LISTENER

Howard

  • 17
  • reviews
  • 19
  • helpful votes
  • 228
  • ratings
  • Harley Merlin 2: Harley Merlin and the Mystery Twins

  • By: Bella Forrest
  • Narrated by: Amanda Ronconi
  • Length: 12 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 438
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 398
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 396

Harley Merlin has a lot of unanswered questions in her life. What drove her father to kill her mother? How can she know the true extent of her magical abilities? Has Wade Crowley always been this annoying? After the violent gargoyle incident that left many dead, Harley fears what other evil tricks her psychotic aunt has up her sleeve. When she discovers that magical foster kids like herself are in danger, she knows she must do whatever it takes to protect them.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Not Harry Potter but great book

  • By Eric on 02-01-19

Has potential, but a tough listen

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

Reviewed: 02-12-19

There are some interesting elements to the book, However, I don't think if it knows whether or not it wants to be a children's book. I am guessing the sweet spot is teens. I was a Harry Potter fan and the sheer creativity allowed me to escape into innocence. This book does not quite make it, seeming a bit formulaic. There are a few other issues that prevented me from suspending disbelief:

The main character is an empath. Which is an interesting way to illustrate the emotional content of the characters. But the author uses this as a crutch and doesn't provide enough direct plot. The book would be better if the characters, settings, and character interactions told the story which I could interpret, allowing me to suspend my disbelief and enter the story. However, there is so much inner monolog with a given character telling me what I am supposed to see and feel that I never get a chance to engage the material. And if the author has chosen to really expose the emotional content of the characters, they need to be full characters. It seems to me that most of them barely break the surface of archetype.

The book uses the term magical repeatedly to differentiate those with magic and those with out. After the first couple of pages I understand that there are people who have magic. It would be akin to me using the term human in every other sentence. Unless I am specifically discussing aspects of the human race or the human condition, I don't use the word. It is unnecessary.

Similarly, there is another device in the book, an item which focuses magical power, called an espree (sp?). The book constantly mentions them, but they do little to advance the plot. They are completely unnecessary. I feel the books would be better with out them. They just seem awkward.

Anyway, I might give the next book a try to see if things have matured. There is some potentially interesting lore here, but I am guessing I will move on. This is just my two cents obviously. I certainly can't write fiction, but I have an opinion. And you know what they say about those.

  • The Witching Hour

  • By: Anne Rice
  • Narrated by: Kate Reading
  • Length: 50 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,501
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,215
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,220

Demonstrating once again her gift for spellbinding storytelling, Anne Rice makes real for us a great dynasty of four centuries of witches - a family given to poetry and incest, murder and philosophy, a family that over the ages is itself haunted by a powerful, dangerous, and seductive being called Lasher who haunts the Mayfair women....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • THANK YOU AUDIBLE!

  • By Wendy on 10-22-15

Pedantic Description Masquerading as Plot

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

Reviewed: 09-28-18

Rice's description is rich and creative, but my god is it pedantic. If you are interested in a writing workshop focusing on over intellectualized, self aggrandizing description, this is the book for you. If you want a good story that holds your interest, give it a pass. Anne please stop trying to write the next great American novel, be a story teller.

  • Touched

  • Marnie Baranuik Files, Book 1
  • By: A. J. Aalto
  • Narrated by: Amy McFadden
  • Length: 18 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 252
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 231
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 231

Marnie's first big FBI case ended with a bullet in one shoulder and a chip on the other, a queasy heart and a serial killer in the wind, leaving her a public flop and a private wreck. When the FBI's preternatural crimes unit tracks her down at a remote mountain lodge for her insight on a local case, her quiet retirement is promptly besieged by a stab-happy starlet, a rampaging ghoul, and a vampire-hunting jackass in tight Wranglers. Marnie figures the only real mystery is which one will kill her first.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Hilarious, Sexy, Snarky, and Absolutely Unique!

  • By jenny on 09-06-17

Main plot device is whining

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

Reviewed: 07-04-18

The main plot device is the incessant whining of the main character. My wife and I couldn’t take it for more than 2 chapters. I can’t tell how much the narrator contributed to the effect, but for the most part the narration was OK. I think it was just the writing. I think the author confuses whining and annoying for cute and endearing. Ugh. No thanks.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Trying to Live with the Dead

  • The Veil Diaries, Book 1
  • By: B. L. Brunnemer
  • Narrated by: Kris Koscheski, Carla Mercer-Meyer
  • Length: 14 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 505
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 464
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 462

Hi, I'm Alexis Delaney. I'm your average 17-year-old girl. Except I can see the dead. And talk to the dead. And push them away and, well, help them move on. For years I've been struggling to survive the souls still roaming around. The shitheads always seem to find me. Moving from town to town every few months never helped either. More dead just always find me. But things are changing for me now. I'm moving in with my uncle Rory and cousin Tara. I'm finally going to be able to do normal teenage stuff I've been missing out on. Right?

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Light entertainment

  • By Connie on 09-14-17

Started Well, Ended In Wining

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

Reviewed: 10-06-17

The book started well. The story line was promising. And then the characters spent the whole rest of the book wining. I kept waiting for it to be just temporary, but it was pervasive and incessant. The main character is supposed to be 17, but the dialog is preteen and predictable.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Royal Assassin

  • The Farseer Trilogy, Book 2
  • By: Robin Hobb
  • Narrated by: Paul Boehmer
  • Length: 29 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,965
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,126
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,138

Young Fitz, the illegitimate son of the noble Prince Chivalry, is ignored by all royalty except the devious King Shrewd, who has had him tutored him in the dark arts of the assassin. He has barely survived his first, soul-shattering mission, and when he returns to the court, he is thrown headfirst into the tumult of royal life.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Enjoyed it before, loved it now

  • By Amazon Customer on 06-23-10

Incredibly Mixed Feelings About This Book

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

Reviewed: 12-09-16

Any additional comments?

This is a well written and well narrated story. However, the book is so melancholy that I often think of discarding it. Everyone suffers all the time. The main character has just enough victories to keep you reading, but other than that he just keeps getting beaten down. In order to keep the edge on the story the characters act completely out of character. Not sure what to think. I keep waiting for catharsis and halfway into book two, I still haven't seen it.

  • Mage's Blood

  • The Moontide Quartet, Book 1
  • By: David Hair
  • Narrated by: Nick Podehl
  • Length: 26 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,482
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,306
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,304

Most of the time the Moontide Bridge lies deep below the sea, but every 12 years the tides sink and the bridge is revealed, its gates open for trade. The Magi are hell-bent on ruling this new world, and for the last two Moontides they have led armies across the bridge on "crusades of conquest". Now, the third Moontide is almost here, and this time the people of the East are ready for a fight... but it is three seemingly ordinary people that will decide the fate of the world.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Nick Podehl is great as usual, but only read this if you've read everything else in the genre...

  • By Chance on 07-24-17

Over Engineered

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

Reviewed: 12-04-16

Any additional comments?

This narrator is always good and I have no complaints about the performance. The story, however, goes no where fast. For me, it was a non starter. The author spends painstaking detail on elements that just don't advance the story. It seems like the author is trying to prove how smart he is or how well his writing compares to others in the genre.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Anarchy

  • Hive Trilogy, Book 2
  • By: Jaymin Eve, Leia Stone
  • Narrated by: Dara Rosenberg
  • Length: 7 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 762
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 699
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 698

Did Charlie Bennett ever tell you that vampires are evil spawn? Well they are! She's had just about enough of them and when the unthinkable happens, she decides it might just be time to use her blood as a weapon against them. It's time for a little anarchy.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Talk about a cliffhanger!

  • By Slayergirl76 on 08-04-16

Authors kill good story

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

Reviewed: 10-04-16

What disappointed you about Anarchy?

These books had potential. The lore was fairly interesting, and the main plot provided a good story. However, most of the main characters are supernatural beings over 50 some years old and the primary one is a woman in her 20s who has had incredible life changing experiences. But somehow, all of them have the emotional sophistication and behaviors of 14 year old girls at summer camp. It is a painful listen.

Also, the gender roles that are portrayed are insulting. I am not quite sure how there can be two women writers, a female narrator, homosexual main characters, a book that is clearly trying to paint itself as enlightened around gender roles, and still come across as horribly sexist.

The writing and the story telling is good. The narrator is good. But the characters demeanor and behavior is very far out of place for their circumstances. If the authors wanted to write pre-teen romance, they should have just done it, and advertised it as such, so I wouldn't be trying to find a good story in the middle of all the hair pulling and pillow fights.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Runes

  • By: Ednah Walters
  • Narrated by: Stephanie Terry
  • Length: 8 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 568
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 520
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 519

Seventeen-year-old Raine Cooper has enough on her plate dealing with her father's disappearance, her mother's erratic behavior, and the possibility of her boyfriend relocating. The last thing she needs is Torin St. James - a mysterious new neighbor with a wicked smile and uncanny way of reading her. Raine is drawn to Torin's dark sexiness against her better judgment, until he saves her life with weird marks, and she realizes he is different. But by healing her, Torin changes something inside Raine.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • A good read.

  • By Natalie @ ABookLoversLife on 02-02-16

Definitely for Kids Only

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

Reviewed: 09-06-16

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

This is definitely for kids only. I often can enjoy fiction with main characters of different ages. But this one was just too infantile. I had turn it off. I am guessing with its popularity kids must like it.

  • Shadow Rites

  • Jane Yellowrock, Book 10
  • By: Faith Hunter
  • Narrated by: Khristine Hvam
  • Length: 14 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,288
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2,121
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,110

Slaying vampires is child's play for skinwalker Jane Yellowrock. But handling the complicated politics of New Orleans' supernatural players is another story.... Jane is keeping the peace between visiting groups of witches and vamps in the city, but then trouble comes knocking on her door. When her house is magically attacked, the wild chase to find her assailants unearths a mystery that has literally been buried deep. A missing master vampire, presumed long deceased, is found chained in a pit...undead, raving mad, and in the company of two human bodies.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great Urban Fantasy series

  • By omnireader on 04-08-16

Like these stories, but tough to listen to.

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

Reviewed: 05-04-16

Would you consider the audio edition of Shadow Rites to be better than the print version?

No

Any additional comments?

I like these stories a lot. I read the first couple and then switched over to listening. However, this narrator is really difficult to listen to. She reads every character like they are a teenager with a big chip on their shoulder. I am not quite sure why she would want you not to like or identify with any of the characters.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Dark Moon Defender

  • The Twelve Houses, Book 3
  • By: Sharon Shinn
  • Narrated by: Joe Barrett
  • Length: 19 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 407
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 248
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 250

The Rider Justin is sent to the small town of Neft, so he can spy on the nearby Lumanen Convent where the Daughters of the Pale Mother reside. He quickly learns that Coralinda Gisseltess, the leader of the Daughters, is indeed persecuting mystics and the people who shelter them. Even more quickly, he falls in love with Ellynor, one of the convent novices. But the courtship is perilous in the extreme.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Disappointing change in narrator.

  • By shirley on 03-05-09

Great Series Bad Shift in Narrator

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

Reviewed: 03-02-16

Any additional comments?

I really like this series, and I really liked the narrator of the first two books, and was disappointed with the change. This story is wonderful, and the new narrator isn't bad, but it is not the same.