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Gwendolyn

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  • Mail Order Bride: Montana Rescue

  • Echo Canyon Brides, Book 1
  • By: Linda Bridey
  • Narrated by: Eric Burr
  • Length: 8 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 26
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 21
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 21

Josie Bainbridge has watched all of her friends get married and despairs of ever finding a husband - especially because her home city of Pullman, Washington has too many women and not enough men. It becomes clear that if she's ever going to find a man of her own, she's going to have to look elsewhere. Josie begins scouring the personal advertisements, hoping to find the man of her dreams. When she comes across one written by a Montana sheriff, she thinks she just might have found him.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Entertaining and Enjoyable

  • By Lori on 10-31-16

Mediocrity compounded by horrid narration

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

Reviewed: 05-22-16

This story is fine for people who want sweet, clean somewhat far fetched fairy tales. The emotional responses to some of the events in this story are just not quite believable (i.e. the train wreck scene) and every conflict or misunderstanding is easily and tidily cleaned up. Meh.

It could have been mildly entertaining if a different narrator had been chosen. Eric Burr read the thing like he was reading a children's bedtime story to a feeble-minded idiot. He provided no emoting, or what he did offer was simply wrong for the scene. He lacks any talent for pacing or timing. His characters sounded ludicrous, making the villains so weak that it was just idiotic to think that anyone would be intimidated by or afraid of them.

Overall, I'd say don't waste your money, credit or time with this one.

1 of 1 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 155,586
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 143,571
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 143,416

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

Or, "The Safest Place to Be"

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

Reviewed: 10-03-15

This story is well-written, accurate, entertaining--essentially has all the elements of the best-seller that it is. Can't wait for more from this author. Yet it let me asking a whole bunch of questions. Maybe to counteract that the whole thing made me feel pretty stupid and useless in the face of so much intelligence and resourcefulness (understand, I don't hang out with rocket scientists because, well, I'm not that intelligent and resourceful). First, I really had to struggle to overcome my disbelief at the whole premise. It worked for the story to believe that not only NASA but the entire world would be willing to spend not only billions of dollars but billions of hours and priceless talent, not to mention the risk of quite a number of additional lives to save one life. All that made Watney "the person most likely to live" in the entire universe. Pretty safe place to be. Mark Watney is a great character--funny, super-clever,maybe even useful (although we never get to know, but that's not the point of the story), but is he worth all that? I found it just a little hard to believe. And because I found it hard to believe, I started to imagine what the story would have been like if he really was abandoned on Mars after they discovered he was alive. Could he have made it until the next manned landing? Which leads me to question the whole potatoes won't grow again after the hab explosion, especially after he discovers not all the bacteria necessary for the perpetuation of life were killed. Then there is the whole question of how Watney stayed so sane in utter isolation. While I know NASA has rigorous tests to ensure space astronauts can handle long-term isolation and still function, even the most capable and well-grounded people suffer after such extended isolation, and communicating with people only to have that communication removed again can only tease out that sense of lost hopelessness that I feel was missing in this story.
Still, the story was so entertainingly told; it was so witty, hilarious and engaging that ultimately I ignored my questions and just enjoyed it. The choice of narrator was utterly perfect for this novel. RC Bray so perfectly captured all the characters so well (I was especially impressed with his portrayal of Mindy who I think underwent the greatest character development in the whole story), that I would even recommend the audio version over reading it for yourself (which I almost never recommend).
Well done Wier and Bray and everyone who made this book happen!

  • Blood Song

  • Raven's Shadow, Book 1
  • By: Anthony Ryan
  • Narrated by: Steven Brand
  • Length: 23 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,824
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,919
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,913

The Sixth Order wields the sword of justice and smites the enemies of the Faith and the Realm. Vaelin Al Sorna was only a child of 10 when his father left him at the iron gate of the Sixth Order. The Brothers of the Sixth Order are devoted to battle, and Vaelin will be trained and hardened to the austere, celibate, and dangerous life of a Warrior of the Faith. He has no family now save the Order.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great story, but the narration did not live up to it.

  • By Anthony on 06-29-16

This is a stellar series debut

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

Reviewed: 08-31-13

As intimated by a number of other reviewers, this story stands out as a well-crafted fantasy. For those who love tales with lots of battle and bloodshed, this has that. But it's also a story full of intricately woven intrigue and intelligence. It speaks to the futility of war and its motivators of greed and religion. Yet little apology is made to the conviction that war is inevitable and therefore, necessary. I was intrigued throughout by how the author balanced faith with doubt and the impacts of both on various characters' actions. It does not take a great leap of imagination to see this story set in the Middle Ages about the Christian Crusades. From that, not much further to the religious wars of today. Only a different interpretive spin or description of the blood song would change this from a fantasy genre to an historical fiction. The great thing about this book is that it concludes the story arc. If the other two books never get published and released, there isn't a sense of incompletion like with Scott Lynch's Gentleman Bastards or Patrick Rothfuss' Kingkiller Chronicles. That said, I can't wait to read the next installment.

As an aside, I think given the intricacy of this tale, one might be better off with a text version rather than audio. The performance wasn't bad, although there were times when I wasn't sure which character was speaking--he tended not to use voices. Probably a wise decision since there are so many characters, keeping the voices straight would have been difficult and errors would detract even more from the telling.

All in all, this book is most definitely worth the credit!

  • Heresy

  • By: S. J. Parris
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 13 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 300
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 194
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 193

Giordano Bruno was a monk, poet, scientist, and magician on the run from the Roman Inquisition on charges of heresy for his belief that the Earth orbits the sun and that the universe is infinite. This alone could have got him burned at the stake, but he was also a student of occult philosophies and magic. In S. J. Parris's gripping novel, Bruno's pursuit of this rare knowledge brings him to London, where he is unexpectedly recruited by Queen Elizabeth I and is sent undercover to Oxford University on the pretext of a royal visitation.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • I love Historical fiction

  • By Bonnie on 09-20-10

Mystery without Intrigue

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

Reviewed: 04-09-13

I was a little disappointed in this story. The idea of the character, time and place was perfect for a suspenseful mystery full of religious and political intrigue. But the mystery wasn't so much a mystery as a sensational expose. I was never really convinced of the protagonist's right to be the one solving the mystery. His emotional response to the sole female character was hard to believe (although, maybe more believable if it was just the idea of the girl, rather than the actual character). Very few of the characters warranted any sympathy. Perhaps it was the use of first person narrative that caused the problem; I find it rather difficult to care about a character that has to describe his own attributes. The mystery might have worked better if the reader could have liked anyone. As for the narrator...John Lee is very skilled, but is not very emotive. Great for a non-fiction book; not so great for a mystery. His inflection and tone were too straight-forward and practical to evoke an atmosphere of mystery.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Take Me, I'm Yours

  • By: Donna Fasano
  • Narrated by: Barbara-Ann Horne
  • Length: 5 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 16
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 15
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 15

Sexy single dad Derek Mitchell had learned the hard way to never trust a beautiful woman. So although he would always be indebted to Lainey Adams for thwarting a kidnapping attempt on his beloved daughter, he wasn't about to show his gratitude by offering his heart on a silver platter! But what was the brooding bachelor to do when his matchmaking millionaire father rewarded Lainey's heroism...by giving her part of the family fortune?

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Wrong narrator

  • By Gwendolyn on 04-09-13

Wrong narrator

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

Reviewed: 04-09-13

Couldn't finish listening to this horrible rendition. The narrator was all wrong for this book. Her accent was childish; she so grossly mispronounced words that it detracted from the story. If you're looking for a saccharine-sweet and completely implausible modern fairy-tale kind of story (which I sheepishly admit to wanting on occasion) it could have been alright--if you overlook the hero's rather abrupt about face and the heroine's unrealistic character and the flat, one dimensional Stepford children. But the narrator sounded like she'd be better off reading children's books. She frequently put accents on the wrong syllables, spoke with broad, nasal vowels, dropped "r"s (dearly sounded like daily; barber sounded like bobber) and wrongly added "r"s (drawering?? Speech therapists work on that with school children!) ) and slight lisp were too distracting to tolerate. She also really should work on consistent voice characterization. Sometimes in a conversation between the man and the woman, the narrator gave the man a higher pitched tone than the woman. Bizarre. Overall, not worth the credit. Thanks, Audible.com, for your return policy!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Luck in the Shadows

  • Nightrunner, Book 1
  • By: Lynn Flewelling
  • Narrated by: Raymond Todd
  • Length: 17 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 851
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 495
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 499

Spy, rogue, thief, and noble, Seregil of Rhiminee is many things, none of them predictable. And when he offers to take on Alec as his apprentice, things may never be the same for either of them. Soon Alec is traveling roads he never knew existed, toward a war he never suspected was brewing. Before long he and Seregil are embroiled in a sinister plot that runs deeper than either can imagine and that may cost them far more than their lives if they fail. But fortune is as unpredictable as Alec's new mentor.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Fun! Refreshing!

  • By jennifer on 03-04-11

Nightrunner Series Review (not just this book)

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

Reviewed: 05-24-12

Each story in this series was a well-developed story in its own right. To be sure, one necessarily follows the other, and they couldn't be as fun taken out of order. But each book is its own episode in the ongoing epic. I admit to having the attention span of a gnat and usually get bored with a series by book three, and almost never read beyond book four. But here I am anxiously awaiting--no, impatiently waiting--for the sixth book in this series. I love Alec and Seregil and the relationship they have not only with each other, but with all of their friends. Somewhere along in this series, the narrators change. While some might have difficulties with the change of voices, I confess, the narrators were superseded by the story for me, and they hardly mattered.

I listened to The Tamir Triad first and almost didn't give this series a try. I found that series to be rather dark and difficult to suspend disbelief. I was afraid this would be like that. But this series is much easier, lighter and warmer. Much more to my preferences for escaping into fantasy.

  • The Alchemist and the Executioness

  • By: Paolo Bacigalupi, Tobias S. Buckell
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Davis, Katherine Kellgren
  • Length: 5 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 842
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 454
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 456

It is a world where magic is forbidden – yet practiced in secret every day. But each small act of magic exacts a dreadful price – for it brings the bramble, which chokes farmland, destroys villages, and kills with its deadly thorns. In this world an alchemist believes he’s found a solution to the curse. But will the cure be worse than the disease? And a woman is forced to take up the mantle of her father, the Executioner. But it will not be the only death that she faces.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Not What I Expected...

  • By Rand on 08-23-10

Fascinating Stories!

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

Reviewed: 05-24-12

The Alchemist was so well-written that the reader did not merely sympathize with the character, you actually suffered his frustration at his own self-imposed impotence. In reading fantasy, one quickly adapts to the "hero" concept wherein the good guy saves the day. But with The Alchemist, the character acts as any real person might. Where there are opportunities for heroism, the character is not strong enough to take them. So he does what he can to save his own hide and that of those whom he loves. YET. I listened to the ending and felt complete; like it was a sweet story well told.

The Executioness was more a story of how circumstances and superficial observation serve to develop a character just as much as individual growth does. Few people (in the story) get close enough to the woman to know what drives and motivates her. Yet their opinion of her, which she tries to reject with limited success, is what she ultimately becomes. This story also is somewhat cautionary in that even if the hero's path is chosen for you, the grand scheme of things is still just an ever-changing scheme.

These stories don't touch each other. They are different people in different parts of the same world and have no impact on one another. But if the authors wanted them to, they could! It is a world in which magic had become mundane and a natural blight results from careless overuse of magic. The authors treat magic as mundane and commonplace, and as a result, the reader almost forgets it's there. Very well written stories!

Both of the narrators gave stellar performances. Katherine Kellgren is one of the most talented readers I've had the privilege of listening. She has a huge range of accents and is always consistent with her characterizations. Jonathan Davis has the gift of creating an atmosphere of empathy when he reads. Both narrators worked perfectly with these stories.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Expected One

  • By: Kathleen McGowan
  • Narrated by: Linda Stephens
  • Length: 17 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 461
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 258
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 260

Two thousand years ago, Mary Magdalene hid a set of scrolls in the French Pyrenees: the Gospel of Mary Magdalene, her version of the life of Jesus and the events of the New Testament. Protected by supernatural forces, these sacred scrolls could be uncovered only by a special seeker, one who fulfills the ancient prophecy of L'Attendu, the Expected One.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • the Expected One (unabridged)

  • By Sheila on 02-19-09

How to Capitalize on the Success of a Blockbuster

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

Reviewed: 05-24-12

What a disappointment this book was. The main character had no credibility as a professional researcher who was supposed to have substantial knowledge and evidence enough to support the premise of a book. Non-fiction books contain only a fraction of what the author knows. But this character didn't even seem to know enough to fill a book. Every step of the way through this novel, she was shocked by the "new" evidence presented to her. Incidentally, the whole 2000 year conspiracy theory doesn't wash--no one is so good at keeping secrets. Further, this character seemed more to be a thing upon which circumstances happened--just so much flotsam to be pushed around--rather than an individual capable of making her own life-controlling decisions.

The author tries to use the withholding information device to create a sense of suspense ("I'll tell you later", "it's not for you to know right now") that simply does not work. There was never any reason to withhold information, and the characters just look even more dim-witted and foolish for allowing it. The author tries to mimic the style of Dan Brown and utterly fails.

It is disappointing, because the idea of Mary Magdalene's story of her Gospel (as a witness to Jesus' life and teachings) is a fascinating one that could make for an entertaining story. It's just not this one.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Rise of Empire

  • Riyria Revelations, Volume 2
  • By: Michael J. Sullivan
  • Narrated by: Tim Gerard Reynolds
  • Length: 26 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,252
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 14,103
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14,100

Best-selling author Michael J. Sullivan’s mesmerizing Riyria Revelations series has found a welcome home with fans of magic, clashing swords, and daring heroes. This second volume finds Royce and Hadrian on a quest to enlist the southern Nationalists to aid the ever-weakening kingdom of Melengar. Royce suspects an ancient wizard is manipulating them all, but to find the truth he’ll have to decipher Hadrian’s past—a past Hadrian wants to keep secret.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great continuation of the first book. Tons of fun!

  • By Adnan on 05-30-12

Volume Two of the Riyria Revelations

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

Reviewed: 05-24-12

This volume contains "Nyphron Rising" and "The Emerald Storm." With these books, the story really begins to develop toward the ultimate climax (which I'm hoping will be released on Audible sometime soon). Volume one fleshes out the players and leads us to the goal of the various players. Volume two is more plot driven than character development. But that's not to say that the characters don't develop, they do. But it's more of a lateral movement rather than a growth toward betterment. The end of "The Emerald Storm" leaves you hanging! If you don't like cliffhangers, hold off on this series until all three volumes have been released (or see if you can find it in print). Still, I'm rather enjoying this series. No dreadful mid-series lull that is so often found in fantasy series.

10 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Theft of Swords

  • Riyria Revelations, Volume 1
  • By: Michael J. Sullivan
  • Narrated by: Tim Gerard Reynolds
  • Length: 22 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19,455
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18,106
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18,087

Acclaimed author Michael J. Sullivan created instant best sellers with his spellbinding Riyria Revelations series. This first volume introduces Royce Melborn and Hadrian Blackwater, two enterprising thieves who end up running for their lives when they’re framed for the death of the king. Trapped in a conspiracy bigger than they can imagine, their only hope is unraveling an ancient mystery - before it’s too late.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • And I didn't think I liked fantasies...

  • By AudioAddict on 09-27-13

Two Separate Stories in One Book

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

Reviewed: 05-24-12

The first two installments of Riyria Revelations are found in this volume: "The Crown Conspiracy" and "Avempartha." I find it's easier to recall some of the plot later on in the series if you remember what book it's in. It's easy to get over the cliche characterization of the main characters (what fantasy novel doesn't have the good-natured, under-estimated fighter and his sullen-yet-clever, secretive sidekick?) because they are so well portrayed. They have pasts that are alluded to with just enough detail to make the story progress, but not so much that you have to wade through unnecessary history. No character in this series is a mere device to move along a scene. Every character comes back later in the series with an important role to play. I rather like that. This is an epic fantasy, so it is intended to be escapist entertainment. So long as you keep that in mind, this series is a lot of fun!

24 of 29 people found this review helpful