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Holly

ALEXANDRIA, VA, United States
  • 35
  • reviews
  • 120
  • helpful votes
  • 44
  • ratings
  • The Zero Curse

  • By: Christopher G. Nuttall
  • Narrated by: Saskia Maarleveld
  • Length: 13 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 176
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 166
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 166

Caitlyn Aguirre is no magician - but that doesn't make her useless. After discovering her true talent and uncovering the long-lost secret behind Objects of Power, Cat returns to school - intent on showing everyone what she can do. But her mere existence is a threat to the balance of power, convincing some to befriend her, some to try to use her...and some to remove her.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Anxiously awaiting book three.

  • By SheriDoty on 03-17-18

Highly immersive and addictive

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

Reviewed: 04-03-18

Superb. THIS is part of Mr. Nuttall's best series, for me. No one creates a more detailed and believable magic world, and he comes close to Diana Wynne Jones and JKRowling in that magical combination of characters and plot that immerse you completely. I don't know, perhaps there are times he is their equal. I only know I could barely stop listening. I was very pleasantly pleased with Schooled in Magic, but the Zero Enigma series is even better. Warmly recommended. This is so wonderful that I had to order the book as it is not yet out in audio,but I do plan to order it when it is ready. Perfectly narrated in every way.

  • The Zero Blessing

  • The Zero Enigma, Book 1
  • By: Christopher G. Nuttall
  • Narrated by: Saskia Maarleveld
  • Length: 13 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 295
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 273
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 270

Caitlyn Aguirre should have been a magician. Her family certainly expected her to be a magician. But by the time she reached her 12th birthday, Caitlyn hadn't even managed to cast a single spell! In desperation, her parents send her - and her magical sisters - to Jude's Sorcerous Academy, her last best chance to discover her powers. But as she struggles to survive her classes without a single spell to her name, Caitlyn starts to uncover an ancient mystery that may prove the key to her true powers....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • In a world of Magic, One Girl has Zero

  • By Jas P on 10-26-17

Highly immersive and warmly recommended

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

Reviewed: 03-29-18

I am a big fan of the very immersive and detailed Schooled in Magic series; though was not keen on the first Bookworm novel. However, this gem has usurped any favorite in the Schooled in Magic series. Simply splendid. Incredibly detailed magic world, and the writer very skillfully allows the reader to suspend their disbelief. This is quite the page turner! I had to alter my activities to finish it. I can hardly bear to wait to begin the next one, which I will do the instant I finish this review.

SUPERBLY narrated.

The only "drawback" is that Caitlyn, her sisters and Isabella all seem more like 16 years old, certainly not ten. However, that is a wonderful drawback as it made the book much more appealing and yet it will "last" much longer, her school years.

I just loved how this first installment wrapped up and the insight into her father was very well done. I am keenly interested in Caitlyn's well-being, that of her friend Rose, and care even about some of the teachers. Well-done!!

  • The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye

  • A Lisbeth Salander Novel, Continuing Stieg Larsson's Millennium Series, Book 5
  • By: David Lagercrantz
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 10 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,182
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,798
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 4,783

Lisbeth Salander, the girl with the dragon tattoo, the brilliant hacker, the obstinate outsider, the volatile seeker of justice for herself and others - even she has never been able to uncover the most telling facts of her traumatic childhood, the secrets that might finally fully explain her to herself. Now, when she sees a chance to uncover them once and for all, she enlists the help of Mikael Blomkvist, the editor of the muckraking investigative journal Millennium. And she will let nothing stop her.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Not up to par

  • By cristina on 10-03-17

Superbly engrossing

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

Reviewed: 12-24-17

Completely engrossing, superb writing, amazingly true to the characters, wonderful plotting--I am so extremely happy that David Lagercrantz is carrying on with the series. I love this one even more than the last. I couldn't stop listening to it. I had tears in my eyes throughout the epilogue--now that is fine writing!

My favorite bits are always the amazing and audacious things Lisbeth does with the computer...though let's keep that to fictional pages ;-). Well-done!

Simon Vance is a spectacular narrator--I am in awe of the work he does with all the characters. A++++

  • Ever After High: The Unfairest of Them All

  • By: Shannon Hale
  • Narrated by: Kathleen McInerney
  • Length: 6 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 69
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 60
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 58

It's the aftermath of Legacy Day, the day when the students at Ever After High are supposed to pledge to follow in their fairytale parents' footsteps, and everyone is in a huff and a puff! Raven Queen, daughter of the Evil Queen, has refused to sign the Storybook of Legends, rejecting her story - and putting everyone else's in jeopardy.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Never saw this delight coming...!

  • By Holly on 11-13-17

Never saw this delight coming...!

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

Reviewed: 11-13-17

Completely bowled over by how unexpectedly intriguing, charming and well-done these books are. I never saw it coming. I hesitated long before buying the first, and even longer before reading it. How delightful they are! More than anything else in this second installment, I simply LOVE how Raven Queen's character developed, her decision process, her self-realizations, her growing maturity. In so many books, the heroine keeps making lousy decisions; so happy Shannon Hale took a varied path. Apple White also is growing in a believable and admirable way. Wonderful supporting cast of characters and the entire scope is extremely clever.

Thank you for writing these books, Ms. Hale! I apologize for underestimating this series, as I should have known better, based on your prior polished work.

Beautiful narration by Kathleen McInerney--so good I don't even notice, and that is the best kind.

“AUDIBLE 20 REVIEW SWEEPSTAKES ENTRY”

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The School of Hard Knocks

  • Schooled in Magic, Book 5
  • By: Christopher G. Nuttall
  • Narrated by: Tavia Gilbert
  • Length: 14 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 931
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 864
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 867

A plot is being hatched at Mountaintop Academy, a plot that threatens the lives of Emily and her friends...and the integrity of the Allied Lands. In a desperate bid to uncover the secrets of Mountaintop and recover her stolen notes, Emily goes undercover into Mountaintop, a mission that may cost her everything.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Still good

  • By Michelle on 03-28-17

Superior sequel in this series

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

Reviewed: 10-02-17

Just loved this episode in Emily's school training to master the alternative world of magic. The author is gifted at storytelling and plot design. Despite this being the fifth, he keeps surprising me. I know some reviewers don't care for Emily, but her flaws, doubts, decision making, focus, sometimes wrong, make her more believable and interesting. Nuttall does a better job of describing the various forms of magic and making them believable than any fantasy writer I have encountered.

My sole objection to the series is the persistent use of spankings...I realize, however, that I am imposing my own standards and prejudice against spanking, and really should not for this alternative world.

Regarding the change in narrator, though it is striking when the voice change happens, I quickly grew accustomed to the new narrator, and, frankly, feel she was just as superb. Kudos to both narrators of this engrossing series.

  • Schooled in Magic

  • By: Christopher G. Nuttall
  • Narrated by: Tavia Gilbert
  • Length: 15 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,808
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,673
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,674

Emily is a teenage girl pulled from our world into a world of magic and mystery by a necromancer who intends to sacrifice her to the dark gods. Rescued in the nick of time by an enigmatic sorcerer, she discovers that she possesses magical powers and must go to Whitehall School to learn how to master them. There, she learns that the locals believe she is a "Child of Destiny" - someone whose choices might save or damn their world, a title that earns her both friends and enemies.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Neurotic Heroine

  • By Charles Grayson on 11-26-16

Perfect book for listening, completely engrossing

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

Reviewed: 09-15-17

I was expecting to be mildly amused, as a Harry Potter devotee, but do not be swayed into thinking this is a copy!!!! This book stands alone on its own merits: superbly realized fantasy world in enormous detail, especially how magic works. In fact, I cannot think of another fantasy world where this is explained so well and so convincingly. The main character is not a copy of someone else, but very much her own unique person. The plotting was quite amazing! There were many unexpected events, and they were all beautifully linked by book's end. This book was completely engrossing. Tavia Gilbert did a fabulous job distinguishing the voices--just exceptional. The book was so engrossing that I realized I had missed a bit when listening while doing something routine at my PC, so I started all over while walking and picked this book over classic rock on my walks (a rarity). I cannot recommend strongly enough the Audible recording--absolutely perfect book for listening. In fact, I am behind on many projects because I just could not stop listening.

I am very much looking forward to the next one. My ONLY negative is I think the cover art is a bit silly, I suppose to recommend it to teen girls? I would have preferred scenery from the world, I think.

But this book appeals to all ages. Perfect escape/fantasy reading--very warmly recommended. Will definitely re-read next year, after going through the series.

  • The Sleeping Beauty

  • Tales of the Five Hundred Kingdoms, Book 5
  • By: Mercedes Lackey
  • Narrated by: Gabra Zackman
  • Length: 11 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 318
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 290
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 290

In Rosamund's realm, happiness hinges on a few simple beliefs. For every princess there's a prince. The King has ultimate power. Stepmothers should never be trusted. And bad things come to those who break with Tradition.... But when Rosa is pursued by a murderous huntsman and then captured by dwarves, her beliefs go up in smoke. Determined to escape and save her kingdom from imminent invasion, she agrees to become the subject of one of her stepmother's risky incantations - thus falling into a deep, deep sleep.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Not the same as the actual book

  • By Krystal on 04-24-17

*My favorite Mercedes Lackey, perfect narration*

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

Reviewed: 09-25-16

This book completely captured my imagination and attention, as narrated by Gabra Zackman. I read the paperback copy of this a few years back, but listening to it through Audible was a whole new experience. Not only is it my favorite in the Five Hundred Kingdoms story, it is probably now my favorite of all Mercedes Lackey very large body of work. The narration is superb...akin to Jim Dale reading Harry Potter and Ralph Cosham as Inspector Gamache in Louise Penny's novels. The best of Mercedes Lackey is reflected in this novel, with superb plotting and highly compelling character development. Some books are better candidates than others for listening to, and this is in the very top echelon for a recorded listening experience. Outstanding!!!!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Martian

  • By: Andy Weir
  • Narrated by: R. C. Bray
  • Length: 10 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 153,007
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 141,195
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 141,046

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he's alive - and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plainold "human error" are much more likely to kill him first.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Worth it even if you've seen the movie

  • By R. MCRACKAN on 12-08-17

No matter what your tastes...glorious story

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

Reviewed: 05-16-16

I didn't think this would be my kind of book, so skipped over it for the longest time. How very wrong I was! By chapter two I was saying, "My goodness this is good!" and by chapter six/seven I had tears rolling down my cheeks, with lots of chuckles in between those chapters. I am sleep deprived today for finishing it in the middle of the night. Five stars x five--really. Humanity redeemed.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Excellent Women

  • By: Barbara Pym
  • Narrated by: Jayne Entwistle
  • Length: 8 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,059
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 968
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 967

Mildred Lathbury is a clergyman's daughter and a mild-mannered spinster in 1950s England. She is one of those excellent women - the smart, supportive, repressed women whom men take for granted. As Mildred gets embroiled in the lives of her new neighbors - anthropologist Helena Napier; Helen's handsome, dashing husband, Rocky; and Julian Malory, the vicar next door - the novel presents a series of snapshots of human life as actually, and pluckily, lived.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Still Waters Run Deep

  • By Sara on 04-13-16

At long last...Barbara Pym!

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

Reviewed: 05-07-16

Every year I have begged Audible to acquire the works of Barbara Pym, one of the most delightful and intelligent writers to ever entertain a reader, after a fruitless but ever hopeful search. Suddenly, she is here! Though "Excellent Women" is not my very favorite, it most certainly is a complete gem. I cannot recommend it to you strongly enough. Despite having read the paperback yearly, and listened to my aging cassettes twice yearly, I have already listened to this twice since acquiring it this week. Please give Excellent Women a try! And I will add that it is beautifully narrated. Thank you so very much Audible, for finally offering Barbara Pym!

45 of 48 people found this review helpful

  • Mrs Queen Takes the Train

  • By: William Kuhn
  • Narrated by: Simon Prebble
  • Length: 9 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,747
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,585
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,580

An absolute delight of a debut novel by William Kuhn - author of Reading Jackie: Her Autobiography in Books - Mrs Queen Takes the Train wittily imagines the kerfuffle that transpires when a bored Queen Elizabeth strolls out of the palace in search of a little fun, leaving behind a desperate team of courtiers who must find the missing Windsor before a national scandal erupts.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Enjoyable with deeper meaning

  • By SydSavvy on 12-31-15

Charming & Engaging; Warmly Recommended

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

Reviewed: 04-15-16

I purchased this recording based on the recommendations here and I am so happy I did. This is engaging and charming. It is very easy to listen to while doing other things. I am certain I will re-listen to Mrs. Queen Takes the Train again in 2016. When I gauge the value of a recorded book I consider if I will want to re-play it, and, yes, I will. The narration is grand. My only tiny regret is that the ratio of supporting cast stories versus the Queen was a bit more weighted to the supporting cast, and I would have preferred the ratio to be weighted toward the Queen...however, I understand why the author constructed the story the way he did, and it "works." Try this!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful