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Laura

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  • 16
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  • 126
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  • Lake Silence

  • By: Anne Bishop
  • Narrated by: Alexandra Harris
  • Length: 13 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,128
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,055
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,052

Human laws do not apply in the territory controlled by the Others - vampires, shape-shifters, and paranormal beings even more deadly. And this is a fact that humans should never, ever forget.... After her divorce, Vicki DeVine took over a rustic resort near Lake Silence - in a human town that is not human controlled. Towns like Vicki's have no distance from the Others, the dominant predators that rule most of the land and all of the water throughout the world. And when a place has no boundaries, you never really know what's out there watching you.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Terrific stand-alone Others novel

  • By Laura on 03-24-18

Terrific stand-alone Others novel

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

Reviewed: 03-24-18

First, I've read all the Others novels as they were released and loved some of them, so I was eagerly awaiting this novel. I was concerned that there was unlikely to be crossover from characters in the earlier novels, since that is so much of what I've loved.

Well, my worry was unfounded, because the new characters are as perfectly flawed and struggling as those in the Lakeside Courtyard. I especially loved the way the aftermath of an abusive relationship was a primary plot arc - and even more the way that men who range from manipulative to downright exploitative operate, and how to some extent they need the victim because they need the abuse. All without ever preaching! Instead, Lake Silence is a beautiful exploration of what happens when the vulnerable and soft prey finds itself allied with a much larger predator than anything trying to eat the duckling! And the importance of treating strangers well, lest they be - as the Greeks and many cultures have believed - powerful gods in the disguise of someone helpless.

Also, how to respect CLEAR AND SPECIFIC LIMITS, and the value of accepting and living within those limits, which is definitely a lesson humanity needs to learn.

Five stars! Okay, okay, I did take off stars for the narrator and feel guilty about it, since she is the series narrator, and I would probably miss her if she lost the gig... but... she just emphasizes most words way too much. Somehow it sounds to me like a backward William Shatner effect, or maybe just a female William Shatner.

Still, a great use of a credit!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Beneath the Sugar Sky

  • By: Seanan McGuire
  • Narrated by: Michelle Dockrey
  • Length: 4 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 259
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 241
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 240

When Rini lands with a literal splash in the pond behind Eleanor West's Home for Wayward Children, the last thing she expects to find is that her mother, Sumi, died years before Rini was even conceived. But Rini can't let Reality get in the way of her quest - not when she has an entire world to save! (Much more common than one would suppose.) If she can't find a way to restore her mother, Rini will have more than a world to save: She will never have been born in the first place.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • What a tear-jerker!

  • By Neubauje on 01-11-18

Superb!

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

Reviewed: 02-17-18

I was excited when I got the pre-order notice for this sequel, since I LOVED Every Heart a Doorway and then thought that the next-published prequel, Down Among the Sticks and Bones, managed somehow to exceed Heart in every way. And yes! I had to wait for just the right mood, to make the most of the opportunity - but when the time and whimsy were right, Beneath a Sugar Sky did not disappoint! It simply made me happy to listen, even when the protagonists were struggling, and part of it was that the protagonists felt so real that it was if I knew Kade and Christopher and Sumi and Miss West at summer camp and felt glad to be back among them and meeting new friends too. I can't think of the last book in which the people in it were so real and three-dimensional, without becoming too complex for their ages or experiences. And the worlds were truly, deeply, original and inspired, and they too were so detailed that they felt real, like strange foreign lands that you can visit but will never be home.

A quick note about the narrator: she was terrific - but Seanan McGuire was so magical a narrator for Sticks and Bones that no one could match her, and I was just a little disappointed that she didn't read this one too. I also didn't much care for the voices of Sumi and her daughter, but the narrator nailed them so Sumi sounded exactly as she had in Heart, and her daughter sounded very similar. And those matched their personalities - abrupt, a little high, a little whiny, and usually demanding. So the narrator was excellent, and I almost feel guilty giving her just four stars.... but finally I engaged in a little "grade deflation" to express again the gap between a really good narrator - and Ms. McGuire herself in Sticks and Bones.

Last but not least and in proof of Ms. McGuire's writing talent: this book would, I think, work just fine as a first read or as a stand-alone novel. But really, don't cheat yourself - get all three!

  • City of Endless Night

  • By: Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
  • Narrated by: Rene Auberjonois
  • Length: 10 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,846
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,530
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,524

When Grace Ozmian, the beautiful and reckless daughter of a wealthy tech billionaire, first goes missing, the NYPD assumes she has simply sped off on another wild adventure. Until the young woman's body is discovered in an abandoned warehouse in Queens, the head nowhere to be found. Lieutenant CDS Vincent D'Agosta quickly takes the lead. He knows his investigation will attract fierce scrutiny, so D'Agosta is delighted when FBI Special Agent A. X. L. Pendergast shows up at the crime scene assigned to the case.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The allusive Pendergast..,

  • By shelley on 01-18-18

Great return though classic Pendergast

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

Reviewed: 02-11-18

So first I have to admit that I got kind of lost in the later Pendergast novels about his dead wife and revenge... they just didn't hold my interest in the same way as classic Pendergast, though I'm not even sure why. I missed The Obsidian Chamber too as a result so can't speak for that one. And I wouldn't call this one of the best Pendergast novels - I saw the why, if not the who, long before then end - but there was a final twist that I did not see coming that had the feel of some of the best, like Cabinet of Curiosities. Anyway, it was definitely enough to get me reengaged with the whole series, so I'll be going back to fill in some blanks....

As always, Rene Auberjonois totally owned this book and this series. Kudos!

  • The Girl Who Was Taken

  • By: Charlie Donlea
  • Narrated by: Nina Alvamar
  • Length: 10 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,555
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,984
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,963

Nicole Cutty and Megan McDonald are both high school seniors in the small town of Emerson Bay, North Carolina. When they disappear from a beach party one warm summer night, police launch a massive search. No clues are found, and hope is almost lost until Megan miraculously surfaces after escaping from a bunker deep in the woods. A year later the best-selling account of her ordeal has turned Megan from local hero to national celebrity.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great book!!!

  • By tarafarah7: Tara Brown on 06-07-17

Very strong mystery/thriller

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

Reviewed: 01-13-18

This book grabbed me and kept me looking forward to my commute! The narrator was very good, so that despite the primary characters being mostly women, it was never hard to tell who was speaking or to remember which girl's name belonged to what character.

The characters were unusually realistic to my mind, despite their being in different unusual and strange situations - the older sister of the missing girl; the girl who returned; the girl who was taken herself, before the event. None was perfect nor shallow. Each perspective felt complete and authentic, and the author made me care deeply about what happened to each of these three very different women, as well as the women who are usually "extras" or just names or bodies - the *other* women who had been taken. Even with very little known about them, they felt like real people, who suffered and fought or submitted and whose families were devastated by their loss.

This novel presents an extraordinarily nuanced, psychologically sophisticated exploration of many aspects of abductions and their tortured aftermaths, without ever becoming the kind of book represented in the novel by the surviving girl's ghost-written memoir of her abduction: with all the juicy details that were "all right to enjoy, because it has a happy ending."

I got this as a Daily Deal but consider it absolutely credit-worthy. Unusual in the genre and highly recommended.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Magic for Nothing

  • An InCryptid Novel, Book 6
  • By: Seanan McGuire
  • Narrated by: Emily Bauer
  • Length: 12 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 370
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 350
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 347

The sixth book in New York Times best-selling Seanan McGuire's witty urban fantasy InCryptid series about a family of cryptozoologists who act as a buffer between humans and the magical creatures living in secret around us.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic Ending!! Unexpected Plot Twist

  • By Hassan on 04-13-17

HAIL THE MICE!!

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

Reviewed: 12-17-17

I would have given this 5 stars except for the very high bar set by Ms McGuire in all her work, especially the InCryptid series. This was a very solid entry, with real justice done to the ways Antimony Price is not and has never been like her siblings - and the ways they all uphold the family's passion for cryptozoology. Sam and his grandmother are terrific new characters, too.... but it's really ALL ABOUT THE MICE for me! Wish they had gotten a larger role, but I can't wait to read about the uproar caused when the Price colony hears about the Lost Colony left behind in England...!!

  • Down Among the Sticks and Bones

  • By: Seanan McGuire
  • Narrated by: Seanan McGuire
  • Length: 4 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 353
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 328
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 327

Seanan McGuire returns to her popular Wayward Children series with Down Among the Sticks and Bones - a truly stand-alone story suitable for adult and young adult listeners of urban fantasy, and the follow-up to the Alex Award-winning, Hugo and Nebula finalist, Tiptree Honor List Every Heart a Doorway.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Spectacular fairy tale from an amazing author/narrator!

  • By Laura on 10-18-17

Spectacular fairy tale from an amazing author/narrator!

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

Reviewed: 10-18-17

I always worry when I see that the author is narrating their work, because you know, story TELLING is usually distinct from STORY telling. But listening to Seanan McGuire, I actually had thoughts of olden days, when Bards were very highly valued and powerful people in society who were more like wizards than the modern image of a short-sighted writer in a fuzzy cardigan and glasses hunched over a typewriter with a cat nearby. M's. McGuire wrapped her voice, her bones-deep knowledge of the story and every word, every turn of phrase, around every utterance. She brings the compassion of the storyteller who knows and lives the people in the story, but also the dark foreknowledge that in old-school fairy tales, the heros (heroines) don't get to live "happily ever after."

I had already listened to and absolutely loved "Every Heart a Doorway" and was deeply impressed by that book's rich flavors and textures - but there wasn't enough about Jack and Jill. Together, the two short novels are far more than either could ever be alone, though the are also undeniably separate and different - like weighty though slim bookends.

Anyone worried about whether they will like a "kid's book" should think again. The old Grimm fairy tales were nobody's Goodnight Moon, and children who went astray suffered serious, often fatal, consequences. Seanan McGuire's pair of books are imho instant classics steeped in history, dangers (of modern parenting especially!), finding your place and coming of age, and real love of others, even when they don't necessarily deserve it. And regret that things happened as they did, and maybe - probably? - had to happen that way. Or did they?

Highest recommendation for this book, especially as the prequel to Every Heart a Doorway. Worth 2 credits despite the short length that always makes me wonder if a book is long enough to be "worth it." Yes. This one is a treasured keeper!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Never Hero

  • The Chronicles of Jonathan Tibbs, Book 1
  • By: T. Ellery Hodges
  • Narrated by: Steven Barnett
  • Length: 12 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,241
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,932
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,943

Reclusive college student Jonathan Tibbs wakes in a pool of blood, not a scratch on him. His life is about to undergo a massive shift. A violent and merciless otherworldly enemy unleashes slaughter in the streets, calling out in a language only he understands. And it is seeking its challenger. In order to defeat the threat, Jonathan must become a temporal weapon...while remaining completely anonymous. Unfortunately, harnessing off-world powers has its own special challenges...

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Tip: clear your schedule first.

  • By rhodry on 06-12-17

Great start to a series!!

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

Reviewed: 07-29-17

I took a chance on this Daily Deal and am so glad I did! I'm about to spend my last credit on the sequel hoping it's as good! What I loved about this novel was how easy answers were given but not satisfying, to reader or characters, and then the real answers slowly emerged to destroy the simple black-hat-white-hat explanations of the vast majority of books with the hero-coming-to-discover-his-destiny tropes. I LOVE the conversations about the classic and less-known 80's and 90's "hero" movies and Jonathan seeking models and understanding among these classics. This book totally nailed authentic college kid geek conversations, but also went deeper into several characters and especially our protagonist, finding out exactly what it might take to turn a basic nice guy college kid into who he needs to become - a mean fighter. And not overnight! Loved the characters and their development; loved the plot and mysteries and surprises; and I LOVE the penultimate scene when Hayer (sp?!) and Jonathan decide to trust each other. Revelations totally support why they needed to be kept secret - which in a lesser book may make me roll my eyes at all the mistrust and suspicion when sharing information would help everyone.

Definitely going to be following this author!

  • I Can't Make This Up

  • Life Lessons
  • By: Neil Strauss - contributor, Kevin Hart
  • Narrated by: Kevin Hart
  • Length: 11 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 33,051
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 30,221
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 30,066

Superstar comedian and Hollywood box-office star Kevin Hart turns his immense talent to the written word by writing some words. Some of those words include: the, a, for, above, and even even. Put them together and you have the funniest, most heartfelt, and most inspirational memoir on survival, success, and the importance of believing in yourself since Old Yeller.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Best Audiobook I Ever Listened To

  • By Sam Clear on 07-13-17

Excellent comedy and better lessons!

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

Reviewed: 06-14-17

The difference between an amusing memoir and one I'll keep as well as pass on is whether it has HEART. (Ok, that's a little pun.). I expected to laugh a lot during this book, and oh yes, laugh I did. I was surprised however and deeply impressed at how well I got to know Kevin Hart, warts and all, and how remarkable his story really is - and how many lessons he learned the hard way, over and over, before honestly stepping up to his own sh!t and owning it, and then growing in to the kind of man who means it when he says we are all human and no one is better than anyone else, no matter what kind of car he drives OR what kind of natural comedic talent he has. I'm actually planning to edit lightly and then give it to my kids to read, for the jokes, yes, but more for the lessons. Way to go, Mr. Hart, and now I am going to catch up on some of your old work and hope to catch you on tour someday.

  • Somebody I Used to Know

  • By: David Bell
  • Narrated by: Andy Paris
  • Length: 10 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,958
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 2,708
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,707

When Nick Hansen sees the young woman at the grocery store, his heart stops. She is the spitting image of his college girlfriend, Marissa Minor, who died in a campus house fire 20 years earlier. But when Nick tries to speak to her, she acts skittish and rushes off. The next morning the police arrive at Nick's house and show him a photo of the woman from the store. She's been found dead.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Definitely Worth a Credit

  • By Snoodely on 07-15-15

Good book but slow

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

Reviewed: 06-03-17

I hate to give this book only 3 stars because I did read it all and never considered giving up on it, but I'm trying to reduce "star inflation" in my reviews, and I seriously doubt I'll ever listen to this book again, something I do often. Pretty good plot, but it just moved far too slow. I actually liked the characters including the protagonist, who was an odd combination of passionate idealist and phlegmatic realist ... but I think the very slow pace of the writing accounted for the latter portrayal. Events actually occurred very rapidly, but the writing didn't, maintaining an even and steady pace throughout. I liked the narrator as well, but the narration no doubt contributed to what I felt was a lack of suspense for a whodunnit that relied on our curiosity about the strange facts to pull us forward. I'm thinking now I should have increased the speed, but I did like the steady pace of the narrator- just not for a novel that is supposed to be suspenseful. I probably won't read anything further by this author, but that isn't a hard line...so who knows, maybe the facts will suck me in again?

  • The Flicker Men

  • A Novel
  • By: Ted Kosmatka
  • Narrated by: Keith Szarabajka
  • Length: 10 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 627
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 573
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 577

A quantum physicist shocks the world with a startling experiment, igniting a struggle between science and theology, free will and fate, and antagonizing forces not known to exist. Eric Argus is a washout. His prodigious early work clouded his reputation and strained his sanity. But an old friend gives him another chance, an opportunity to step back into the light.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Started out good but fell flat

  • By Edward on 08-04-15

Grabbed me and held on

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

Reviewed: 05-23-17

I was worried when starting Flicker Men that I would need more than a high school understanding of physics - and there were definitely moments when I let go the urge to really get the math or physics in detail. But the story just grabbed me. I might have enjoyed it less if I'd known enough to criticize the science/math, I don't know. But this was the right level of "I've heard of that" science with characters and a story that just would not let go. As the book continued, I began to fear that it could not possibly end in a satisfying way, but I was actually satisfied with the last scene to an unexpected degree.

I don't know how broad the audience is for this, but I'm going to check out the author's other works ASAP. The narrator was also new to me, but I thought he did a great job and provided depth and heart to the main character that would likely have been lost in the printed version.