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Acacia Clover

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Clean Sweep audiobook cover art

A Quirky Blend of the Supernatural and Sci-Fi

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

Reviewed: 04-02-18

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

If you enjoy an admittedly different take on the origins of vampires and Werewolves, this book is right up your ally. While I felt the potential was there, I think I prefer to keep two prominently different genres separate.The potential was there, but the execution came off forced to me. The action scenes were detailed and interesting and the other locations within the book are imaginative.

What was most disappointing about Ilona Andrews’s story?

I feel like the writer could make a very detailed and interesting world. The ideas and concepts behind some of the characters drew me in. However. some of the explanations throughout the book felt a bit rushed/ forced on me. Did the characters have to be vampires and werewolves? Andrews could have easily,in my opinion, created a character that was not in the traditional mythos of the too frequently used vampire and werewolf. I liked Andrews' idea of an Inn Keeper and I was genuinely interested in How her "job" and "magic" work. Original supernatural or sci-fi characters drew me in, unfortunately I didn't get too much of that here.

How could the performance have been better?

While I appreciate the attempt to have a Texan accent, it did distract form the story. Renee Raudman does have a pleasant voice, but not for Dina; her voice seemed too mature for someone in their mid 20's.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

The original ideas behind Dina, the "villain" and some of the surrounding world were fascinating.

Compromised! audiobook cover art

Sweet and Simple

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

Reviewed: 03-19-18

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Yes, something to play in the background with not much really focus on.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

I love to hear variations from different authors on how the classic Pride and Prejudice really happened, so King's editions was simple and clean. For listeners whom prefer a more innocent story, this was defiantly a plus. However, though I understand the title is called "Compromise," the characters were constantly crying the word and demanding retribution in too little too obviously planned ways. Halfway through the book, it was just grating and annoying.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

Zimmerman did a well enough job, her voice is calm and fits well with the narrative. At times the audio sounds like it is a tad muffled, but nothing too distracting.

Could you see Compromised! being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

It could be cute, quirky short film.

Unleashing Mr. Darcy audiobook cover art

Sweet and Adorable

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

Reviewed: 08-30-17

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Probably the last few chapters of Elizabeth's character. Yes, she has a certain archetype, and she had one bad experience, but does that one mildly bad experience really have to set up her whole personality? If her backstory with her family was a little more explored or if she had more reason to hate rich people, I wouldn't complain. That whole trait just fell flat and a bit obnoxious towards the end for me. Her whole Best in show premise kind of undermines her hatred for people with money. Don't these dog shows only accept purebreds? Are not purebreds expensive to start with? And the ending was a bit rushed with an obvious win.

What did you like best about this story?

Probably Darcy. For the most part he came across a little funny. I enjoyed his inner monologue and his banter with Elizabeth is fun; especially the scene where he is overseeing Charles and quotes from the handbook proper form for a dog. Loved the innuendos.

Have you listened to any of Caroline Shaffer’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

This would be my first. I enjoyed it for the most part, but for me, it was a one time listen.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

I feel like I have, only the names were changed to Elizabeth and Darcy (which is what originally drew me in). Since I am a romantic, probably yes.

Any additional comments?

It was a nice light read. As a Pride and Prejudice fan, I was excited to hear the few lines and quotes from the original. It is fun to hear variations on the classic, so aside from a bit of an irritating Elizabeth, I enjoyed this book.

The Seventh Bride audiobook cover art

For a younger audience and a little confusing

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

Reviewed: 08-15-16

What would have made The Seventh Bride better?

The lead character was a little bland. She was young teenager, but she came across very winy and spoilt. I was hoping she would grow or somehow redeem herself, but the actual "tasks" she had to complete where not actually completed by her. She never matured.

What was most disappointing about T. Kingfisher’s story?

I feel like it had much potential, reading the premise I was excited and always looking for a strong female character. The book obviously deals in magic, but at times it felt like all the answers were given to magic without any explanations to how the magic came to be or how it affects the characters. Some explanations were drawn out and confusing while others were glossed over.

Did Kaylin Heath do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

Kaylin was easily differentiated and had a preppy voice that seemed to fit the main lead well, giving her an even younger feel.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Seventh Bride?

I would probably take out the first few pages. Rhea spends the beginning talking about gods and her namesake as well as geese. While interesting, the book sets up certain plots that go nowhere except Rhea hates geese.

Any additional comments?

While the book was not terrible, it was not my cup of tea. I was listening in the car to the book, but found myself hoping it would end. When the end finally did come, I was unsatisfied, I kinda wanted to see how this whole experience changed Rhea.

Jane and Austen audiobook cover art

Adorable, But Not My Cup of Tea

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

Reviewed: 10-01-15

What did you like best about Jane and Austen? What did you like least?

Jane and Austen was a nice, light read. It was an easy listen as background sound; if something was missed while reading, it was no big deal. Because it was so light with so many references, I didn't find myself too interested. I didn't have the need to see what would happen next, I couldn't muster up the urge to find menial tasks to complete just to keep the story going.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

As much as I like to believe I am an avid Austen fan, there were a little too may inter- story references that bordered on annoying. It was a good idea, but at times it was a little "get on with it."

What three words best describe Andrea Emmes’s performance?

Chipper, fast, teenager

Do you think Jane and Austen needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

The story was a cute stand alone. Based on the ending, Stephanie Flowers could do a sequel if she so chooses, but it's not mandatory.

Any additional comments?

Jane and Austen was a light read, but it seems to be geared to a younger audience. I might range it from young adult to obsessive Austen fan ( which is awesome!). The main character seemed to be in high school rather than in her 20's and in charge of a major event. Unfortunately it did not keep me on the edge of my seat and some plot points were a little tooobvious. Again, totally adorable, but not my cup of tea.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

The Clockwork Scarab audiobook cover art

Brilliant Idea, but lacking

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

Reviewed: 05-03-15

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

The book was slow without much character development or connections made. Usually when I listen to an audible, I am done with it within a day or two, I make time to listen to the book. This one I had to force my self to finish it. I would not say it was a waste of time, my curiosity got the best of me, but don't expect thrilling dialogue or exciting scenes.

What could Colleen Gleason have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Gleason had the amazing idea to feature female versions of two great literary geniuses.. Unfortunately in making them related to Holmes and Lord Byron, their characters were pale comparisons to their family members. They were trying so hard to compare to their uncle and brother that they had failed to become their own person, there was no twist that really made them stand out as characters. I fell like there was a lot of potential not met.

The girls' characters were so different, I thought it would be fun to see their interactions with each other. One is action first think later, while the other deduces and plans 3 steps ahead of everyone else. Sadly, these girls only really met abut 3 times, even then it was a short time before they were separated. They butted heads, and showed clear disdain for each other, we really didn't see how they were going to get along. But, by the end they become great friends. the story didn't give proof of trust on either part. I would have liked to see more interaction and growth of the characters.

What three words best describe Jayne Entwistle’s voice?

teenager (moody in the voice), well-casted, good job giving each character their own voice.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

I think it would be a great visual idea. I would rent before buying though.

Any additional comments?

I think that if the book was read instead of listened to, the reader might get more out of it. Listening did not give great pleasure or answers to many questions. For those who intend to read the second book, hopefully you will receive you answers.

This is defiantly a teen book. The majority of the book was given to lovesick girls who are trying to claim they are too smart to fall for an improper boy. It got annoying, the story goes from solving the case of this Scarab, to lovesick teens for majority of the book. There was a definite set up for the second book, but my curiosity is not quelled to a point that I will get it.

Entwined audiobook cover art

Light Read But Too Obvious and Too Many Characters

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

Reviewed: 04-23-15

Would you try another book from Heather Dixon and/or Mandy Williams?

I might try another book by both author and narrator just to give them the benefit of the doubt, but they are not on my top list.

What could Heather Dixon have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

I felt like the story was very obvious so there was no new intrigue or any story twists to keep me "turning the pages." I love fairy tales and was overly excited to finally read a retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princess, but I may have placed too high of expectations on this book.

What three words best describe Mandy Williams’s voice?

naïve, fitting, perky

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Though there were many characters, it was nice to see the relationships between the sisters. I was grateful the author used an alphabetical flower system to name them, otherwise I would have been insanely lost.

Any additional comments?

I think the story was probably a very good Pre-teen story. I t was pretty easy to tell what was going to happen, nothing too new or exciting. The book was not for me, but I think the idea of the Twelve Dancing Princesses was a good thought and it would do well to a younger audience.

The Ghost Bride audiobook cover art

Slow Starter

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

Reviewed: 04-23-15

If you could sum up The Ghost Bride in three words, what would they be?

Culture, naiveté, intrigue

What did you like best about this story?

I love the Chinese culture represented. Yangsze Choo brought to life the "Ghost Bride," a tradition I was never aware of as well as the mythology of life after death and how it "works."

What does Yangsze Choo bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Yangsze has a beautiful voice, it was stunning to hear the author read her own work to the listener. I think because she was so intimate with the characters as she was writing them, she could give a little extra depth and emotion to them. We can hear what she envisioned.

Who was the most memorable character of The Ghost Bride and why?

Probably have to go with Er Lang, I just loved him. He was a typical male lead and the chemistry between Li Lang and him was a little obvious but fun. It would be compelling to see the sprit world through his eyes.

Any additional comments?

The story was defiantly a slow starter probably because the author is trying to lay down the blueprints for traditions and mythology for those of us not inept on the culture. Occasionally, the author does seem to spend a lot of time on details that just seem to drag the story on. Li Lan (our heroine) can at times be naïve and there where a few times I just wanted to smack her upside the head for her decisions, but then I would remind myself she has a different upbringing than myself. If you can keep an open mid, this story does not disappoint of imagination and intrigue. There was romance, but it was not overly saturated. I do feel like the ending was a little abrupt, but it makes sense. All in all, this really was a beautiful story. I look forward to future books Yangsze Choo may release.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

The Ransom audiobook cover art

Not bad, but a little preachy

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

Reviewed: 03-11-15

The story had an exciting bases, the characters were well thought and strong and it was filled with many adventures without forced intimacy. However, from the middle more twords the end, I felt like the topic of God was being placed in too much emphasis that it was a little daunting and akward. What was a strong female character become feeble and her fire that drew me to her was not as bright as before. I realize she went through terrible mishaps, many a time I wanted to go into the story and tell her it would get better, but she lost her strenght. The end placed too much emphasis on God, most of the final dialogue was about God. It was a nice change from many other books to deal with changing a Rouge into an enlightened one. I just feel like it was rushed at the end, it could have been a little better delivered. as for the actual end, it was a little lacking. I had cared for these characters and wanted to see what would happen in their futures, too much of an abrupt ending. All in all, it was entertaining, the author does a nice job of description and it was good book to pass the time.