense and Sensibility), with a full supporting cast including Joanne Froggatt (Downton Abbey, Liar), Morgana Robinson (The Windsors, Walliams & Friend, Morgana Robinson's the Agency), Aisling Loftus (Mr Selfridge, War & Peace), Joseph Millson (Casino Royale, The Sarah Jane Adventures), Alexa Davies (Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again) and rising star Isabella Inchbald as our eponymous heroine.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • More of a Radio Drama than an audiobook

  • By Cyberlucy on 09-11-18

Excellent Version of Emma

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

Reviewed: 11-12-18

I've been working my way through rereads of Austen and couldn't get myself started with a print copy of Emma, despite a couple of false starts. This version was just excellent. It captured the feel of a romp through this world and I managed not to get too annoyed at the stupid stuff Emma does.
#Witty #Regency #England #Tagsgiving #Sweepstakes

  • The Consuming Fire

  • The Interdependency, Book 2
  • By: John Scalzi
  • Narrated by: Wil Wheaton
  • Length: 8 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,620
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 3,385
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,366

The Interdependency, humanity’s interstellar empire, is on the verge of collapse. The Flow, the extra-dimensional conduit that makes travel between the stars possible, is disappearing, leaving entire star systems stranded. When it goes, human civilization may go with it - unless desperate measures can be taken. Emperox Grayland II, the leader of the Interdependency, is ready to take those measures to help ensure the survival of billions. But nothing is ever that easy.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Scalzi and Wheaton or the new dynamic duo?

  • By Donald Arquilla on 10-17-18

Scalzi and Wheaton and a great story

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

Reviewed: 11-12-18

I just love Scalzi narrated by Wil Wheaton. I got the first in this series in print and really enjoyed it, more than average for an author I pretty much always enjoy. I really liked the intersection of fascinating science (the flows), people who won't believe the science, and political intrigue. I can't wait for the next one!

In the meantime I can catch up on the Old Man's War series, but I didn't enjoy the start of that one as much as this series.

#Space #Witty #FirstContact (at least first contact in a long long time) #TimeTravelFuture #Tagsgiving #Sweepstakes

  • Changeling

  • A Novel of Sorcery and Society
  • By: Molly Harper
  • Narrated by: Amanda Ronconi
  • Length: 8 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,204
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,132
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,129

If 14-year-old Cassandra Reed makes it through her first day at Miss Castwell’s Institute for the Magical Instruction of Young Ladies without anyone discovering her secret, maybe, just maybe, she’ll let herself believe that she really does belong at Miss Castwell’s. Except Cassandra Reed’s real name is Sarah Smith and up until now, she lived her whole life in the Warren, serving a magical family, the Winters, as all non-magical “Snipes” are bound by magical Guardian law to do. That is, until one day, Sarah accidentally levitates Mrs. Winter’s favorite vase in the parlor.... 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Molly Harper + Amanda Ronconi = perfection

  • By Aimee on 08-24-18

Fun Mother-daughter listen

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

Reviewed: 11-12-18

I listened to this with my 10-year old daughter. It was a light-hearted story that was fun to listen to together. It has some clear similarities to Harry Potter, which we liked. They didn't feel like rip offs, just similar subjects: magical kids who didn't know they were magic, magic school, potions class, young relationships, family conflict, hidden identities.

#MagicSystems #Steampunk #Magical #ChildProtagonist #UK #SecretIdentity #Funny #Tagsgiving #Sweepstakes

  • The Argonauts

  • By: Maggie Nelson
  • Narrated by: Maggie Nelson
  • Length: 4 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 762
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 672
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 671

Maggie Nelson's The Argonauts is a genre-bending memoir, a work of "autotheory" offering fresh, fierce, and timely thinking about desire, identity, and the limitations and possibilities of love and language. At its center is a romance: the story of the author's relationship with the artist Harry Dodge. This story, which includes Nelson's account of falling in love with Dodge, who is fluidly gendered, as well as her journey to and through a pregnancy, is an intimate portrayal of the complexities and joys of (queer) family making.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A relaxing meditation on identity, gender and art

  • By redhidari on 10-01-15

Not for me

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

Reviewed: 09-08-18

I have heard great things about this book, and I gave it a solid chance, but it was 100% not for me.

It was exceedingly depressing. It tells the story of the narrator and her significant other, but the story is just a litany of the ways society fails the couple because of prejudice. I didn't care about the main characters. It sucks that people are unpleasant to them, but I didn't want to read an unremittingly negative litany of all the terrible things society does to them with no way out and no way through. The author's life must just be completely awful with no silver lining and no good experiences ever. I can't even understand why the couple stays together. Nelson in the book felt like the inspiration for Debbie Downer or Eeyore.

The narration emphasized this feeling with a plodding, monotone. I really tried to appreciate the book. I tried listening to it on at least 5 separate occasions, trying out the possibility that I was in the wrong mood or frame of mind. I even increased the narration speed--first to 1.25 and then to 1.5. I thought I could plod through it--it's fairly short.
Nothing helped. I gave it a real chance and I can confidently say that I heartily disliked it.

  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Book 3

  • By: J.K. Rowling
  • Narrated by: Jim Dale
  • Length: 12 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 43,844
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 40,235
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 40,181

When the Knight Bus crashes through the darkness and screeches to a halt in front of him, it's the start of another far from ordinary year at Hogwarts for Harry Potter. Sirius Black, escaped mass-murderer and follower of Lord Voldemort, is on the run - and they say he is coming after Harry. In his first ever Divination class, Professor Trelawney sees an omen of death in Harry's tea leaves.... But perhaps most terrifying of all are the Dementors patrolling the school grounds, with their soul-sucking kiss....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Jim Dale at his best

  • By rottndachs on 01-12-16

Purchased for at least the 4th time

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

Reviewed: 09-08-18

This is my go-to book for when I'm feeling blue. I was feeling blue and I no longer have a tape player or CD player, so I bought this on audible. Of course the book is great and Jim Dale is perfection and I'm delighted that Audible finally has the series.

Listening to the series, but especially book 3 just calms me when I'm sad or upset. I listen to it in my studio while making sculpture and it helps me work.

I first read the book in 2001, but it was a friend's loaner copy. I bought the tape set in graduate school and might have also bought the CD set--or maybe I just borrowed it from the library. I bought my daughter a copy of the book when she was ready to have me read it to her, and this year we bought the illustrated version. That's how much I love this book.

Jim Dale is absolute perfection (though I've heard such good things about the British narrator I want to buy a copy of that version, too).

  • The Tangled Tree

  • A Radical New History of Life
  • By: David Quammen
  • Narrated by: Jacques Roy
  • Length: 13 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 332
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 305
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 303

In the mid-1970s, scientists began using DNA sequences to reexamine the history of all life. Perhaps the most startling discovery to come out of this new field is horizontal gene transfer (HGT), or the movement of genes across species lines. For instance, we now know that roughly eight percent of the human genome arrived not through traditional inheritance from directly ancestral forms, but sideways by viral infection - a type of HGT. In The Tangled Tree David Quammen chronicles these discoveries through the lives of the researchers who made them.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Very Enjoyable and Readable

  • By Dennis on 08-18-18

kind of interesting topic, but not engaging book

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

Reviewed: 09-08-18

The topic sounds interesting and it kind of was, but I had trouble keeping with it. I listened, but my mind would wander or I'd immediately forget what was being discussed. Somehow it wasn't as engaging as I'd hoped for.

The main story throughout the book is a history of the different ways folks thought about and represented the "tree" of live throughout it's history. That's actually just fine, but not really radical. I was hoping for a bit more "action" about how people didn't used to think that we had other forms of life inside our bodies and now we know we do. But besides gut microbes and their ilk, there wasn't much discussion of what that means. There was some discussion of viral DNA in placentas, but it could have been presented in a more engaging way, I felt.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Single Undead Moms Club

  • By: Molly Harper
  • Narrated by: Amanda Ronconi
  • Length: 9 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,167
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2,949
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,924

Widow Libby Stratton arranged to be turned into a vampire after she was diagnosed with late-stage cancer. It wasn't the best idea she'd ever had, but she was desperate - she wasn't about to leave her seven-year-old son to be raised by her rigid, overbearing in-laws.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Loved!!!

  • By Jessica on 10-28-15

Eh, it's ok

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

Reviewed: 09-08-18

I had just read a really great book, Strange Practice by Vivian Shaw, and wanted to spend more time in that universe when this book came up on sale (and I had some money in my Audible account). So I tried it.
I knew this book was way late in a series I hadn't read, but that didn't seem to matter for the listener.
I thought this one looked interesting because of the combination of being a mom and a new vampire, but whatever your imagining is basically what this book is. There wasn't anything particularly surprising or interesting. The world of half-moon hollow sounds interesting, because they have a visible minority of vampires who participate, kind of, in regular daily life, but nothing much happens in this particular book except some sexy times.
Probably if you enjoy the series you'd like this one, IDK.

The narrator was pretty great, though.
#Werewolves #Vampires #AmericanSouth #Tagsgiving #Sweepstakes

  • 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 2,031
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,902
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,895

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

Decent

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

Reviewed: 08-06-18

I liked this one okay. It is a bit old fashioned in style, but is a fairly interesting story. I'm not usually a huge fan of this kind of old-timey fantasy genre, but this one was a pleasant read for someone who isn't always comfortable with similar books.

Going into it I expected something more like magical realism or steampunk and was happy that it was different. It felt more like reading about Mary Anning's life, but she just happened to be studying living dragons instead of fossils. There was more emotional time in the book spent talking about the challenges of being a woman working in a traditionally male world, which is true enough.

This is probably a weird comparison, but it felt a bit like reading about Sybil Vimes (Sam Vimes' wife) in the Discworld Series (Terry Pratchett) but from her perspective (and less funny).