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Dina

Troy, NY, United States
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  • FREE: Professional Integrity (A Riyria Chronicles Tale)

  • By: Michael J. Sullivan
  • Narrated by: Tim Gerard Reynolds
  • Length: 1 hr and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,363
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,514
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,502

One of the genre's favorite pairs returns in a classic fantasy short for both Riyria veterans and first-time readers. Several years have passed since the war-weary mercenary Hadrian and cynical ex-assassin Royce joined forces to start their thieves-for-hire organization better known as Riyria. Things have gone well enough for the team as they do "jobs" for various nobles throughout Elan. Usually that means stealing something, but when a young heiress asks them to steal her…well, that's a first for the pair.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent short story

  • By Lore on 01-10-18

Derivative drivel

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

Reviewed: 12-05-15

Ffarde & the Grey Mouser redux, with "oh gee" a perky red-head/air head female for a plot prop .Nothing to see here, move along, Free was not cheap enough.

1 of 4 people found this review helpful

The Swords of Riverside audiobook cover art
  • The Swords of Riverside

  • By: Ellen Kushner, Delia Sherman
  • Narrated by: Ellen Kushner, Neil Gaiman, Felicia Day, and others
  • Length: 45 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 52
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 49
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 49

On the treacherous streets of Riverside, a man lives and dies by the sword. Even the nobles on the Hill turn to duels to settle their disputes. Within this elite, dangerous world, Richard St. Vier is the undisputed master, as skilled as he is ruthless - until a death by the sword is met with outrage instead of awe, and the city discovers that the line between hero and villain can be altered in the blink of an eye.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A riveting listen

  • By Gwynn68 on 12-30-14

2 out of 3 ain't bad

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

Reviewed: 04-25-15

Well worth buying this collection vs 3 individual audio books. I found the first two books "Swordspoint" and "Privilege of the Sword" very entertaining with engaging characters and well paced story lines that kept my interest. Although at first I found the sound effects and multiple narrators distracting, once the story took hold I warmed to them. Found the character of Alec especially fascinating - charming, manipulative, twisty. I liked him a lot despite his many faults.

The third book dragged, did not find the many secondary characters well enough defined (either in the writing or the narration), so it was hard to keep them straight. Felt I should have cared enough about the main characters to at least remember their names easily...disappointing.

Well, your mileage may vary.

  • Mystic and Rider

  • The Twelve Houses, Book 1
  • By: Sharon Shinn
  • Narrated by: Jennifer Van Dyck, Sharon Shinn
  • Length: 15 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 685
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 434
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 437

The fire mystic Senneth crosses the country of Gillengaria on a mission for the king, trying to discover if noble marlords from the Twelve Houses are planning an uprising. She is accompanied by the soldiers Justin and Tayse, two King's Riders who are unswervingly loyal to the crown. Also on the journey are the shape-changers Kirra and Donnal, and a young mystic named Cammon who can practically read minds.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Light fantasy, heavy romance

  • By Ted on 07-02-09

Mundane attempt at fantasy

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

Reviewed: 02-28-13

For a reader new to fantasy this might be of some interest. For myself (a long time fan of the genre) I found it pretty lame. The world building is thin and derivative...no sense of place beyond some made up names. The "magic" is contrived and way too convenient...following no coherent system beyond what is useful to further the rather predictable plot. The characters seem stereotypical, the prose leaden and the tendency of the narrator to render every event as portentous doesn't help. Midway through the first book I find myself bored and irritated.
If you did enjoy this I would recommend Lois Bujold's Chalion series. Magic, strange religions, romance, adventure, lots of engaging characters, well written prose and engaging narration.

  • Beauvallet

  • By: Georgette Heyer
  • Narrated by: Cornelius Garrett
  • Length: 9 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 174
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 129
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 126

Sir Nicholas Beauvallet has fallen in love with a Spanish noblewoman. She and her father were aboard a galleon captured by Sir Nicholas. He vows to make her his bride even though it means returning the pair to Spain and entering the lion's den.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Very good

  • By bebe on 12-27-10

If you like Errol Flynn movies this one's for you!

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

Reviewed: 03-09-12

What did you love best about Beauvallet?

Time warp back to when manly heroes were men and the ladies were feisty (but swooned none the less). Could just picture this as a 1930's swashbuckler.

Who was your favorite character and why?

HaHa! Beauvallet, no doubt about it. The hero is the hero after all!

What does Cornelius Garrett bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

A sense of vivid fun. He sees what is best in the dated material and runs with it.

Any additional comments?

If you are looking for any kind of 21st century sensibility this book is not for you. If you grew up watching reruns of old Hollywood swashbucklers (and loved them) you may find yourself sucked in - even tho the plot is transparent and the characters perfect stereotypes. The key word there is PERFECT...

I enjoyed it despite my better judgement ;-) Besides, it was on sale.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • All Clear

  • By: Connie Willis
  • Narrated by: Katherine Kellgren, Connie Willis (introduction)
  • Length: 23 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,699
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,069
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,088

Three time-traveling historians are visiting World War II England: Michael Davies, intent on observing heroism during the Miracle of Dunkirk; Merope Ward, studying children evacuated from London; and Polly Churchill, posing as a shopgirl in the middle of the Blitz. But when the three become unexpectedly trapped in 1940, they struggle not only to find their way home but to survive as Hitler's bombers attempt to pummel London into submission.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Rescued by the second half

  • By Mike From Mesa on 12-05-11

Twice as good if half as long

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

Reviewed: 09-30-11

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

If it was 12 -14 hours instead of 24 it would have been worth it.

Has All Clear turned you off from other books in this genre?

No, although it's sort of sui generis.

Have you listened to any of Katherine Kellgren, and Connie Willis (introduction)’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I also listened to the first volume "Blackout", performance was comparable. I read "The Doomsday Book" and others by Connie Willis and enjoyed them which is why I looked forward to this set.

Do you think All Clear needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

There probably will be one...hope she can be more concise.

Any additional comments?

She obviously was in love with the period and her research, to the cost of plot and character. The characters were forced to run around worrying about this and that, endlessly whinging about something or other until the story caught up with her descriptions of the horrors of the blitz. After a while it made them hard to differentiate, much less care about. There is a good book buried inside this monster (and I include the first volume "Blackout"). Don't get me wrong, I love long books (Diana Gabaldon for example has some single books that are longer than these two volumes combined), but fully fleshed out characters are critical to holding my interest. Historical accuracy and detail are wonderful, but need to serve the plot rather than the other way around. In Willis' earlier books she managed this quite well, maybe this should have been a different two books - one tightly paced novel and one non-fiction book about life in London during the Blitz.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Deryni Rising

  • Chronicles of the Deryni, Book 1
  • By: Katherine Kurtz
  • Narrated by: Jeff Woodman
  • Length: 8 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 255
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 172
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 174

In the kingdom of Gwynedd, the mysterious forces of magic and the superior power of the Church combine to challenge the rule of young Kelson. Now the fate of the Deryni -- a quasi-mortal race of sorcerers -- and, indeed, the fate of all the Eleven Kingdoms, rests on Kelson's ability to quash the rebellion by any means necessary...including the prescribed use of magic!

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • WONDERFUL! Thank you Audible!

  • By S. Greene on 06-16-09

Disappointed - you could find better

Overall
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-15-10

I bought this in one of the Audible sales, I'm a long time fantasy fan and it had been on my list for a while. I was disappointed, I found the charater development thin and the language trite. I love Jeff Woodman as a narrator when he is 'on' (listen to him reading Diana Gabaldon or Chris Grabenstein for example) but here he seemed as bored as I felt...there is not much for him to work with.

If you enjoy this type of fantasy I would highly recommend Lois Mc Master Bujold's "Chalion" series...similar magical millieu but far better written, with richly developed landscape and charaters. Audible doesn't yet have the Queen's Theif series by Meg Whalen Turner available, but seek it out in print - then pester them to release it on audio.

7 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Innocent Traitor

  • A Novel of Lady Jane Grey
  • By: Alison Weir
  • Narrated by: Stina Nielsen, Davina Porter, Bianca Amato
  • Length: 18 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,056
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,245
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,248

The child of a scheming father and ruthless mother, Lady Jane Grey is born during a time when ambition dictates action. Cousin to Edward VI, Mary I, and Elizabeth I, she is merely a pawn in a political and religious game in which one false step means a certain demise. But Lady Jane has remarkable qualities that help her to withstand the constant pressures of the royal machinery far better than most expect.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Superior listen!

  • By Jt on 03-05-07

Well researched, unsatisfying characters

Overall
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-12-10

I would give this a 5 for research, 4 for narration, 4 for plot, 3 for character and 1 for dialogue (interior or conventional).

Given that the book is written in the first person (with multiple POV) I found the leaden dialogue to be a fatal flaw. Even brilliant narrators such as Davina Porter could not bring the paper thin charaters to life for me. All the historic facts have been marshalled, but are defeated by anachonistic whining on the part of the heroine, who by all rights deserves our sympathy. Granted, believably getting inside the mind of a brilliant, aristocratic, 16th century child / woman has a high degree of difficulty, still this effort fell short for me.

Lord Dudley (the villian) seemed to have stepped straight out of a 1940's costume drama (think the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood) - if he had a mustache he would twirl it.

I stuck with it for 13 hours, but just couldn't bear to listen to it grind to the inevitable, 'heartbreaking' conclusion.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade

  • By: Diana Gabaldon
  • Narrated by: Jeff Woodman
  • Length: 15 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,492
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,954
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,951

It is 1758, and the flames of the Seven Years' War are burning hotter than ever. The rigors and dangers of battle are actually a welcome respite for Lord John and his brother Hal, who feel the constant strain of their family's troubled history. Blending war, family secrets, and forbidden love, Gabaldon crafts a suspenseful novel that loyal fans and newcomers alike with find irresistible.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Vital Link

  • By Dina on 09-23-09

A Vital Link

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-23-09

First of all let me say I am on my fourth listen to this book. Jeff Woodman voices Lord John Grey with tremendous wit and style, he does a fine job with the other characters as well (although Davina Porter fans may find fault with his Jamie Fraser). The story is intriguing on it's own (ahem, yes he's gay, yes there is sex, it doesn't get graphic until 4 or 5 hours into the book with plenty of foreshadowing - those who claim to be shocked at this remind me of Claude Rains in "Casablanca"). Beyond that there is social and political intrigue, great battle scenes and a family mystery.

If you are a Gabaldon fan and plan to read/listen to "Echo in the Bone" this is a must for many reasons. Chacters and story lines come back to haunt us, but most critically this book shows us Lord John Grey in depth. He's no longer a 'minor character' in Echo, and I for one am glad.

41 of 41 people found this review helpful

  • Lord John and the Hand of the Devils

  • By: Diana Gabaldon
  • Narrated by: Jeff Woodman
  • Length: 9 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,985
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,618
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,621

In these tales, Lord John vows to avenge a murder, investigates a terrifying "night-hag" on the battlefields of Europe, and discovers treason in His Majesty's ranks.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Lord John Grey comes to life

  • By Teahouse Fox on 10-12-10

A small plate of savories

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-11-09

Highly recommended as an appetizing complement to the Outlander series. These three stories fill in a wealth of details about Lord John Greys's life and character. I don't know how interesting I would find them as stand alone works, but they provide backstory for one of my favorite personalities in the Outlander series. Plus they contain lots of clues and context for the longer Lord John books.

As usual with Diana Gabaldon there is a wealth of historic detail and some sly humor, with the added twist of the mysteries to be solved. The style of the writing is quite different from that in the Outlander main series - like fine claret as opposed to scotch whiskey, perhaps? Both appeal to me.

That being said, the final story 'Hand of Devils' does feel like it could easily be twice as long and better for it; I wanted to know more about some of the characters who remained undeveloped. Still it does tie up some of the loose ends from Brotherhood of the Blade (and will make a lot more sense if you have read that book).

I find Jeff Woodman's nuanced reading delightful, he brings the varied cast of characters to life - particularly Grey and his loyal, long suffering valet Tom Byrd. I've listened to these more than once in the past year, and enjoyed picking up on things I missed the first time.

24 of 25 people found this review helpful