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Valerie

  • 22
  • reviews
  • 27
  • helpful votes
  • 305
  • ratings
  • Trail of Lightning

  • By: Rebecca Roanhorse
  • Narrated by: Tanis Parenteau
  • Length: 8 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 191
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 181
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 181

While most of the world has drowned beneath the sudden rising waters of a climate apocalypse, Dinétah (formerly the Navajo reservation) has been reborn. The gods and heroes of legend walk the land, but so do monsters. Maggie Hoskie is a Dinétah monster hunter, a supernaturally gifted killer. When a small town needs help finding a missing girl, Maggie is its last, best hope. But what Maggie uncovers about the monster is much more terrifying than anything she could imagine.  

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The person you hire when the heroes fail

  • By Cynthia on 08-09-18

Superb world-building, but trigger-warning

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

Reviewed: 09-29-18

This book has an interesting new fantasy setting and I was glad I finished it. I almost didn't because there is an early, violent death of a child. That stopped me and I didn't listen to more until I was desperate for another book. I don't buy books about kidnapped children or abused children, etc. Sorry, but I just can't. The heroine is strong and smart, which I like. Her sidekick has complementary strengths. The underlying mythology is interesting. So, I'll probably buy the next in the series. However, I'm not looking forward to it with excitement like I am to the next in the Akita Witch series.

  • Come to Dust

  • Booktrack Edition
  • By: Emma Lathen
  • Narrated by: Deaver Brown
  • Length: 7 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 1
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 1

Come to Dust: Booktrack Edition adds an immersive musical soundtrack to your audiobook listening experience! This the eighth of 37 Emma Lathen best sellers featuring John Putnam Thatcher, SVP of the Sloan Guaranty Trust. This time involves fundraising for the old Ivy league college, Dartmouth in fact, with various goings-on related to missing checks, possible embezzlement, and more. It's windy twisty road to the solution made by John Putnam Thatcher. Good fun, witty, and informative.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Love Lathen Hate production

  • By Valerie on 07-27-18

Love Lathen Hate production

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

Reviewed: 07-27-18

I kept listening to the end, because this is the one Lathen I haven't read, but it was an excruciating experience. The background "music" is a terrible, just audible, humming and thrumming - except when it becomes excessive traffic noise. The whole thing sounds like the narrator is standing in a subway station and taking the elevator up once in a while. Lathen writes smoothly. John Thatcher is a smooth detective. The narrator has a gravel voice that should be used for noir, except that he can't narrate - literally, can't narrate. He sounds like a man who is trying to read a book without his glasses. There are lots of tripped over words and silences in all the wrong places just in one measly sentence. Multiply that by every sentence and I can only hope that Audible did not pay much for these sorry productions. Perhaps Deaver Brown was an enthusiast and produced these by himself because he's poverty stricken? That's the only reason I can see for him to be reading any book aloud. If I could give the production a zero rating, I would. Which saddens me, because Emma Lathen is a modern classic.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Dead Can Wait

  • By: Robert Ryan
  • Narrated by: Richard Burnip
  • Length: 14 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 33
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 33
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 33

Dr. John Watson is back home, fresh from his time in the trenches of Flanders Fields. The horrors of war weigh heavy on his mind, and now his task is to help rehabilitate soldiers suffering from the crippling effects of shell-shock.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good but ...

  • By Valerie on 02-01-18

Good but ...

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

Reviewed: 02-01-18

The author's depiction of her aging characters is excellent. The plot is complex, interesting, and grounded in historical fact. However, she pushes the plot into the realm of modern excess by carrying the story beyond the believable. There are at least two good points where the book could have ended and it would have seemed a great addition to the Holmes cannon. Instead it starts to feel like a modern swashbuckling or sci-fi series, where the characters perform more and more difficult feats in the face of overwhelming odds and opportune coincidences.

Then I find it unforgivable that there is no discussion at the end of the book about the historical facts upon which the story is based. In order to separate fact from fantasy I had to resort to a couple hours with Wikipedia, satisfying only one of my three-subject questions.
Meandering on Wikipedia is not a bad thing, except that I listen to books because it is hard on my eyes to read text. And it appears that the name she assigns her villain is that of a real person, who does not appear to be at all villainous in real life. And, I'm sorry, but I think she needs to address that out of respect. Did she do it on purpose or by accident?

This is a good book with very good narration, but it left me weary, in a temper, and disinclined to listen to the next book in the series.

  • Fata Morgana

  • By: Steven R. Boyett, Ken Mitchroney
  • Narrated by: Macleod Andrews
  • Length: 12 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,826
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,718
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,707

At the height of the air war in Europe, Captain Joe Farley and the baseball-loving, wisecracking crew of the B-17 Flying Fortress Fata Morgana are in the middle of a harrowing bombing mission over East Germany when everything goes sideways. The bombs are still falling, and flak is still exploding all around the 20-ton bomber as it is knocked like a bathtub duck into another world. Suddenly stranded with the final outcasts of a desolated world, Captain Farley navigates a maze of treachery and wonder.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • This book had it all

  • By Magnus on 10-14-17

Much more than a love story, it's a joyous romp

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

Reviewed: 12-16-17

One reviewer called this a love story, and it is. It's a love story to a 1940's view of ourselves as Americans. It's a love story to the incredible valor and endurance of airplane crews during World War Two. It's a love story to flying. It's even a love story to the concept of our world as our home. This book is crammed with such romance.

But there's even more. There's clever science fiction, with an exceedingly good plot device. And, of course, there are descriptions of air battles.

The writing is excellent, and if I occasionally mixed up supporting characters, it was no big deal, because the plot propelled me along. In fact, I couldn't stop listening as the action reached crisis proportions toward the end. The epilogue is on the long side, but it contains critical information, so keep going to the end.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • By Familiar Means

  • A Witch's Cat Mystery, Book 2
  • By: Delia James
  • Narrated by: Elise Arsenault
  • Length: 11 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 195
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 180
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 180

When Annabelle's hired to paint the murals for a new coffee house, it seems like a wish come true. But then a series of spooky sounds and strange happenings convince the owners that their new shop is haunted. They want Anna and her coven to evict the restless spirit before the grand opening. When her search reveals hidden smugglers' tunnels beneath the shop - and a dead body - Annabelle, Alastair, and the coven suddenly find themselves in a cat-and-mouse game with a killer.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great expansion of this world.

  • By Kittie LaChatte on 01-11-18

Fun story with weak plot points and great cat

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

Reviewed: 11-05-17

I'm going for the third book in the series, because I enjoy the characters, especially the cat. The narrator has a great voice - even for the cat. I also enjoy the protagonist's honest and often funny self-commentary. The weak points are: too much what-iffing scenarios, mostly unreasonable; an obvious, overlooked clue; and the glossing over of a key point, which allows for a scary, action-packed ending. The strong points are: character development, lots of interesting angles, almost constant action - and a strong cat character. What can I say? I love cats and aside from the mountain lion that shares Jane Yellowrock's body, this is the best cat character that I've found!

  • Better Than New

  • Lessons I've Learned from Saving Old Homes (and How They Saved Me)
  • By: Nicole Curtis
  • Narrated by: Nicole Curtis
  • Length: 6 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 473
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 441
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 439

For the first time, Nicole Curtis, the star of the megahit HGTV and DIY Network show Rehab Addict, reveals her private struggles, her personal victories, and the inspiring lessons we can all learn from them. Nicole Curtis is the tough, soulful, charismatic dynamo who, for the past 20 years, has worked tirelessly to restore historical houses, often revitalizing neighborhoods in the process.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Really Good Listen!!

  • By Amazon Customer on 06-07-17

I don't know why - but I really liked this book

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

Reviewed: 10-29-17

There were so many reasons why I shouldn't have liked this book by a pretty blond whose thyroid is clearly set too high (I'm jealous) and who appears to be a workaholic. But I really did like it! I'm glad she read her own book - nobody else could have delivered the honesty and emotion behind those words.

This book was a real upper! No matter what happened, she tackled the next job with an optimism bordering on foolhardiness and no matter what pressures were placed on her she always put her child first. She also freely talks about the important support and contributions from her friends, family, co-workers, and random people she meets. I am also glad to have read even the hard parts, because they led me to finally understand how women can get themselves into - and out of - a truly abusive relationship.

As advertised in the publisher's blurb, throughout the book she describes the life lessons she learned. I'm very glad not to be her but her bubbly optimism and blind faith were exactly what I needed to hear. (And I also like old houses but this is not a book about houses.)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Andrea Vernon and the Corporation for UltraHuman Protection

  • By: Alexander C. Kane
  • Narrated by: Bahni Turpin
  • Length: 8 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,183
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,018
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,012

Andrea Vernon always thought she would spend her life living in Paris writing thought-provoking historical novels all day and sipping wine on the Seine all night. But the reality is she's drowning in debt, has no prospects, and is forced to move back to Queens, where her parents remind her daily that they are very interested in grandchildren. Then, one morning, she is kidnapped, interviewed, and hired as an administrative assistant by the Corporation for UltraHuman Protection. Superheroes for hire, using their powers for good. What could possibly go wrong?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Normal Life in an Abnormal World

  • By Arthur D. Rich on 08-26-17

Nonstop soft and subversive hilarity

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

Reviewed: 10-21-17

I don't think the author missed a single chance to insert humor. And she used several types of humor. Usually an author specializes in one type of humor or another. I reeled from a pun into a humorous situation into a wordplay into a send-up of various institutions, philosophies, or our very humanity. Sometimes it seemed like humorous paintballs were coming at me all at once. Surely, anyone can find this book funny.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • The Seagull

  • A Vera Stanhope Mystery, Book 8
  • By: Ann Cleeves
  • Narrated by: Janine Birkett
  • Length: 11 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 352
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 324
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 320

A visit to her local prison brings DI Vera Stanhope face to face with an old enemy: former detective superintendent and now inmate John Brace. Brace was convicted of corruption and involvement in the death of a gamekeeper - and Vera played a key part in his downfall. Now Brace promises Vera information about the disappearance of Robbie Marshall, a notorious wheeler-dealer who disappeared in the mid-'90s, if she will look out for his daughter and grandchildren.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • This might be the best Vera Stanhope book so far!

  • By Kathi on 11-26-17

Major mystery mistake - good character development

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

Reviewed: 09-29-17

I love her main characters and they all seem to have grown quite a bit since the last book I listened to. But - the solution to the first two murders does not fit the facts, and the reason for the third murder seems a bit far-fetched to me, but then most of the reasons given for murders do, so that may just be me. The atmosphere of the book was a lot more colorful than usual. I'm glad I read it, but the violation of the timeline disappointed me.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Warlock Holmes

  • A Study in Brimstone
  • By: G. S. Denning
  • Narrated by: Robert Garson
  • Length: 10 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,699
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,595
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,594

Sherlock Holmes is an unparalleled genius who uses the gift of deduction and reason to solve the most vexing of crimes. Warlock Holmes, however, is an idiot. A good man, perhaps; a font of arcane power, certainly. But he's brilliantly dim. Frankly, he couldn't deduce his way out of a paper bag. The only thing he has really got going for him are the might of a thousand demons and his stalwart flatmate. Thankfully, Dr. Watson is always there to aid him through the treacherous shoals of Victorian propriety.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Short on Clues--Heavy on Delightful Twists

  • By Gillian on 01-10-17

Extreme pastiche with "cliffhanger"

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

Reviewed: 01-21-17

What made the experience of listening to Warlock Holmes the most enjoyable?

I don't like pastiche, but I must have needed some, because I enjoyed this book. However, I don't think I would have done so were I not a Holmes aficionado - and feeling frustrated and rebellious. And it's winter.

The two main characters are extremely well voiced and I don't think this book would have worked without that, since it is the wonderful reversal of the characters that makes it work.

The book ended in a cliffhanger, which I absolutely hate. However, I'm not as worked up about that as usual, since the last few sentences include what I'm sure would have solved the problem (or at least changed it) if only the book had gone on for another 5 minutes.

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Doomsday Book

  • By: Connie Willis
  • Narrated by: Jenny Sterlin
  • Length: 26 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 4,748
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 3,870
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,893

For Oxford student Kivrin, traveling back to the 14th century is more than the culmination of her studies - it's the chance for a wonderful adventure. For Dunworthy, her mentor, it is cause for intense worry about the thousands of things that could go wrong.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Timely, beautiful, terrible and haunting

  • By mudcelt on 11-02-09

Warning! This book is not about 1066 and all that!

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

Reviewed: 10-19-16

Any additional comments?

This is not a fun book. I will not read it again and I would not have bought it had I known the subject, but I gave it 5 stars because it deserves those stars. It's a successful attempt at portraying both futuristic and past plagues. Specifically, the Black Plague. It's a relatively light portrayal but it was painful nonetheless. At one point I became tired of listening to the same thoughts circling over and over through the heroine's mind, but upon reflection I decided that was how someone in those circumstances would think. It was easier to accept the difficulties facing our futuristic hero, because they were ones we could have today. And, according to my church choir director, the depiction of high-caliber bell ringers sounded uncomfortably close to the truth.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful