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  • reviews
  • 15
  • helpful votes
  • 33
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  • Nocturnal: A Novel

  • By: Scott Sigler
  • Narrated by: Phil Gigante
  • Length: 22 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,062
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,908
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,915

Homicide detective Bryan Clauser is losing his mind. How else to explain the dreams he keeps having - dreams that mirror, with impossible accuracy, the gruesome serial murders taking place all over San Francisco? How else to explain the feelings these dreams provoke in him - not disgust, not horror, but excitement? As Bryan and his longtime partner, Lawrence 'Pookie' Chang, investigate the murders, they learn that things are even stranger than they at first seem.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Addictive story - great reader

  • By Kim on 01-25-15

Too much gore for me!

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

Reviewed: 04-19-18

This book was not for me. I lasted for quite a while and was intrigued by the plot and supernatural elements. There are a lot of weird plot twists and characters and a lot to figure out about who the characters really are and what's really going on. Unfortunately, it got to a point where it was just really too deep into the horror and too bloody thirsty for me and I had to stop listening. I'm a little sorry to give this book such a low rating, because in fact I think the writing was quite good and the narration was very good, too. But I have to say...Reader Beware if you're not really into the horror, blood-and-gore type of story.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Moon Called

  • Mercy Thompson, Book 1
  • By: Patricia Briggs
  • Narrated by: Lorelei King
  • Length: 9 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,067
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,248
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,248

Mercy Thompson's life is not exactly normal. Her next-door neighbor is a werewolf. Her former boss is a gremlin. And she's fixing a VW bus for a vampire. But then, Mercy isn't exactly normal herself.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A top notch Urban Fantasy heroine!

  • By Leiah@soireadthisbooktoday on 04-21-12

Enjoyable start to a long-running series

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

Reviewed: 04-19-18

I've been putting off trying this series for a while. I don't know why, but the plot synopses I'd read didn't appeal to me although I've read a lot of this genre. Anyway, I enjoyed it a lot - not a fantastic read but a good story line, interesting characters, not too predictable (except of course for the fact that the heroine survives every plot twist no matter the danger). It definitely has possibilities for character and story development in the series.

But I have to say that one of the things that I enjoyed most is the narration. I've been addicted to the Darynda Jones "Grave" series for a couple of years, which Lorelei King also narrates. Charlie Davidson is a certain type of character and requires a distinctive voice. Lorelei's narration works perfectly for Charlie and just as perfectly for the Mercy Thompson character. So this is a "cross-recommendation" for anyone who's read Darynda Jones to try this Patricia Briggs series and vice-versa.

  • The Golden Compass

  • His Dark Materials, Book 1
  • By: Philip Pullman
  • Narrated by: Philip Pullman, full cast
  • Length: 10 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,668
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,675
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,694

When Lyra and her daemon Pantalaimon decide to spy on a presentation her uncle, the commanding Lord Asriel, is making to the elders of Jordan College they have no idea that they will become witnesses to an attempted murder, and even less that they are taking the first steps in a journey that will lead them into danger and adventure unlike anything Lyra's unfettered imagination has conjured up.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Terrific Book

  • By Arnold C. Macdonald on 01-28-04

Unusual production is problematic

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

Reviewed: 10-24-17

The Golden Compass is a well known and respected work such that I think I don't have to review the book itself. It's fun and has a lot of well-imagined characters and adventures and is well written.

However, this recording is unusually "produced" for a recorded book. Philip Pullman acts as the narrator, reading all of the descriptive and background material, while a whole cast of actors fill in the dialogue of the characters. In my opinion, Pullman does a great job as the narrator, but I have some problems with the accompanying cast. I tried really hard to give this new approach to recording a book a chance, but in some ways it just doesn't work for me. One of the first jarring things is that the dialogue portions sound as if they were recorded in an entirely different room (which they probably were) and then spliced into the narrative.

Another of my problems is the performances of some of the characters, particularly the central female character, Lyra, who sounds either like a pre-teen girl or a woman trying to sound like a pre-teen girl. The voicing seems to me artificially light and high in pitch. That would seem to be appropriate for the character, but the problem is that almost every speech starts out sounding somewhat normal but progresses quickly to become breathless and even strident as the character apparently gets more excited. I found this more and more annoying as the performance continued. Especially given the prevalence of child characters and the lower-class British accents used, I frequently felt as if I was listening to a recording of Oliver (without the music of course)! To me it's overly dramatic, particularly for a reading which is NOT a real performance. My point, I guess, is that I don't want to be listening on tape to a live performance of the work. I want to be listening to a reading of the work, and this production crosses that line and not altogether successfully.

This recording might appeal to a younger generation of people who are more accustomed to watching live performances of written works than actually reading the works from cover to cover in book form.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Sterling

  • Mageri, Book 1
  • By: Dannika Dark
  • Narrated by: Nicole Poole
  • Length: 9 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,009
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,777
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,773

Zoë Merrick lived an ordinary life until late one night, she was brutally attacked and left for dead. She survived, saved by a stranger who witnessed her undergo a physical transformation. That's not the only thing that's different. Zoë is unable to control an unexplainable energy coursing through her body. Justus De Gradi is a man who can teach her that control. He's handsome, arrogant, and not entirely human. He reveals that she is a Mage - an immortal made of light, not magic. She must now make a choice: Rebuild her life in the human world with the man who saved her, or live with Justus and learn how to use her extraordinary gifts. Justus has sworn an oath to protect her life, but can he guard her from the one man who has a right to claim it?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good story, I'll go on to book 2

  • By Amanda K on 08-23-14

A little disappointed...

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

Reviewed: 11-09-16

I read all of the Seven series and enjoyed them very much. This first book in this series fell a bit flat for me, though. First of all, the author did something weird in this book with the main character, and the narrator's interpretation of the character just emphasizes her basic unattractiveness as a person (and I'm not talking about physical beauty here). And the way Nicole Poole personifies the main character in this book with her voice is...well...just weird. It makes her sound like a ditzy, weak, somewhat less than intelligent woman. Her voice cracks and sort of squeaks when she yells or gets very emotional and it's hard to listen to it. Of course, some of it is just the way the character is written and Nicole's narration emphasizes her lack of strength. She sounds pitiful and frightened half the time, resentful and childish the rest of the time, and then starts castigating herself for being those things. Then all of a sudden, completely out of the blue, she fights back (usually not very effectively). She doesn't seem able to grasp the situation she's in or have any idea of how to deal with a transition from one type of society to another one with completely different rules. This is not the strong type of female character I'm used to in Dannika Dark's books.

I have to say, also, that I'm not a great fan of the "magic" type of paranormal story, and although this is a bit of a different take on that, I'm not sure it will stand up to a long exploration of the society of the Mageri. Nevertheless, I will probably try the second one in the series to see if it gets any better.

  • Dragonfly in Amber

  • By: Diana Gabaldon
  • Narrated by: Davina Porter
  • Length: 38 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 31,335
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 26,055
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 26,004

New York Times best-selling author Diana Gabaldon enchanted scores of fans with Outlander, her electrifying historical saga set in 18th-century Scotland. Now this sequel sweeps listeners back into the past as Claire relates more of her perilous sojourn there with her Scottish warrior husband, James Fraser. Twenty years after her strange journey back in time, Claire has returned to Scotland with her daughter, determined to share with her the secret she has harbored since her time travel.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • FOR GUYS AS WELL

  • By Jeff on 05-14-12

Better the second time around

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

Reviewed: 09-02-15

I read this book the first time in print about 10 years ago. I didn't like it that much, although it didn't deter me from continuing on with this stellar historical fiction series with a sci-fi twist. At the time, I was frustrated with the dual story of the 1960's and the 1740's without any real conclusion of either story line. This time around I enjoyed it much more, maybe partially because I was reading it with the thought in mind that it would be coming alive on TV in the not-too-distant future. I kept wondering what would be left in and what left out. I concentrated more on the details because I thought maybe they would be missing in the TV production.

My enjoyment was also enhanced not only by anticipation of the TV series but also of re-reading the next book. Having now read the entire series to date, I knew what the next book would hold in terms of both resolutions of this plot line and the continuation of the much broader story lines and so I could look forward as well as concentrating on the "present" of the book itself.

This book is well worth the effort of getting through the somewhat slow moving political intrigue portions (at least I found them a bit boring at times) in order to be able to follow the plot lines into the next and succeeding books.

  • Cold Cold Heart

  • By: Tami Hoag
  • Narrated by: Julia Whelan
  • Length: 12 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,821
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,411
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,398

Dana Nolan was a promising young TV reporter until she was kidnapped by a notorious serial killer. A year has passed since she defeated her attacker, but Dana is still physically, emotionally, and psychologically scarred by her ordeal, with aftereffects including PTSD and memory loss. In an attempt to put herself back together after surviving the unthinkable, Dana returns to her hometown. But it doesn't provide the comfort she expects.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • First Tami Hoag book I've had

  • By April on 01-27-15

Riveting, but not for the mystery

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

Reviewed: 03-24-15

Unlike other Tami Hoag books I've read, I found this one riveting not because of the mystery side of the story but because of two of the characters. These characters, Dana and John, share something that has changed their lives radically and unrelentingly. I won't reveal what that is, because I don't want to be a spoiler, even though it's evident fairly early in the narrative. Listening to Ms. Hoag's description of their experiences, feelings and struggles to find meaning and purpose in their lives kept me going through what is actually a fairly tame mystery. But again, I think the mystery in this case was just a device for telling the story she wanted us to hear. Ms. Hoag had a "mission" with this book which becomes clear after listening to the author's notes at the end of the recording. I can hardly believe it myself, but her author's notes actually made me cry.

  • The Stranger

  • Fjällbacka Mysteries, Book 4
  • By: Camilla Läckberg
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 11 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 380
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 342
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 341

A local woman is killed in a tragic car crash, but while the victim’s blood contains high alcohol levels, she rarely drank a drop. Meanwhile, a reality TV show begins shooting in Fjällbacka, and as cameras shadow the stars’ every move, tempers flare. When a drunken party ends with an unpopular contestant’s murder, all eyes turn to the cast and crew. Could there be a murderer among them? The ratings spike as the country tunes in to a real life murder mystery.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • The Stranger

  • By Pamela on 07-08-13

Good story, small problem with the narrator

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

Reviewed: 03-03-15

I've listened to all of Camilla Lackberg's Fjallbacka series so far, and have enjoyed the characters and stories very much. I have to say, however, that I prefer David Thorn's readings over Simon Vance's. Don't get me wrong, Simon Vance is an excellent narrator generally, but I found myself often jarred by Vance's pronunciation of the Swedish character and place names. He's so "British" that he seems to be unable (or unwilling) to pronounce the names as they would be by a native speaker. Instead, for example, even in the opening "credits" he prounonces the author's name as "Camilla Lackbury" instead of "Lackberg." I can't say that he's really "wrong," but as a native American English speaker, it bothered me enough that I'm writing this review to mention it.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Written in My Own Heart's Blood

  • Outlander, Book 8
  • By: Diana Gabaldon
  • Narrated by: Davina Porter
  • Length: 45 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 15,788
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 14,479
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 14,422

Hurtled back through time more than two hundred years to 1743 Scotland, Claire Randall finds herself caught in the midst of an unfamiliar world torn apart by violence, pestilence, and revolution and haunted by her growing feelings for a young soldier, James Fraser.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Oh, Outlander! How you take over my LIFE!

  • By DebbieK on 07-21-14

Yes, Virginia, there is penicillin

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

Reviewed: 09-03-14

There's a point in this book relating to roquefort cheese where you just have to say: "C'mon, Diana, I know this is fiction but really!" Well, folks, I just HAD to go look it up and the fungus in roquefort cheese actually IS penicillium roqueforti. I should not have doubted Claire's encyclopedia medical knowledge! Just had to write to let all of you other skeptically minded geeks out there know this.

This book, like all of the series for those of us who are died-in-the-wool fans, is wonderful. Davina Porter has become the embodiment of Claire Frasier for me as for many others who've listened to all of these books on audio. Nothing more needs to be said except that I agree with all the other stellar reviews posted here.

  • Outlander

  • Outlander, Book 1
  • By: Diana Gabaldon
  • Narrated by: Davina Porter
  • Length: 32 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 52,066
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 43,223
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 43,080

Why we think it’s a great listen: An all-time Audible favorite that mixes historic fiction, adventure, and romance with one of the most fascinating literary devices: time travel. Outlander introduces an exhilarating world of heroism and breathtaking thrills as one woman is torn between past and present, passion and love. In 1945, former combat nurse Claire Randall returns from World War II and joins her husband for a second honeymoon. But their blissful reunion is shattered....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • The Time Travel VS Romance Quandary

  • By Sara on 09-10-14

Stands the test of time

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

Reviewed: 07-02-14

I originally listened to this book on audio tapes (or maybe CDs) provided by Recorded Books many years ago, possibly as much as 8 years ago, since it was originally recorded in 2006, but I don't remember exactly. I was instantly draw in by the characters, meticulous descriptions and historical accuracy and detail of the story. I have since listened to every successive installment with just as much rapt attention and enjoyment as this first one. I have just listened to Outlander again, inspired by the upcoming TV series to revisit the story. I just had to write this review to say it is just as compelling, fascinating and enjoyable as it was when it was a new adventure for me. As I read it this second time, I find myself looking forward to certain scenes with delicious anticipation, and wincing when I come across something I had forgotten (usually unpleasant).

Not to mention Davina Porter, one of my all-time absolutely favorite narrators. I could not imagine any other voice bringing Jamie, Claire and all the myriad characters that inhabit the thousands of pages of this series to life.

So here's the cautionary statement: THIS IS NOT A HISTORICAL ROMANCE NOR IS IT FANTASY OR SCI-FI. Yes, there is romance and some explicit sex, and there is a fantasy/scifi element, but this is essentially historical fiction with the emphasis on historical accuracy and exploration of the social, political and cultural norms of Scotland in the 1740s, filtered through the experiences of the two main characters. The relationships between the main characters, as they develop throughout this and the succeeding books, are realistic and touching at the same time, with ferocious arguments as well as sweet and/or erotic love scenes. There is also horrendous cruelty and a few scenes between the two main characters in this particular installment that could make some people (especially with our modern sensibilities about domestic violence) squirm extremely uncomfortably. But the point is not to be PC or to make us uncomfortable. The personal relationships in this book, as well as the others in the series, are complex and reflect situations, actions and reactions that would have been completely acceptable and appropriate to the culture of that time and place.

The experience of reading this and the successive books in this series is one not to be missed for any fan of historical fiction!

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Demon from the Dark: Immortals After Dark, Book 10

  • By: Kresley Cole
  • Narrated by: Robert Petkoff
  • Length: 12 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,996
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,879
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,875

Malkom Slaine: tormented by his sordid past and racked by vampiric hungers, he’s pushed to the brink by the green-eyed beauty under his guard. Carrow Graie: hiding her own sorrows, she lives only for the next party or prank. Until she meets a tortured warrior worth saving. In order for Malkom and Carrow to survive, he must unleash both the demon and vampire inside him. When Malkom becomes the nightmare his own people feared, will he lose the woman he craves body and soul?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I can see myself listening to it again, and again.

  • By RabidReads on 07-12-15

Have I read too much Lora Leigh?

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

Reviewed: 03-13-14

I just couldn't get into this book. I think that it was at least 85% due to the reader, so I have to give her a very low rating for this type of book. She's probably a good enough reader for a lot of things, her voice is pleasant and she does a creditable job on distinguishing the various characters. However, I found her reading almost entirely lacking in expression, so much so that much of the action and particularly her reading of the more explicit material left me cold. When I found myself actually musing about other things, like whether I had to do the dishes when I got home, during the sexually explicit scenes, I decided it was time to just stop listening. Perhaps I'll have to buy the print version to see if the book is really any good.

0 of 3 people found this review helpful