LISTENER

kwadzana

US
  • 6
  • reviews
  • 8
  • helpful votes
  • 6
  • ratings
  • Grandma Witch: Adventure Four

  • Adventures of Alex and Katie Series
  • By: Julia Gousseva
  • Narrated by: Rebecca Lea McCarthy
  • Length: 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 2

In Grandma Witch: Adventure Four, Alex and Katie embark on a journey to rescue a little girl from the three-headed dragon. But they soon find out that the problems they're about to face are much more serious than they could have anticipated. Baba Yaga, the Russian witch, immersed the whole forest into total darkness by capturing the Guardian of Light and his horse. It's up to Alex and Katie to find the Guardian of Light and bring sunlight back into the forest.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Enchanting story and a brilliant vocal performance

  • By kwadzana on 10-18-15

Enchanting story and a brilliant vocal performance

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

Reviewed: 10-18-15

What a brilliant and original concept. Talented author Julia Gousseva has taken traditional Russian fairy tales and turned them into exciting modern-day fantasies. We’ve all fantasized about a portal to another world. Here it is. At the back of the fireplace in strange Aunt Karina's magical library, a secret door takes visitors through a portal to a magical world. In adventure four of the Alex and Katie series, the children enter the portal through a picture frame where they embark on an exciting adventure in a dark forest where they encounter a three-headed dragon and the infamous witch, Baba Yaga. But the thing that makes these stories unique and brings out the talent and creativity of author Julia Gousseva is that each of these stories has a different ending. This makes the stories seem real. The ending is up to Alex and Katie. Will they succeed? Will they save the little girl? Will they bring light back into the dark forest? If they are successful, they still have to make it back to the picture frame and cross back into Aunt Karina’s magical library. Hmmm. There is plenty of excitement here.

So what could make this enchanting story even better? A reading by narrator Rebecca Lea McCarthy. But McCarthy does much more than a reading. McCarthy moves seamlessly from character to character, creating a true vocal acting performance. It’s so much fun and easy to visualize the story when listening to McCarthy’s fine performance.

Just plain fun. Highly recommended for adults and children of all ages.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Lost in Lithuania and Other Funny Stories (Bob and Billy Funny Stories Book 3)

  • By: Alex Goodwin
  • Narrated by: Gary Roelofs
  • Length: 1 hr
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 7
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6

Alex Goodwin tackles everything from curling tournaments to high-stress bakery jobs to incredibly inventive (in the wrong way!) midnight tours of Igor’s castle to the hardship of aglet manufacturing to the satisfaction of homecoming (even if that home happens to be a bomb-testing field in the Death Valley).

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A lighthearted comedy adventure

  • By kwadzana on 09-16-15

A lighthearted comedy adventure

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

Reviewed: 09-16-15

I really enjoyed listening to the further adventures of Bob and Billy in this lighthearted, witty comedy adventure. The author has a unique, dry sense of humor and hidden beneath the surface there is even a bit of a message here. But you will have to listen to this great little story to get the message.

The narrator does a fantastic job of switching voices between Bob and Billy and I think he captures the true persona of both characters. Have you ever known anyone like Billy? I have. In fact I can easily picture him in my mind as I listen.

I recommend this book to people of all ages. Adults will find it easy to follow, fun and entertaining. Children and young adults will laugh at the antics of Bob and Billy. This is the perfect book to listen to with your niece or nephew or grandchildren. Since it is audio, you can listen with a group of children. It will relax them and make them giggle. Enjoy.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Shadow Witch Rising

  • Copper Falls, Book 1
  • By: Colleen Vanderlinden
  • Narrated by: Julia Knippen
  • Length: 10 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 38
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 35
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 36

When Sophie Turner returns home to the sleepy town of Copper Falls, she imagines the kind of life she's always dreamed of: calm and peaceful. After years of having her steps haunted by a powerful stalker, she is living on land settled by her ancestors. She can feel the magic in her blood and she feels like she finally has the chance to build a life. Until he comes along. Calder Turcotte gives Sophie an ultimatum: break the curse her ancestor set on his family, or lose the very land that's allowing her to heal. And as much as she despises him, she's equally drawn to his icy gaze.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • POWERFUL STORY!

  • By Annie The Audible Addict!!! on 06-30-15

A total package for the senses; a wonderful story

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

Reviewed: 07-10-15

If you are, as I am, a lover of the paranormal; witches, werewolves, shifters, etc., truly original and well written stories can be hard to find. Shadow Witch Rising stands out in a genre crowded with the mediocre and the unmemorable.

The first thing I want to say about this book is that it is thoroughly original. At the heart of the story is the tragic romance between Sophia and Calder which has been suppressed but simmering just beneath the surface for many years. Sophia is a witch and Calder is a shifter so there is just a tiny hint of the Romeo and Juliet tragic romance here. When Calder reenters Sophia’s life after many years, those deep feelings are still there, but the things that have always kept them apart still exist. To make matters worse, Sophia learns that her ancestors are responsible for a horrible curse that has been cast upon Calder.

Author Colleen Vanderlinden has that rare gift of storytelling that is colorful and visual enough for readers and listeners to easily visualize a lush setting without getting lost in the details. The story is perfectly balanced with just the right amount of action and romance. The intimate passages are romantic and sexy and beautifully written.

Julia Knippen is the perfect match for Shadow Witch Rising. It is more of a voice acting performance then a narration. Julia Knippen is flawless and she brings the characters to life. This is the total package for the senses; a wonderful story skillfully performed. I highly recommend it.

* I received a free copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Twelve Months of a Soviet Childhood

  • Short Stories
  • By: Julia Gousseva
  • Narrated by: Dawn Adkins
  • Length: 2 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 13
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 12
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 12

Most books about the Soviet Union focus on politics, food shortages, or lack of democratic freedoms. This collection of stories portrays everyday experiences of a young girl growing up in the Soviet Union of the 1970s. Childhood can be a magical and innocent time, oblivious to political regimes and problems. And that's what these 12 stories strive to convey.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A wonderful joy to the senses

  • By kwadzana on 03-12-15

A wonderful joy to the senses

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

Reviewed: 03-12-15

Sit back, close your eyes and travel to a simpler time. Actually it is not a simpler time. It is a very tumultuous time but as a nation grows from adolescence to adulthood, we see the world through the mind and heart of two young girls. We experience the human side of life in the old Soviet Union. We experience what is/was really important in life.

Amidst the turmoil of the Soviet Union of the 1970s, and thanks to the wonderful writing style of author Julia Gousseva, we experience what is/was most important in life; love, family, family traditions, and all the beauty that surrounds us. The combination of narrator Dawn Adkin’s soft soothing voice and author Julia Gousseva’s colorful, visual poetic writing style makes this book a joy to the senses.

Based on the print version of the book, there is a story for each month of the year: “January: A New Year’s Party at the Kremlin,” “February: Sunshine above the Clouds,” “March: Meeting My Best Friend,” “April: Swimming in Gorky Park,”May: The Swamp Spirit,” “June: A Real Gentleman,” “July: The Hedgehog,” “August: The Music Box,” “September: The First Day of School,” “October: The Witch Club,” “November: House Repairs,” “December: New Year's Tree.”

The author inserts background snippets before each story which are interesting for their stand-alone historical significance and they make each story that much more interesting.

I really loved the whole experience of listening to this book. The 12 stories are related to the months of the year and relevant to some of the traditions of the old Soviet Union and the new Russia. I recommend this book for all ages and because the narrator’s voice is so relaxing and soothing I want to mention that it would also make a wonderful bedtime story. Of course you will need to lie down on the bed next to your child and bond and listen to this wonderful collection of stories together to experience it as it should be. One more thing; this is a book that you can listen to multiple times. I highly recommend it - 5 stars.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Firebird: Adventure One

  • Adventures of Alex and Katie, Book 1
  • By: Julia Gousseva
  • Narrated by: Rebecca Lea McCarthy
  • Length: 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10

Instead of traveling to Russia with mom and dad, 10-year-old Alex and his nine-year-old sister Katie are stuck in a creepy old house with their weird Aunt Karina. Alex thinks that his summer is ruined. But then the kids discover a portal that leads them into the magical world of the Firebird. That world quickly becomes dangerous. The kids search for the way back, but instead find Baba Yaga, the Russian witch.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A lighter, happier take on Russian fairy tales

  • By Adam B Crafter on 01-13-15

A wonderful and magical adventure

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

Reviewed: 11-27-14

What did you love best about Firebird: Adventure One?

Book 1 of the Firebird series is a special treat. Actress Rebecca Lea McCarthy gives a dramatic performance of this thrilling fairy tale/fantasy. McCarthy’s deliverance is much more than a narration. It is vocal acting that fits perfectly with the storyline which is perfect for young children and thrilling enough for adults. Imagine a portal to a fantasy realm complete with a mean witch and a beautiful and magical bird.

The combination of Julia Gousseva’s brilliant writing and the vivid portrayal of all the characters by Rebecca Lea McCarthy has created a wonderful and magical adventure.

Any additional comments?

Julia Gousseva’s writing is so real and natural, I look back when I’m finished and it feels like the story was not written one word at a time but rather the story was just “born” and “blossomed.”

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Gray Shadows

  • Russian Bodyguard, Book 1
  • By: Julia Gousseva
  • Narrated by: Jack de Golia
  • Length: 4 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 34
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 33
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 33

Nikolai, a bodyguard in the prestigious Centurion Personal Protection agency, is injured in the line of duty. While recovering from his injuries, he is assigned to a new client. An easy case, his boss tells him. Nikolai travels to a small quiet town north of Siberia to provide protection for a young woman, on her dad’s request. At first, both Nikolai and his boss see the assignment as a whim of a rich overprotective father.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • North of Siberia there is crime, too!

  • By Jan on 01-28-17

A timeless and wonderful story comes to life

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

Reviewed: 11-26-14

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Gray Shadows is an engrossing page-turner and mystery crime thriller with twists and turns and a bit of historical fiction sprinkled throughout. The story is set in the Komi Republic near the Arctic Circle north of Siberia. The author cleverly weaves subtle background descriptions of the drab, gray, cold area of the Upper Luzinsk into the storyline that are well written enough to give you a chill or two. And then there are the other types of chills you’ll get from the shocking surprises.

There is something “fishy” about the bodyguard assignment that the main character Nikolai is assigned to by the prestigious Centurion Personal Protection agency. But since Nikolai is recovering from an injury from the last assignment, he assumes that protecting (babysitting) a spoiled rich girl will be a “walk in the park.” It is the right time for an undemanding assignment. But there is much more going on here than meets the eye and Nikolai’s curiosity and natural detective instincts gradually begin to surface.

As the story progresses, Nikolai is plunged right into the middle of an elaborate plot that will end badly. It is up to Nikolai to unravel this twisted mystery or people will die. The story reads something like a James Bond novel with romantic intrigue and characters who may not be exactly what they appear to be.

Any additional comments?

I thoroughly enjoyed the audio version of Gray Shadows. Narrator Jack de Golia performs all the voices in this suspenseful novel, seamlessly moving between characters. It can be enjoyed while commuting or working but I recommend sitting back in a comfortable chair and listening to it with headphones. You will soon find yourself slipping into the dark, cold and strange world of Upper Luzinsk. Enjoy!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful