LISTENER

Ms. Louise H. Harvey

Brisbane, Australia
  • 16
  • reviews
  • 26
  • helpful votes
  • 202
  • ratings
  • The Tudor Mystery Trials Box Set: The Tudor Heresy, A Queen's Spy and A Queen's Traitor - Medieval Historical Fiction

  • By: Sam Burnell
  • Narrated by: Alex Lancer
  • Length: 21 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 59
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 59
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 58

As Tudor, England erupts following the death of Edward VI, can one young spy protect his queen? International best-selling author Sam Burnell takes us deep into the treacherous world of powerful monarchs, intrigue, murder, and treason with this magnificent new epic, A Queen’s Spy. In 1553, England is torn apart by religious conflict. Power in England shifts precariously between Catholics and Protestants, royalty and commoners clash, testing friendship, loyalty, and brotherly love. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Good Box set

  • By Kamal Hassan on 07-26-18

Not as good as expected

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

Reviewed: 09-29-18

When I first read through all the reviews on this book, they were ALL five stars. So I bought the book based on that. Now I am very suspicious about all those five star reviews...this in not a five star book IMO. It was just OK. my issues included the narration - a strangely androgynous voice that didn’t change much from character to character, and mostly delivered through ‘gritted teeth ‘ is the only way I can put it, as though everyone was always on the verge of losing control and thumping the person in front of them, always angry. Dunno, maybe they all WERE always angry, I mean no one seemed to be in a very good temper most of the time and no one was really likeable either. The other thing that irked me about the narration was the mangling of pronunciation in really weird ways e.g. I’ve never heard anyone pronounce ‘pursuade’ as ‘per SOO ade’ before! That’s just one example of many oddities - ‘trough’ pronounced ‘truff’ is another. It’s not a huge deal I know, but enough for me to roll my eyes and dislike the book further every time it happened. And the ending...not sure if it WAS an ending. I didn’t enjoy the story much either, it wasn’t gripping but I pushed through to see what happened and apart from a couple of parts I pretty much found it very meh. Nope, this is not a five star book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Ascension

  • The Trysmoon Saga, Book 1
  • By: Brian K. Fuller
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 11 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 915
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 853
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 849

Gen was a bard's apprentice, his nimble hands meant for the lute and his voice for a song. Then the half-mad and completely bored Shadan Khairn invaded Gen's village to winter there and start a war. He shoved a sword in Gen's hands and tormented his body, shaping a bard into a warrior to be killed for sport. As the days of torture pile up like the snow, Gen searches for death. But the day is at hand when the shattered shards of the world will knit together again, and the world's slain god will be reborn.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good fantasy series

  • By Skipper on 09-08-15

Unrelentingly grim, violent and misogynistic

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

Reviewed: 04-29-18

What did you like best about Ascension? What did you like least?

I’m sorry, but am I the only person who finds the themes in this book disturbing? The women in this book are treated with utter disdain, which is NOT OK. The violence is frequent and gratuitous, and most of the characters have no redeeming features. The whole thing left me feeling like I needed a shower. Not my fare at all, and the fact that it seems to appeal to so many other readers is possibly the most disturbing thing of all.

  • Pandemic

  • The Extinction Files, Book 1
  • By: A. G. Riddle
  • Narrated by: Edoardo Ballerini
  • Length: 18 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,127
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,717
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 4,704

In Atlanta, Dr. Peyton Shaw is awakened by the phone call she has dreaded for years. As the CDC's leading epidemiologist, she's among the first responders to outbreaks around the world. It's a lonely and dangerous job, but it's her life - and she's good at it. This time she may have met her match. In Kenya, an Ebola-like pathogen has infected two Americans. One lies at death's door. With the clock ticking, Peyton assembles her team and joins personnel from the Kenyan Ministry of Health and the WHO.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Read this before buying, too much hype

  • By Bradley on 06-23-17

Boring and dragged out

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

Reviewed: 06-26-17

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

A story

Would you ever listen to anything by A. G. Riddle again?

Nope

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Narrator was the only redeeming part

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointment - there was so much hype about the book

23 of 27 people found this review helpful

  • Icarus

  • Benny Griessel, Book 5
  • By: Deon Meyer
  • Narrated by: Saul Reichlin
  • Length: 13 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 30
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 27
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 27

A gripping new Benny Griessel thriller from one of the world's finest crime writers. When Captain Benny Griessel is called in to investigate a multiple homicide, it pushes him close to his breaking point. A former friend and detective colleague has shot his wife and two daughters then killed himself. Benny wants out - out of his job, his home, and his relationship with his singer girlfriend, Alexa. He moves into a hotel and starts drinking again.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Gripping storyline, excellently narrated

  • By Tarryn on 04-23-17

Saul Reichlin is THE best narrator for this series

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

Reviewed: 03-11-17

What did you love best about Icarus?

Those South African accents and expressions, which are SO successfully performed by Saul Reichlin. He brings the characters to life, even larger than life. He brings the unique languages to life.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I don't have a favourite, I find myself equally attached to all of them, I guess because deon Meyer fleshes them each out with unique characteristics that help you to understand and imagine them, and to connect with them too. Meyer is very good at this indeed.

Which character – as performed by Saul Reichlin – was your favorite?

I don't have a favourite, and Reichlin is very good at giving all the characters a unique sound, so you never get confused about who's talking.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Not an extreme reaction, but a constant appreciation for how well it was written and narrated. I've listened to the entire series and they're all fantastic when Reichlin narrates.

Any additional comments?

It's clear that Meyer does a lot of research when he writes his books. I always learn something, and you never get the sense that he's just making up convenient details. It all feels legit. And he provides wonderfully rich details about a characters quirks and strengths and weaknesses and other detail about them without waffling on with unnecessary and boring information. It's always entertaining.

  • Cold Cold Heart

  • By: Tami Hoag
  • Narrated by: Julia Whelan
  • Length: 12 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,816
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,406
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,393

Dana Nolan was a promising young TV reporter until she was kidnapped by a notorious serial killer. A year has passed since she defeated her attacker, but Dana is still physically, emotionally, and psychologically scarred by her ordeal, with aftereffects including PTSD and memory loss. In an attempt to put herself back together after surviving the unthinkable, Dana returns to her hometown. But it doesn't provide the comfort she expects.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • First Tami Hoag book I've had

  • By April on 01-27-15

Hours of unlikeable people arguing with each other

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

Reviewed: 03-03-17

I could not get through this book. I did not find it engaging in the least, nor did I like any of the characters enough to stay the distance. All they seemed to do was argue and bicker at each other. Very very tedious indeed.

  • The Dark Mirror

  • Bridei Trilogy #1
  • By: Juliet Marillier
  • Narrated by: Michael Page
  • Length: 24 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 627
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 509
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 516

One bitter Midwinter's Eve, everything changes when Bridei finds a child on their doorstep - a child abandoned by the Fair Folk. It is the height of ill fortune to have truck with the Fair Folk, and all in the area counsel the babe's death. But Bridei sees an old and precious magic at work and, heedless of the danger, fights to save the child. Broichan is wary but relents, for Bridei must grow to be his own man and make his own decisions.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great

  • By Curtis on 08-12-13

Strong female characters and mature writing

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

Reviewed: 03-02-17

Would you listen to The Dark Mirror again? Why?

I DID listen to it again, in fact I listened to the whole trilogy twice. But I also listened to the whole Blackthorn and Grim trilogy (by Juliet Marillier) twice and can definitely say that Blackthorn and Grim is 5 stars and this trilogy, although good - is 4 stars. The main reason for that is the narrator, who in this Bridei trilogy just can't compare to the multiple narrators in Blackthorn and Grim. Also, there were times where the dialogue seemed to drag in this book..the political machinations of Bridei's court bored me and god I just wanted to punch the druid Broichan (or however the hell you spell it, OR say it, because THAT changes after book 1) in the face for being such an ass. But hey, stay the distance to book 3 and you'll find yourself warming up to the Druid. But the things I enjoyed the most was the growth and strength of the protagonist Tuala, who endures much and grows through it. And although this trilogy is set in a dark ages period which is so inherently masoginistic, the female characters are allowed to display strength and (justly) win respect, so they still come across as strong. I love fantasy but don't love fluffy YA, so I enjoyed the mature writing style displayed here.

Which character – as performed by Michael Page – was your favorite?

The narrator did a pretty good job of all the characters, lending most of them with a distinctiveness that helped the listener to easily distinguish between all of them. The only problem I had was that the narrator infused many of the voices with a gravelly, growling tone that made them seem much older than they should be. This was even more noticeable in the second and third books. Bridei is in his early twenties but sounded WAY older, which was distracting.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No, rather savoured over a longer period, then listened to again to pick up details missed in the first listen

Any additional comments?

Overall an enjoyable book, but I enjoyed books 2 and 3 more because I was more invested in the characters by then.

  • Den of Wolves

  • Blackthorn & Grim, Book 3
  • By: Juliet Marillier
  • Narrated by: Natalie Gold, Nick Sullivan, Scott Aiello, and others
  • Length: 16 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 1,070
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,007
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,005

Healer Blackthorn knows all too well the rules of her bond to the fey: seek no vengeance, help any who ask, do only good. But after the recent ordeal she and her companion, Grim, have suffered, she knows she cannot let go of her quest to bring justice to the man who ruined her life.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Third Time's The Charm

  • By Jan on 11-05-16

I need more Blackthorn and Grim!

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

Reviewed: 02-05-17

Would you listen to Den of Wolves again? Why?

I am so sad that this is the last Blackthorn and Grim book - I need more! I've already listened to it twice - the same with the first two books too.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I love Blackthorn and Grim both equally, and this time, there's a dog to love too!

Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

They are all great. I've raved about the narrators in my reviews on the books 1 and 2 in the series and it's great that they're back for this last one. I couldn't stand it if they changed one of them!

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

My extreme reaction was when I finished the book, because it sunk in that there are no more books in the series! So I read all three again.

Any additional comments?

As other reviewers have mentioned, the relationship between Blackthorn and Grim is platonic, which is so refreshing to see. The bond between them is unbreakable, and they would do anything for each other. They are damaged people, connected through their shared trauma. They support and love each other through anything and everything, and that makes me feel good!!!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Tower of Thorns

  • Blackthorn & Grim, Book 2
  • By: Juliet Marillier
  • Narrated by: Nick Sullivan, Natalie Gold, Susannah Jones
  • Length: 15 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,235
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,155
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,162

Disillusioned healer Blackthorn and her companion, Grim, have settled in Dalriada to wait out the seven years of Blackthorn's bond to her fey mentor, hoping to avoid any dire challenges. But trouble has a way of seeking out Blackthorn and Grim. Lady Geiléis, a noblewoman from the northern border, has asked for the prince of Dalriada's help in expelling a howling creature from an old tower on her land - one surrounded by an impenetrable hedge of thorns.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Much, much better than the first in the series.

  • By R. Havens on 08-25-16

can't get enough Blackthorn and Grim!

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

Reviewed: 02-05-17

Where does Tower of Thorns rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

In my top 10, along with the other two books in this series

What other book might you compare Tower of Thorns to and why?

What sets this series apart from any other book that I've read/listened to is the relationship between the two main characters. It's a beautiful, caring, loving, but platonic relationship between two very damaged people. In a way it's a love story, but not a sexual one. Their relationship grew out of their shared traumatic experience, that drew them as close as you can get. They struggle to endure the memories and emotions that torment them, and so they develop a very deep and loyal bond to each other, providing support and guardianship in a way that no other person could provide or understand.

What does the narrators bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I wish that more audio books made use of multiple narrators. The recipe here is absolutely right - each narrator injected personality and emotion into their voices that made each of the characters come alive and which felt like a perfect fit for the way that the author described them. Sometimes when you listen to a book, the voice just doesn't fit the character, or the voice is annoying in some way. With this book there are no such problems. I did think that the person who does the voice for Lady Geiléis should be working as a voice actor for Disney...it felt like I was listening to the film 'Frozen' (and I say this in a good way!). She was great - they ALL were. Thankfully, the same narrators are used for the entire series.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I listened to this book and to the other two in the series in quick succession. I got so sucked in, and invested so much of my own emotions into Blackthorn and Grim's story that I never wanted it to end. I'm tempted to listen for a third time!

Any additional comments?

All three of the Blackthorn and Grim books are equally good, all top marks. I can't imagine anyone not enjoying these books.

  • Dreamer's Pool

  • Blackthorn & Grim, Book 1
  • By: Juliet Marillier
  • Narrated by: Scott Aiello, Natalie Gold, Nick Sullivan
  • Length: 17 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,080
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,944
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,941

In exchange for help escaping her long and wrongful imprisonment, embittered magical healer Blackthorn has vowed to set aside her bid for vengeance against the man who destroyed all that she once held dear. Followed by a former prison mate, a silent hulk of a man named Grim, she travels north to Dalriada. There she'll live on the fringe of a mysterious forest, duty bound for seven years to assist anyone who asks for her help. Oran, crown prince of Dalriada, has waited anxiously for the arrival of his future bride, Lady Flidais.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Beautiful story, pretty solid narration

  • By Anya on 11-19-14

This one clicked with me

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

Reviewed: 02-05-17

What other book might you compare Dreamer's Pool to and why?

doesn't compare to anything else, not even to other Juliet Marillier books.

What does the narrators bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I loved the way that the narration was a perfect fit for the way that each character's personality was described. The narrators injected personality and emotion that really made the characters come alive for me, helping me to connect to them and to like them (or hate them where appropriate!) in the way that the author intended. If I was reading this book rather than listening to it, I don't know that I would have felt as close to these characters as I did. It helped me to understand the characters and get inside their heads and feel the emotions that they were experiencing. I wish more audio books would make use of multiple narrators. Blackthorn's forthrightness and determined nature really comes through, and so does Grim's tough, competent but vulnerable nature.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I actually listened to this book twice (and the other two books in the series too) in quick succession. That was because I didn't want the enjoyment to end. It was a book to savour, coming to it when I wanted to reward myself, and listening to it made me feel good. I think that was because I really loved the Blackthorn and Grim characters so much, and I wanted the story to unfold so that I could understand them some more, and to see them prevail and grow through difficult circumstances.

Any additional comments?

i really, really loved this book, and the other two in the series. It's really rare that I write a review or rave about books, because I am very very fussy and that means that not many get full marks from me. But I am taking the time to write a review because I don't want anyone to overlook this book. It's great. I've read a number of other books by Juliet Marillier and this series seems quite different to some of the others. It feels kind of contemporary, in the way that the characters speak and behave, and not so 'dark ages' if you know what I mean. I think that this approach allows us modern-day humans to relate to these characters more than we might if their behaviour and manner of speaking was really kind of old world. The way she's written this book, the words that she's given the characters gives us insight and empathy into their flaws, their motivations, and their dreams. These are damaged characters, physically and emotionally, something that many of us are, to some degree or another. To be privvy to their internal struggles and torment drew me closer to them and to their world in a way that not many books have ever done. Listen to this, and you will have to listen to the next two books, which you'll be happy to know are just as good and the same narrators are back with us.

  • End of Watch

  • A Novel
  • By: Stephen King
  • Narrated by: Will Patton
  • Length: 12 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20,473
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 18,776
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18,722

In Room 217 of the Lakes Region Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic, something has awakened. Something evil. Brady Hartsfield, perpetrator of the Mercedes Massacre, where eight people were killed and many more were badly injured, has been in the clinic for five years, in a vegetative state. According to his doctors, anything approaching a complete recovery is unlikely. But behind the drool and stare, Brady is awake and in possession of deadly new powers that allow him to wreak unimaginable havoc without ever leaving his hospital room.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The best of a great Trilogy

  • By Don Gilbert on 06-09-16

Everything I hoped it would be

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

Reviewed: 06-22-16

Where does End of Watch rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This is the final book of the trilogy, and probably my favourite of the three. It's definitely one of my absolute favourite audiobooks ever, and trust me - I am REALLY hard to please. Because of that I tend to favour authors and narrators whose work I enjoy, and that combo of Will Patton and Stephen King just totally works. Like some of the other comments I see from readers, I agree that I enjoy Stephen King's police procedurals and mysteries more than his horror stories, and this particular one is just SO well written in the sense that the things the characters say and think really gives the reader an insight as to who they are and what motivates them and all of it feels so natural an unforced. I just loved the characters so much - they're really interesting and funny and sad and well, it feels like I've known them and loved them for years and Will Patton just brings them even closer.

What other book might you compare End of Watch to and why?

I don't think I can compare it to books by any other author. I guess I could compare it to Joyland and Dr Sleep, also by SK.

Have you listened to any of Will Patton’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Yes, I love ALL of the books that I've purchased that are narrated by him.

Any additional comments?

I was SO looking forward to the release of this book, and I had it on preorder and was counting down the days. When it finally came, and I started listening to it, I actually re-read some of the chapters, not because I found it hard to follow but because I didn't want it to end, so I was attempting to string it out as long as I could. After finishing, I actually cried (that NEVER happens!) and I went straight back to Mr Mercedes to start the trilogy again. That sounds really pathetic, I know! This book really resonated with me.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful