LISTENER

Asta

  • 30
  • reviews
  • 30
  • helpful votes
  • 244
  • ratings
The Next Always audiobook cover art
  • The Next Always

  • By: Nora Roberts
  • Narrated by: MacLeod Andrews
  • Length: 11 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 307
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 264
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 267

The historic hotel in Boonsboro has endured war and peace, the changing of hands, and even rumored hauntings. Now it’s getting a major face-lift from the Montgomery brothers and their eccentric mother. As the architect in the family, Beckett’s social life consists mostly of talking shop over pizza and beer. But there’s another project he’s got his eye on: the girl he’s been waiting to kiss since he was 16.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Just okay

  • By Amazon Customer on 11-25-12

Same Old, Same Old

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

Reviewed: 02-04-13

Would you try another book from Nora Roberts and/or MacLeod Andrews?

I am willing to listen to the other books in this series.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

I liked the humor, the relationships, and the romance. I'm not a huge fan of paranormal activities in an otherwise typical contemporary romance.

What didn’t you like about MacLeod Andrews’s performance?

His female voices were not that great, and his kids voices were cringe-inducing.

Any additional comments?

This was a nice, contemporary romance with a bit of the paranormal but it was nothing special.

  • The Twelve Clues of Christmas

  • By: Rhys Bowen
  • Narrated by: Katherine Kellgren
  • Length: 9 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,814
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,342
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,319

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me—well, actually, my true love, Darcy O’Mara, is spending a feliz navidad tramping around South America. Meanwhile, Mummy is holed up in a tiny village called Tiddleton-under-Lovey with that droll Noel Coward! And I’m snowed in at Castle Rannoch with my bumbling brother, Binky, and sourpuss sister-in-law, Fig.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • It was a great Christmas Who-Done-It!

  • By Felicia The Geeky Blogger on 11-25-12

Romance 1, Mystery 0

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

Reviewed: 01-31-13

The Book

I thought that the set up of the mystery was rather clever but I suppose for the more perceptive, they would have found it rather predictable. I was not able to figure out for certain who the culprit(s) were although I had had my suspicions, no thanks to all those fake clues the author tossed on to this character and that. There was a repetition from one of the earlier books, a reference to one of Oscar Wilde's play: "A handbag?" There were a lot of descriptions about food - some might say too many. For me, it just made me hungry and I started compiling a list of English foods I'd like to taste: ginger wine, mince pies, etc. I loved the comic relief that Queenie provided. She's too funny. I felt less connected with the main character, Georgiana Rannoch. Darcy is such a rogue, and while I like him and am rooting for a HEA between him and Georgiana, I don't really understand what the two of them see in each other. The mystery took forever to be resolved, and it seemed to drag on with little progress in the resolution as we went through the 12 clues of Christmas. But the romance between Darcy and Georgie is finally getting somewhere so at least there was something to follow besides descriptions of food not available to me.

The Narrator

Initially, I did not sense much passion/enjoyment from the narrator. It kind of sounded as if the narrator was tired of Georgiana Rannoch. As the story progressed, the narration seemed more smooth and lively. While her British voices continued to have the same flavor (a rich, exaggerated, movie-star-fancy style), the Irish Darcy continued to delight. The Americans from Indiana, however, were a bit painful to listen to, in particular, the little boy. Ouch! But I have to say that this narrator is still one of the most enjoyable narrators I've listened to.

Cross-posted from Goodreads.com

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Hobbit

  • By: J. R. R. Tolkien
  • Narrated by: Rob Inglis
  • Length: 11 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 37,295
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 33,690
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 33,908

Like every other hobbit, Bilbo Baggins likes nothing better than a quiet evening in his snug hole in the ground, dining on a sumptuous dinner in front of a fire. But when a wandering wizard captivates him with tales of the unknown, Bilbo becomes restless. Soon he joins the wizard’s band of homeless dwarves in search of giant spiders, savage wolves, and other dangers. Bilbo quickly tires of the quest for adventure and longs for the security of his familiar home. But before he can return to his life of comfort, he must face the greatest threat of all.

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

  • By Bryan J. Peterson on 10-20-12

Decent Listen

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

Reviewed: 01-31-13

The Book
It was charming with occasional asides to the reader. It sometimes read a bit dry with lots of talk of this or that of their travels, and it was not helped much by the somewhat phlegmatic reading by the narrator. The author liked to pepper the story with songs sung by elves, hobbits, dwarves, men, etc. I never liked reading these songs in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings when I was younger, and my opinion of them haven't changed much over the years.

The Narrator
He read well enough. He provided different voices for each of the characters to distinguish them from one another, but there was only so much he could do himself before the characters starting sounding alike, especially towards the end of the book. I disagreed with some of his voices (sounding too old, too squeaky, too high, too low) and interpretations but overall, not a bad listen. The voices were sometimes not very consistent, causing them to sometimes sound like a different character. He read at a steady pace without much change in tone. When a character shouted, his volume didn't change but the voice sometimes went a bit squeaky, which sounded a bit odd because there was no emotion behind it and felt at odds with what was going on in the story. I had to take my figurative hat off to him, though, for attempting to sing the songs. I do not know whether the music were his own; they were not very good. He was also not a singer. But he tried, at least, and it provided something different to his usual reading style.

I had some difficulty concentrating on the narration, which meant that I was utilizing the rewind button rather often. It was not a bad narration but I don't think I want to listen to The Lord of the Rings by the same narrator. A combination of Tolkien's works plus the narrator tends to make my mind wander and my ears to tune out.

  • A Sudden, Fearful Death

  • By: Anne Perry
  • Narrated by: Davina Porter
  • Length: 16 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 527
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 396
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 397

Anne Perry's Victorian murder mysteries have enthralled millions with their evocative atmosphere and finely-crafted suspense. Now, in this mesmerizing best seller, the star of these mysteries, Inspector William Monk, returns to solve the most heartbreaking case of his career.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Oh, yummy, yummy -- another great Anne Perry

  • By Nina on 05-07-05

Time for a Break?

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

Reviewed: 10-09-12

My feelings for the William Monk mysteries have always been lukewarm at best, but this book made me seriously reconsider continuing with the series despite my interest in Monk's history.

The mystery was convoluted, and Monk seemed as inept as usual. There were questions unanswered such as how Callandra recognized Marian, and inconsistencies such as Monk being jubilant about the content of the letters he had received and acting all smug in front of Runcorn but telling Rathbone that he didn't believe the perpetrator was the person on trial. I got so tired of being told that Monk was brilliant instead of being shown it. There was a character whose name was rather similar to another (Robert Oliver and Oliver Rathbone) which I thought was poorly chosen. Since Book 1, it was clear that the author had an agenda. While I managed to somewhat brush it aside in the previous books, in this one, it felt too intrusive for me to ignore.

The narration was not that great either. The echoes were back again and present for most of the audiobook. There seemed to be less effort to make the characters sound distinct from one another, and too often I was confused about who was speaking, whether the character was male or female. There was hardly any life to this narration. While I realize that Davina Porter is practically revered for an excellent narration of the Outlander series, I find myself wholly unimpressed by her narration in the William Monk series. She does not have a wide range of voices, and her voice acting is barely there. Everything felt...bland.

In short, I was heartily bored, irritated and unimpressed by both book and narration.


Cross-posted from Goodreads

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Secret History of the Pink Carnation

  • By: Lauren Willig
  • Narrated by: Kate Reading
  • Length: 13 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,131
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 654
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 659

Deciding that true romantic heroes are a thing of the past, Eloise Kelly, an intelligent American who always manages to wear her Jimmy Choo suede boots on the day it rains, leaves Harvard's Widener Library bound for England to finish her dissertation on the dashing pair of spies the Scarlet Pimpernel and the Purple Gentian. What she discovers is something the finest historians have missed: a secret history that begins with a letter dated 1803.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Thoroughly entertaining

  • By Jeny on 04-03-10

NOT what I was expecting

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

Reviewed: 10-07-12

I was disappointed. The Scarlet Pimpernel, this is not. I loved The Scarlet Pimpernel, and I would have loved to have read about other spies in his like. This was what I was expecting, but instead, I got an awkward mix of historical romance and chick-lit.

What I did like were the premise and the occasional laughter-inducing phrases and scenes. I also appreciated the narrator's efforts at voice acting and voice differentiation.

But there were more things that I did not like. I didn't care much for any of the characters, and actively disliked the main characters. I found Eloise juvenile and superficial, and Amy utterly silly. The Purple Gentian was inept as a spy and a huge disappointment in that way. the "mystery" of the Pink Carnation was easily guessed. The "rescue" was farcical. There were plot holes, and anachronistic dialogue and behavior.

As for the narration, I didn't care for it. The narrator did both male and female voices badly. Her voice acting was exaggerated, and her British accent was inconsistent.

  • First Drop of Crimson

  • Night Huntress World, Book 1
  • By: Jeaniene Frost
  • Narrated by: Tavia Gilbert
  • Length: 10 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,826
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,765
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,773

He is Spade, a powerful, mysterious vampire who has walked the earth for centuries and is now duty-bound to protect this endangered, alluring human—even if it means destroying his own kind. Denise may arouse his deepest hungers, but Spade knows he must fight his urge to have her as they face the nightmare together, because once the first crimson drop falls, they will both be lost.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • LOVED IT

  • By Jes on 08-05-11

Unimpressed

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

Reviewed: 09-23-12

Any additional comments?

This book did not sound as if it would work well as a stand alone. Early in the book, we had Spade recalling a Christmas dinner with Cat and Bones. Denise also suffers many flashbacks of what had happened in Book 4 of the Night Huntress series. I also disliked the awkward info dump via Denise. Having "read" the books in the Night Huntress series, it only had me rolling me eyes. This was not the first time.

None of the characters really stood out or resonated with me. I felt so apathetic and bored that even the sex scenes left me, for the most part, unmoved. There seemed to be a lot less humor. Unlike Halfway to the Grave where I had been laughing nearly the entirety of the book, I was just like, "Ehhhh...". I also did not feel as if the author did not handle Denise's PTSD very well, but I don't know whether this was because when the narrator said "PTSD", it just stood out so much that it felt as if the word was just tossed about in a somewhat cavalier manner.

And the narrator. I had really enjoyed her narration (well, mostly) for Cat and Bones, especially in the first few books in the series. I felt her enjoyment of the book and the characters through her voice. But this narration fell completely flat. I did not feel enthusiasm or passion from her narration. While I was fine with her voices and accents for Spade, Denise, Cat, Bones, Ian, and Spade's French buddies, she did a really poor job with a lot of the other minor male characters. The men all sounded like little boys (e.g. Nathaniel, at first, until the narrator got the hang of the voice she was going to do for him, and Oliver) - or women (e.g. Bootleg).

All in all, I found this book to be the worst of the Night Huntress books so far. It was a real disappointment.


Review partially cross-posted from Goodreads.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Destined for an Early Grave

  • Night Huntress, Book 4
  • By: Jeaniene Frost
  • Narrated by: Tavia Gilbert
  • Length: 9 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,101
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,118
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,128

Since half-vampire Cat Crawfield and her undead lover Bones met six years ago, they’ve fought against the rogue undead, battled a vengeful Master vampire, and pledged their devotion with a blood bond. Now it’s time for a vacation. But their hopes for a perfect Paris holiday are dashed when Cat awakes one night in terror. She’s having visions of a vampire named Gregor, who’s more powerful than Bones and has ties to her past that even Cat herself didn’t know about.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent!!

  • By Amazon Customer on 12-26-10

Very Trying

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

Reviewed: 09-13-12

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

I'll have to get back to you on that.

What could Jeaniene Frost have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Stopped making a Mary Sue and Gary Stu out of Cat and Bones. They are becoming way overpowered.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

Not use Valley girl accent for very minor/secondary female characters nor nasally, whiny intonations for minor/secondary male characters. The Valley girl accent totally took off 1.5 - 2 stars in performance for me.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

The kiss-and-make-up sex scene.

Any additional comments?

I was about to start Book 5 when I read a couple of reviews warning that it contained spoilers for the Night Huntress World Books 1 and 2, side stories which are apparently a VERY good idea to read if you don't want to be a little confused about how did what happened when and who's who in Book 5. Sooo, off I went to get those two books I had initially not intended to read.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Defend and Betray

  • A William Monk Novel #3
  • By: Anne Perry
  • Narrated by: Davina Porter
  • Length: 16 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 676
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 553
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 557

Ten people gather together for an elegant London dinner party. By the end of the party, only nine are alive. Sometime after dinner, General Thaddeus Carlyon is brutally murdered in the hallway. Who had the strength - and motive - to murder the distinguished military hero? Nurse Latterly and Inspector Monk find the answers in a nightmarish legacy of evil.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Anachronistic, repetitious, annoying.

  • By Michele on 01-15-14

Long, Drawn-Out, Boring

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

Reviewed: 09-01-12

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

On the author's part: tighter editing to remove repetition and move the plot forward at faster than a glacier's pace; showing Monk's skills instead of just telling about them. On the narrator's part: Greater attention to differentiating character voices, especially during transitions between one character's voice and another.

Would you ever listen to anything by Anne Perry again?

Yes. I would like to learn more about Monk.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Monk regains a few more memories. Major Tiplady(sp?) and his infatuation with Hester's friend was adorable. Casean's (sp?) plea to his uncle towards the end of the courtroom scene was heartbreaking.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Face of a Stranger

  • A William Monk Novel #1
  • By: Anne Perry
  • Narrated by: Davina Porter
  • Length: 13 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,304
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,072
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,066

A tragic accident leaves Inspector Monk with amnesia just moments after he solves the murder of a popular Crimean war hero. Forced to redo his entire investigation, a frustrated Monk faces a desperate murderer who will do anything to keep the inspector from discovering the truth twice.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • promising start to the series

  • By connie on 01-09-10

Slow, Quiet Mystery But Interesting Main Character

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

Reviewed: 08-27-12

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

Yes. I liked the mystery, and I found the world-building and characterization well done.

Would you be willing to try another book from Anne Perry? Why or why not?

Yes. I have already finished the next book in this series and am about to start the third.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

Yes. It was slow, quiet and rather dry.

Any additional comments?

The first half of the book was slow and almost boring. I do not know whether this was due to the text or the narrator. It picked up around chapter 12 where it started getting a bit exciting. I had a lot of difficulty accepting the narration. I was 99.9% convinced I did not want to continue this series in audio, but convenience persuaded me otherwise. The problems I had with the narration included difficulty distinguishing certain characters from another, particularly male characters and especially when there weren't any dialogue tags; young women who sounded old or over delicate; some difficulty determining whether something was being spoken by a character or the narrator; occasionally whistling s's; muffled chatting in the background (which I later discovered was an echo of the narrator's words); and brief pauses from one sentence to another as if switching from one CD to the next. I did like the voice acting and the different accents, and I eventually grew to accept the narrator's voice for Monk.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • A Dangerous Mourning

  • A William Monk Novel #2
  • By: Anne Perry
  • Narrated by: Davina Porter
  • Length: 14 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 762
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 611
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 604

When the beautiful daughter of Sir Basil Moidore is stabbed to death in her bed, Inspector Monk and Nurse Latterly uncover a tale of shame and scandal that threatens to destroy a powerful London dynasty.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Dangerous Mourning

  • By gwennieg on 10-08-09

Unexpected Twist

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

Reviewed: 08-27-12

What did you like best about A Dangerous Mourning? What did you like least?

What I liked best about A Dangerous Mourning was the twist in the story. It stunned and saddened me, but it was an unexpected twist in the story that I was not quite expecting since I do not often come across authors who would employ it. What I least liked about it was probably the number of characters and the names that started with S. I got confused and found it difficult keeping track of who was who for at least half the book.

Who was your favorite character and why?

My favorite character was Monk. I found him and his situation to be quite interesting. I liked his voice and was impressed that he would not compromise his integrity even at the cost of his own livelihood.

Any additional comments?

I found the echoes of the narrator's words as well as the pauses between sentences that may signal a change in CD's annoying.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful