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  • Alex Verus Series, Book 1
  • By: Benedict Jacka
  • Narrated by: Gildart Jackson
  • Length: 10 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 5,636
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,190
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 5,197

Alex Verus is part of a world hidden in plain sight, running a magic shop in London. And while Alex's own powers aren't as showy as some mages, he does have the advantage of foreseeing the possible future-allowing him to pull off operations that have a million-to-one-chance of success. But when Alex is approached by multiple factions to crack open a relic from a long-ago mage war, he knows that whatever's inside must be beyond powerful.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Harry Dresden meets the Temple of Doom

  • By Jessica on 05-15-14

If Indiana Jones kept a magic shop in London

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

Reviewed: 08-06-18

I’d say these books had become my guilty pleasure, but I don’t feel a bit guilty. These books are great fun! I’m several books ahead in the series at this point and they are always a pick-me-up.

When I started this first one I thought, well, this is fine, but it’s lighter and fluffier than I was expecting… It seemed like Alex had it way too easy. Any problem that came up he knew right away how to solve, he knew all the right people, all the right magical tricks of his trade… It seemed like there could never be any real tension in the story. And then came the action-packed second half of the book, and I forgot I’d been thinking that and was just having a blast!

If you scan the reviews, you’ll see endless opinions on whether or not this series is like the Dresden or the Iron Druid series. I’d say, think Indiana Jones! You know, if Indiana Jones had been a 20-something British mage. In London. Who used to be an almost-bad-guy, but dropped that gig and is trying to lay low these days. Ok, so a lot of that doesn’t work, but you won’t miss the comparison by the second half, and the level of action and violence is dead on. Craziness everywhere, bad guys piling up, but no emphasis on blood and gore? Expect that sort of movie action to pop up. And you know how Indiana Jones is always trying to be a mild-mannered professor but instead ends up embroiled in crazy adventures? Yeah, Alex Verus is exactly that kind of mild-mannered shop owner.

I like the narrator. The sample is a good sample of what to expect – that’s just how he reads Alex throughout so you can judge for yourself. And just as a little extra, you can really tell how well the author knows the London area, and every now and again he lets hints of this show in the story. It’s nothing big, but I do appreciate a good sense of setting. This would have been a fun book anyway, but it adds a little extra something.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Andrea Vernon and the Corporation for UltraHuman Protection

  • By: Alexander C. Kane
  • Narrated by: Bahni Turpin
  • Length: 8 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 4,267
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,028
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 4,021

Andrea Vernon always thought she would spend her life living in Paris writing thought-provoking historical novels all day and sipping wine on the Seine all night. But the reality is she's drowning in debt, has no prospects, and is forced to move back to Queens, where her parents remind her daily that they are very interested in grandchildren. Then, one morning, she is kidnapped, interviewed, and hired as an administrative assistant by the Corporation for UltraHuman Protection. Superheroes for hire, using their powers for good. What could possibly go wrong?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Normal Life in an Abnormal World

  • By Arthur D. Rich on 08-26-17

I’m surprised I liked this one!

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

Reviewed: 08-06-18

Light humor isn’t usually my thing. I mean, I love to laugh, but when everything about a book is billed as “light” it doesn’t usually have enough plot to keep my attention. This book is NOT deep and stays really truly light throughout, but it was cute! It even made me laugh out loud once.

And I’m not even a big fan of superhero stories! Maybe that’s what made this slight spoof of them work for me.

The narrator is good, and one of the reasons I took a chance on this book. At first she seemed a bit dry during the 3rd person portions, but that highlighted the many characters’ voices, and there are a bunch to keep straight, so now that seems well planned.

So make no mistake, this is total fluff, but sometimes that’s what you’re in the mood for. Don’t expect it to be deeper than you guessed by reading the blurb ‘cos it’s not! Think "sit-com" not "action/drama." But if you just need to chill, it’s worth a listen. You might even giggle.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Switching Hour: Magic and Mayhem Book One

  • By: Robyn Peterman
  • Narrated by: Stephanie Riggio
  • Length: 4 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 600
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 547
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 543

Released from the magic pokey and paroled with limited power is enough to make any witch grumpy. However, if you throw in a recently resurrected cat, a lime-green Kia, and a sexy egotistical werewolf, it's enough to make a gal fly off the edge. Not to mention a mission...with no freaking directions. So here I sit in Asscrack, West Virginia, trying to figure out how to complete my mysterious mission before All Hallows Eve when I'll get turned into a mortal.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Awesome Story and Performance!

  • By Cheri on 05-08-16

This is funny?

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

Reviewed: 05-28-17

I'm returning this one even though I got it on sale. I'm surprised at all the glowing reviews! I was hoping for some chuckles since this is billed as funny, but I never really even smiled.

Honestly this was a whole lot of crassness, bad language, and instant lust smashed into a small space. There was a clash between good and evil cute fluffy animals crammed in there as well. It was an awkward fit and never really meshed well.

As for the humor, there's a joke about the cat grooming its private parts which is used over and over and OVER. The main character is totally shallow and materialistic, and spends a lot of time judging people and situations by their possessions. Sometimes that can work, but in this case she just seemed dislikeable instead of funny.

That was probably my biggest problem with the book -- I can handle all sorts of crudeness and (failed) lewd jokes, but only if there's a main character worth bonding with. And that's even harder given the short length of this story. A lot of people seem to have rated this fairly well though, so take my opinions with a grain of salt. There's room for the MC to grow in later installments, but I was just sorry to be spending my listening time with her.

No problems with the narrator at all -- the sample is a good representation of her reading so you know what you'll be getting there.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Way of the Wolf

  • The Vampire Earth, Book 1
  • By: E. E. Knight
  • Narrated by: Christian Rummel, E. E. Knight (Introduction)
  • Length: 11 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 845
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 513
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 516

Louisiana, 2065. A lot has changed in the 43rd year of the Kurian Order. Possessed of an unnatural and legendary hunger, the bloodthirsty Reapers have come to Earth to establish a New Order built on the harvesting of enslaved human souls. They rule the planet. They thrive on the scent of fear. And if it is night, as sure as darkness, they will come.

On this pitiless world, the indomitable spirit of mankind still breathes in Lieutenant David Valentine.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Its what you expect, and thats not a bad thing.

  • By Kevin McLaughlin on 11-26-08

As Advertised

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

Reviewed: 08-19-15

This book stands at the junction of several genres – sci-fi, paranormal, western, and a hint of military.

I’m always up for a paranormal or sci-fi fix, and some military flavoring blends just fine with those, so I gave this a shot. It’s an okay book, probably a 3.5 star read, but it never pulled me in strongly enough to want to continue with the series. It may have lost me at the western junction.

Ah, the long, lonely road of the western. You know, the one where the traveler does what good he can during his brief stop in town, but then everybody goes their separate ways in the grim, pitiless world? There are a lot of brief stops. A lot of stories about new characters in new towns. A lot of grim. And then it’s time to move on and we start all over.

Plenty of plot and action are going on at the same time, both of which are big pluses, but somehow I came away feeling a bit like I’d just read an anthology of short stories about various people the main character had met. Then I remembered I'm not into short stories, so no wonder that kept me from feeling connected to the storyline. Also, did I mention the level of grimness was a little heavy handed? But again, that might go with the whole western thing so take that with a grain of salt.

Over all, I’d say this book is exactly as advertised, so if it sounds like your thing, then go for it. Just be ready for the “long, lonely road” aspect of it all, and even though that’s not my thing I still think this was a medium read. The sample is a good representation of the narrator’s work. Some people might find him a little slow, but he may have made me like the book more than I would have on paper, so hey, kudos there.

  • Lock In (Narrated by Wil Wheaton)

  • By: John Scalzi
  • Narrated by: Wil Wheaton
  • Length: 9 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13,011
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,215
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,190

Not too long from today, a new, highly contagious virus makes its way across the globe. Most who get sick experience nothing worse than flu, fever, and headaches. But for the unlucky one percent - and nearly five million souls in the United States alone - the disease causes "Lock In": Victims fully awake and aware, but unable to move or respond to stimulus. The disease affects young, old, rich, poor, people of every color and creed. The world changes to meet the challenge.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fun! Things you might want to know:

  • By Alexis on 08-29-14

Fun! Things you might want to know:

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

Reviewed: 08-29-14

1. The story is a crime solving procedural in a sci-fi setting, and both sides of that are very well done! If you don’t care for either of those genres this probably isn’t for you. If you like one more than the other and the plot sounds interesting then I’d say give it a go. Just don't go in expecting a dystopia or a panicked medical thriller.

2. Confused about the two narrator options? There’s nothing in one version you might miss by choosing the other, so listen to the samples and go with your favorite. They really are two readings of the same book! Yes, there’s something a bit clever behind having different narrator options, but I'll let you discover what it is on your own. Both narrators do a fantastic job, so really you can’t go wrong.

3. There’s an attached novella at the end, a faux nonfiction-style account of the beginnings of Haden’s Syndrome. It originally came out as an optional prequel so you can choose to read it first or last. If you want to jump to it first, it’s 2 h 15 min into the second download on the Wil Wheaton version, 2:58:30 on the second download of Amber Benson’s. The novella’s many narrators were a great touch but overall I found the novella too scattered to add much. I had no problem jumping into the main story without reading it first, and I'm glad I didn't bother.

As for my personal impressions? Fun book! Not too dark, not too fluffy, good pacing, likeable characters and interesting concepts -- I can see a lot of people enjoying this one. I don’t normally seek out procedurals, but the quick pace and sci-fi quirkiness kept things fresh. The Scalzi fans are going to be happy! I’m beginning to recognize Scalzi’s humorous touches and short and sweet closes. When I got to the end I wanted to talk to someone about the story, so I guess I’m going to have to start recommending this so I can! (I’d also love to know who catches the extra little bit of social commentary without being told first…. Yet another reason I need to go push this book on people!) There’s room in the world building for more stories in this setting. I don’t really expect one, but if there ever is a sequel I’d definitely buy it!

268 of 282 people found this review helpful

  • Where You Are

  • Between the Lines, Book 2
  • By: Tammara Webber
  • Narrated by: Kate Rudd, Todd Haberkorn
  • Length: 8 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 264
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 238
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 240

Graham Douglas doesn’t do romantic relationships, but he was knocked for a loop when he met Emma Pierce on the set of his last film. As they grew closer, he did everything in his power to keep from falling for a girl being pursued by superstar Reid Alexander. Now home in New York, his life is once again under control, until Emma appears and shows him how not over her he is.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • YES PLEASE!

  • By Bee on 12-18-12

Second verse, as good as the first

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

Reviewed: 08-08-14

As good as the first! And hurray, we get to hear part of the story from Graham’s point of view too! He was a favorite of mine from the first book and I was so glad he didn’t fade into the background. This time the POV alternates among Reid, Emma, Graham, and Brooke, with the same great narrators from before sharing out the reading time.

Now that filming as wrapped, our newly disbanded acting troupe spends this book trying to figure out what to do next, both professionally and romantically. You can expect plenty more soap opera worthy hijinks, and in some ways these are more blatant this time around. I spent a lot of time looking forward to what I hoped would be quite a comeuppance for dirtier players in these soap opera schemes! And the love story that balances things out is wonderfully sweet. (Did I mention I love Graham? Oh wait, yes. Yes I did.)

If you enjoyed the first book you’ll be happy with this one too. It’s the third book in the series that I’ve heard raves about so I’m doubly happy to continue on with this series!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Between the Lines

  • Between the Lines, Book 1
  • By: Tammara Webber
  • Narrated by: Kate Rudd, Todd Haberkorn
  • Length: 8 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 330
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 298
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 299

When Hollywood It Boy Reid Alexander arrives on location to shoot his next movie, his goals are the same as always: film another blockbuster hit, and enjoy his celebrity status to the fullest while doing so. His costar is a virtual unknown with whom he had blazing hot chemistry during her auditions. The universe is lining up nicely to grant whatever he wants, as usual, until he’s confronted with unexpected obstacles on location - like a bitter ex-girlfriend and a rival for the first girl to spark his genuine interest in years.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • This is a teen romance

  • By Sara on 12-13-12

YA Soap Opera on Set

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

Reviewed: 07-14-14

This is an older teen soap opera on a movie set, and must have been just what I was in the mood for because I gobbled it up over the weekend. And I do mean *soap opera*, and in a good way. That’s pretty much all you need to know to tell whether or not you’re in the mood for this book. I’m very glad the series isn’t over and these kids have a lot more life to live – I’m downloading the next book as I type, feeling confident that it’ll be as fun and juicy as this one!

There are two main characters, Reid and Emma, and the story flips back and forth between them. Emma was my favorite of the two, so I’m hoping we’ll hear more from her in the next book but haven’t wanted to peek ahead to see yet. Reid in particular has a lot more growing up to do, which I’m guessing he continues to do as the series moves along. This book served to show us more of his starting point in that journey than his finish line, but with (at least) three books more to come that’s to be expected. So don't go in expecting a standard quick romance novel set-up, where you know exactly who ends up with whom from the beginning and you see the expected HEA within 8 hours. Seriously, soap opera!

This is the second book I’ve read by this author and I love the way she writes. She conveys description and character insight without clogging the story. The narrators did a great job too, and you could tell they came in completely prepared. If you’re in the mood for a well-written YA soap of a story, I’d recommend this one! And at the current price it’s a total steal!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Allegiant

  • Divergent Trilogy, Book 3
  • By: Veronica Roth
  • Narrated by: Emma Galvin, Aaron Stanford
  • Length: 11 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 18,540
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16,674
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 16,786

What if your whole world was a lie? What if a single revelation - like a single choice - changed everything? What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected? The explosive conclusion to Veronica Roth's #1 New York Times best-selling Divergent trilogy reveals the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of listeners in Divergent and Insurgent.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • What a let down!

  • By Judy on 11-05-13

Avoid all the reviews! Spoilers abound!

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

Reviewed: 12-15-13

(So naturally here I am writing one. But don't worry, this will be completely spoiler-free!)

I’ve been struggling with the best way to review Allegiant. I think the best way is discuss it as lightly as possible.

AVOID ALL THE REVIEWS! Spoilers would ruin the story, and this is one of those books where everyone will be tempted to spill the beans! Seriously, if you’ve gotten this far you already know if you want to continue, so close your eyes and put in your earphones and go for it.

Now, without giving anything away, I’ll say these few things. The first book in the series showed us Tris’s view of the world through a very close lens. The second book still showed the world through Tris’s eyes, but expanded the focus outward – her world expanded a bit. This third book shows us the broadest view yet. The camera lens has gone wide focus, and part of that includes showing us the world through Tobias’s eyes. Tris and Tobias take turns relating the story to the readers, giving us their inner thoughts and impressions along the way, which is why there are two narrators this time around. It’s very well done. I loved hearing more from Tobias, and seeing how Tris and Tobias try to embrace their chosen values from different directions.

If you avoid reading anything in advance you’ll have no idea where this book is going. You may think you do at several points along the way, but the road to the end result takes a few dramatic turns. I can see why the reviews are so very mixed. My own opinions on the way things ended up are…divergent. I can see several sides but don’t want to risk saying more than that.

Overall, this was very good, not quite great, and never the least bit boring. Left me a little bit stunned. The narration was excellent, and if you’ve read the previous books than you already know if you want to read this too. Now close your eyes and run away from the vast sea of potential spoilers!

2 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Troubled Waters

  • Elemental Blessings, Book 1
  • By: Sharon Shinn
  • Narrated by: Jennifer Van Dyck
  • Length: 13 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 897
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 706
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 715

Zoe Ardelay receives astonishing and unwelcome news: she has been chosen to become the king's fifth wife. Forced to go to the royal city, she manages to slip away and hide on the shores of the mighty river. It's there that Zoe realizes she is a coru prime, ruled by the elemental sign of water. She must return to the palace, not as an unwilling bride for the king, but a woman with power in her own right.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Magical Fantasy

  • By Ruth on 07-11-12

Gentle, easy fantasy

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

Reviewed: 11-08-13

Sharon Shinn is a lovely writer, and I’ve been fond of Jennifer Van Dyck’s narrations since I first heard her read. Buying this book was an easy decision!

The world-building was excellent, and I especially liked the magical elements. Each person has a special affiliation to a magical element, as well as three magical “random blessing” tokens given at birth. It gave a unique flavor to a storyline where several strong families have a lot of political pull along with the king. Fans of the author might see this as a nod to the Twelve Houses series taken in an entirely new direction.

The first half of the book had a lot of traveling around, learning all there is to learn about a new place, and then moving along and starting over. I find that can get dull, so I was glad when Zoe finally found her real place in the story about midway through and the plot picked up. The move from vagabond to high court was a big plus.

There’s a strong young adult feeling to this storyline even though Zoe is one of the few young adults. It’s not so much the characters themselves, but more the way big life changes and magical powers occasionally bloom forth and are accepted by everyone. There are a lot of nice, gentle people who look out for one another. Horrible things are more likely to happen in faraway places. Magic can save the day.

The book ends very solidly, but it looks like a follow-up book has just been published. Ah, now all that world-building makes more sense! But this could easily be read as a stand-alone book if you don’t want to commit to a series. I was very surprised to see one reviewer call this book a cliff-hanger. All the main conflicts get resolved, so don’t be worried if series aren’t your thing.

Overall this was a relaxing, easy listen, nicely written and well narrated. Not Shinn’s best, but a pleasing little fantasy story (once it got going), and I’ll be getting the follow-up book. But then, series are my thing. ;)

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Love Unrehearsed

  • The Love Series, Book 2
  • By: Tina Reber
  • Narrated by: Madeleine Maby
  • Length: 14 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 738
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 678
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 681

When A-list movie star Ryan Christensen ducked into her pub to escape his screaming fans, never in a million years did Taryn Mitchell think her life was about to change forever. But now, eight months later, after a whirlwind romance, Taryn wakes up in Ryan’s Hollywood hotel room to find a diamond to die for on her left ring finger - and her face splashed across the cover of every gossip magazine. Ryan’s very public proposal is catnip to the tabloids, his management team is worried, and Taryn must figure out how a small town girl like her fits into his glittering world.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • loved it better than unscripted...

  • By laurie eller on 01-03-13

Sweet, low-key sequel

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

Reviewed: 09-29-13

I waited a few months before picking up this second book in the series, hoping for a break from the endless harping about the paparazzi which clogs up the first book. Now I can happily report the paparazzi harping is much more proportional to the plot this time around!

And I’m laughing at myself as I type that because in spite of that I still enjoy these books. The story picks up right where we left off with Taryn, Ryan and the gang. No big missing gaps of time or anything. This book might have been a touch less absorbing than the first but that’s just me splitting hairs. Maybe it’s more that Taryn and Ryan are gaining a bit more emotional stability, so it felt safe to put down the headphones without worrying that they’d fall to pieces if left untended! Overall there was less urgency in this book, both between the main characters and in the plot. I preferred the urgency in the first book and the reduced paparazzi harping in this one.

The secondary characters got a lot of air time which added a lot to the storyline. In fact, I’ve heard a rumor that the next book in the series is going to switch around some of the main and secondary characters, and after liking several of them so much in this book that sounds like a great idea! It’s going to be called Love Unguarded, which makes the rumor that Mike will be one of the characters in the spotlight (sorry, couldn’t resist the pun!) sound even more likely. No set date yet, but from what I’ve heard it won’t be out until sometime in 2014.

Anyway, if you liked the first book there’s a good chance you’ll like this one too. These books aren’t deep and they’re not going to change your world, but they’re a good fit when you’re in the mood for a sweet, sappy, easy romance. Nothing fast-moving, no nail-biting, just slow, easy sap with a slightly different backdrop. And a great narrator! So if you were on the fence about liking the first book and were hoping for a big sweeping change… Nope, this book’s not for you.