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spinyfern

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  • 2
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  • 33
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  • The Winter of the Witch

  • A Novel
  • By: Katherine Arden
  • Narrated by: Kathleen Gati
  • Length: 14 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 913
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 863
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 862

The Winternight Trilogy introduced an unforgettable heroine, Vasilisa Petrovna, a girl determined to forge her own path in a world that would rather lock her away. Her gifts and her courage have drawn the attention of Morozko, the winter-king, but it is too soon to know if this connection will prove a blessing or a curse. Now, Moscow has been struck by disaster. Its people are searching for answers - and for someone to blame.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A rare perspective on myth

  • By Benjamin Cook on 03-19-19

More wonderful narration for fantastic conclusion

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

Reviewed: 02-04-19

Kathleen Gati brings more wonderful narration to the final installment of this trilogy. I could listen to her for days, and she does such a great job with the characters and their highs and lows in this book. The book itself is a compelling and rich addition to this trilogy. The characters all experience growth and are written with nuance and depth. The story twists and turns and goes in surprising directions. I was sad to come to the end, but it closes on the right note. This was well worth the listen, and something I can imagine listening to again.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Uprooted

  • By: Naomi Novik
  • Narrated by: Julia Emelin
  • Length: 17 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,415
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 5,079
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,050

Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life. Her people rely on the cold, driven wizard known only as the Dragon to keep its powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman handed over to serve him for 10 years, a fate almost as terrible as falling to the Wood.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Narrator?!

  • By D. Hawkins on 07-24-17

Great story, atmospheric narration

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

Reviewed: 07-07-17

I would have definitely enjoyed reading this spirited and entertaining novel, and I really enjoyed listening to it. Other reviews complained about the narration and the reader's accent, but I thought it added depth and color to the story, which is clearly written to take place in a fictitious Slavic land. It's quite a skilled performance.

The story itself has a nice rhythm of highs and lows. The main character is written with nuance, and the supporting characters are all more complex than their archetypes lead you to believe. This is a fun tale of magic and adventure, of awakening and growth as well as darkness and demise. I don't like horror novels, and without the magic and appeal of the protagonist, this one could have been too dark for my taste.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Station Eleven

  • A Novel
  • By: Emily St. John Mandel
  • Narrated by: Kirsten Potter
  • Length: 10 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 7,150
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,472
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 6,476

An audacious, darkly glittering novel set in the eerie days of civilization’s collapse, Station Eleven tells the spellbinding story of a Hollywood star, his would-be savior, and a nomadic group of actors roaming the scattered outposts of the Great Lakes region, risking everything for art and humanity.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • An Alternative Dystopian Viewpoint

  • By CScott on 12-20-16

Excellent story and skilled narration

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

Reviewed: 06-28-17

Station Eleven kept me listening from start to finish with no dead spots along the way. I enjoyed how the narrative moved back and forth in time, providing both relief and furthering plot points. Although I wouldn't call this a horror novel by any means, it employs the best of horror techniques--specifying just enough of the awfulness to let the imagination fill in the horrifying and sad reality of the world these characters live(d) in. Thankfully there are also brighter moments of lightness and the better sides of humanity.

The narration was very skilled. I enjoyed that the reader was able to keep a nuanced but even tone throughout, while giving each character their own distinctive tones and voices. It would have been easy to read this book with an edge of hysteria, which would have been a terrible choice. Instead, the reader does an excellent job of interpreting the changing landscapes of Station Eleven as the characters find them.

This is a great listen!

  • The Bear and the Nightingale

  • A Novel
  • By: Katherine Arden
  • Narrated by: Kathleen Gati
  • Length: 11 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,580
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,296
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,287

At the edge of the Russian wilderness, winter lasts most of the year, and the snowdrifts grow taller than houses. But Vasilisa doesn't mind - she spends the winter nights huddled around the embers of a fire with her beloved siblings, listening to her nurse's fairy tales. Above all, she loves the chilling story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon who appears in the frigid night to claim unwary souls. Wise Russians fear him, her nurse says, and honor the spirits of house and yard and forest that protect their homes from evil.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I was swept away

  • By Crystal Midkiff on 02-04-17

Magical story with exquisite narration

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

Reviewed: 05-10-17

The story is captivating enough to enjoy on its own, but the voice performance adds immensely to the experience. Incredibly well written and masterfully read; this is definitely a book worth listening to.

  • The Book of Speculation

  • A Novel
  • By: Erika Swyler
  • Narrated by: Ari Fliakos
  • Length: 11 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,693
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,517
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,510

Simon Watson, a young librarian on the verge of losing his job, lives alone on the Long Island Sound in his family home - a house, perched on the edge of a bluff, that is slowly crumbling toward the sea. His parents are long dead, his mother having drowned in the water his house overlooks. His younger sister, Enola, works for a traveling carnival reading tarot cards and seldom calls.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • traveling carnival, tarot, love, fate, secrets

  • By withherownwings on 07-20-15

Flawed character or flawed portrayal?

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

Reviewed: 06-20-16

The story in this book was interesting, but I was more than halfway through listening to it before I found myself actually engaged in the characters and their journeys. It took me several months to get past listening to the first couple of chapters. This was in large part because I just couldn't get invested in the primary characters. The hero of the story, Simon, is portrayed as such a flawed individual by the reader of the novel that I found him to be almost unlikeable. Similarly, the reader portrays the younger sister as an annoying and immature nuisance, and the girlfriend as a quietly suffering sap. Who could care about these characters--who are key to understanding what drives the main character-- when read this way? The only characters given dignity or likeability in the reading were those in the past timeline.

The reader has obvious talent and did a great job of distinguishing the different characters and giving them their own unique voices. But his choices in reading them made them almost insufferable. Would the same be true if I had just read the novel instead of listening to this interpretation? I don't know. But it was kind of a slog to get to the point where I liked forward to turning on this audiobook.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful