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Log Cabin Pat

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Fledgling audiobook cover art

Rushed plot

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

Reviewed: 09-18-19

I enjoyed the first book with its wonderful world building but in this book the plot comes to a boil too fast. I could have easily taken another year of Cassandra at Miss Castwell's, but in the blink of an eye she reveals her secret to practically everyone, leaves the school and starts on her "mission". I don't need this series to go 7 books like Harry Potter, but Harry didn't leave Hogwarts until book 6.

I think this was a misstep by Molly Harper, who should certainly know better. Although going by some of her Southern Eclectic series she's starting to put out half-books instead of complete beginning-middle-end novels.

Aftershocks audiobook cover art

Half a book

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

Reviewed: 08-04-19

This is not a science fiction novel so much as a novel that takes place in space, and the situation is very obviously based on Germany between WWI and WWII. As other reviewers have said, it's only part of a book. I don't mind if a series has an over-arching story, but dammit, each book should also have a complete story of it's own. The focus shifts between 4 people, which I always find disconcerting, but at least each chapter clearly distinguishes who it's about, and 3 of the 4 storylines are converging when the book just - stops.

I bought this because I have enjoyed the Frontlines series, but I am seriously thinking about returning it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

The Frequency of Aliens audiobook cover art

Slow start but a great finish

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

Reviewed: 08-07-18

The book takes a while to get started as it hops between various characters (some old, some new) to put all the pieces in place. But once it gets going it's like a roller coaster that has climbed the first hill and roars along until you're back at the station and wishing the ride was a lot longer.

The Singularity Trap audiobook cover art

Better than Ambien

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

Reviewed: 06-18-18

I am astounded at the 5 star reviews for this book. I'm halfway through and it's boring beyond belief. I thought the Bob trilogy was OK, enjoyable but not outstanding. Listening to this, however, is just torture. It's being returned.

A great narrator can take a good book and push it up a notch, but not even Ray Porter can save this dreck.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Mr. Dickens and His Carol audiobook cover art

Listen to the orginal instead

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

Reviewed: 12-18-17

What an awful story! I could not wait for it to end. There is no charm here, just tedium as the author forces an angst-ridden Dickens to jump through all sorts of hoops to pick up the details for what will become A Christmas Carol.

The narration is adequate but pedestrian. Listen to Tim Curry's narration of the original instead. Audible gave it out free a few years back.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

Paradox Bound audiobook cover art

Confusing time travel entry

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

Reviewed: 11-13-17

I only listened to this audiobook once, so I may have missed some important key piece of information that would have made the rest of the book actually interesting. But I doubt it. It reminds me a little bit of Field of Dreams where "the voice" tells Kevin Costner to drive to Boston to find James Earl Jones, and then "the voice" tells both of them to go to Minnesota to find Burt Lancaster, but it turns out they need the Burt Lancaster from 40 years ago when he was a young aspiring base ball player, and eventually they find both old Burt and young Burt. But Field of Dreams WORKS. It is playful and fantastical but also compelling and inspiring. Paradox Bound is none of those things. It is just a confusing mess, with only the very slightest touch to the 14/Fold universe.

I have listened to 14 and The Fold numerous times, happily going wherever the story took me, enjoying every listen and every voice by the talented Ray Porter. But every writer can have a stumble, and you do him no favor if you slather him with undeserved praise based on his past work instead of honest criticism of the current book. I am going to give this book one more try, but if it doesn't get a whole lot better the second time around, it's going to get returned.

Audible 20 Review Sweepstakes Entry

132 of 151 people found this review helpful

The Weight of Night audiobook cover art

OK, But Predictable

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

Reviewed: 06-19-17

It's a decent story that you've heard before: a dead body has someone reviewing old case files and it turns out there's a serial killer in town. The team on the case (a National Park ranger and the head of the county's CSI team) both have damaged pasts that they are forced to address. A boy is missing who could be another victim. The killer is someone that no one would expect. Oh, and because the ranger is a man and the CSI lady is a woman there is some unspoken sexual tension that never gets addressed. (Maybe in the next book.)

This is the 3rd book in a series focused in and around Glacier National Park. In the first 2 books, Glacier was an organic part of the story. But this one feels like it could be set in any small town in America. Yes, there is a forest fire that sets the story in motion and is in the background, but that's about it.

Still, you want to know whodunit, right? And you want to know how they're going to be defeated. So I hung in there and then, in the ultimate showdown between good and evil - the author cuts the scene! Seriously, one minute the CSI lady is in extreme jeopardy up against the killer and the next minute she's walking out of a building having defeated him. I actually re-listened to that segment because I was sure my mind had wandered and I missed something. Nope, it just skips over the most important scene in any murder mystery. (I'm writing it here in the review and I still can't believe the author did that.)

It's a good story, but not great or very original. (Nevada Barr still sets the bar for National Park mysteries.) It took me a while to get used to the female narrator's Norwegian accent, but after I did I enjoyed her sections as much as those narrated by R. C. Bray.




4 of 4 people found this review helpful

A Wild Fright in Deadwood audiobook cover art

A Geat Addition to the Series

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

Reviewed: 04-27-17

When you have a series where the overall story arc becomes more important than any individual tale, you sometimes get a weak entry that continues the narrative but is unsatisfying as a self-contained book, and unfortunately the Deadwood series has had at least one of those. But I am happy to say that that is not the case with A Wild Fright in Deadwood. This is a book that answers a lot of questions and sets things up for more revelations to come.

There is a lot happening in this book. No less than 4 murders get solved, one going back as far as Book 3. Violet is gifted a magnificent new weapon. We also get two spectacular visits from Prudence the ghost, Wilda Hessler is up to her old tricks as well as some new ones at the Old Prospector Hotel, strange things are still happening in Ms. Wolff's old apartment, and there is a new haunted location to investigate along with a new other-worldly "Other" for Violet to conquer. Along the way, she also manages some sexy time with Doc.(Let me just mention here that in addition to comic para-normal mysteries, Ann Charles can sure write a steaming hot sex scene. Yowsa!)

Caroline Shaffer does an outstanding job as narrator. All of the characters - men, women and children - have distinct, recognizable voices, which is no mean feat. I have re-listened to all of the Deadwood books many times, and the combination of Ann Charles' hilarious prose with Ms. Shaffer's voice is the reason.

The only complaint I have is that I don't understand why the audiobook version didn't get released until 8 months after the printed book came out. This delay also happened with the last book. These books are simply meant to be listened to, and my reading them aloud really doesn't take the place of a great narrator!

As with many series, the listener would be confused if they started with this book rather than working their way through it from Book 1. But series regulars will love this book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

The Lost City of the Monkey God audiobook cover art

Interesting for the first two thirds of the book

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

Reviewed: 02-01-17

I really enjoyed this book for the first 2/3rds, but at point it changes into another book entirely. Instead of being about archeology and history, it's about the medical issues of the team and what parasites they might have picked up while at the dig in Honduras. This is part of the story and a little bit of it would have been fine. A chapter on epidemiology and the plagues that the Europeans carried to the New World is appropriate. But the medical stuff really takes over the narrative and we never get back to archeology.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

The Murder of Mary Russell audiobook cover art

I'm going to pretend this book never existed...

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

Reviewed: 04-18-16

I've been a fan of this series since the first book and I've read many of Ms. King's other works. She's a gifted writer. But this book is just awful. Is she just writing a certain number of words to satisfy a book contract? Because if she can't come up with any more interesting ideas than this, she should just stop.

The entire first half of the book is incredibly boring. The history of Mrs. Hudson and her family seems to go on and on and on. The good and the bad of an audiobook is that you can't skim, the narrator is going to read every word. So we get seven hours (!) of her parents meeting, traveling to Australia, her poor childhood, learning to run cons with her father, traveling back to England, etc., etc. It seems like the kind of detailed character backstory that a writer might create for a long running series like this. But it doesn't need to be shared with your readers. There are a few brief alternating chapters with Mary and almost no Sherlock. (It is no spoiler to tell you that, title be damned, Mary is not murdered.) While key issues in Mrs. Hudson's story are essential to the narrative, I honestly think it could have been condensed to a prologue, or at least greatly reduced in some other fashion. Then I might not feel so cheated.

The action picks up considerably in the second half of the book, and for a time it's not a bad Russell/Holmes adventure. The added relationship between Mrs. Hudson and Billy was a nice surprise. But I felt the revisionist explanation of the Holmes/Hudson relationship was improbable - well, unbelievable actually - and the ending left me confused and sad. I refuse to accept where the author has gone with her characters. So I'm going to pretend this book never happened.

Jenny Sterlin continues her top-notch narration, and I found the voice of alternate narrator, Susan Lyons, to be quite compatible with the style of the series. I have no complaints there.

I am absolutely astounded by the number of 5 star ratings for this book. I am only giving it one star because I have to give it something. (I gave Pirate King and Garment of Shadows more than that!) And I am asking for my credit back.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful