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Lady Carmichael

California
  • 12
  • reviews
  • 2
  • helpful votes
  • 52
  • ratings
  • Alien III

  • An Audible Original Drama
  • By: William Gibson
  • Narrated by: Tom Alexander, Barbara Barnes, Michael Biehn, and others
  • Length: 2 hrs and 16 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 12,179
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,260
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 11,217

Father of cyberpunk William Gibson’s original script for Alien III, written in 1987 as a sequel to Aliens, never made it to our screens, although it went on to achieve cult status among fans as the third instalment that might have been after being leaked online. This terrifying, cinematic multicast dramatisation - directed by the multi-award-winning Dirk Maggs - is the chance to experience William Gibson’s untold story and its terrifying, claustrophobic and dark encounters between humans and aliens, as a completely immersive audio experience.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Audio Dramatization of the Movie that never was

  • By Alan on 05-31-19

I suppose it's better than the actual Alien 3

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

Reviewed: 06-19-19

I really enjoy every production that Dirk Maggs is involved with: the production value is fantastic, the voice casting is great, and I am always sucked in and can't stop listening.

As for the story...I don't know. I rewatched Aliens 3 after listening to this audiobook and this story is much better. To be fair, I don't know the entire story behind this script, but when Ripley is pretty much sidelined for the entire time, then there's a big problem. I'm guessing it's because Sigourney Weaver was ambivalent about being in a third Alien movie at the time, but it was a rather glaring problem. That being said, I liked some of the new elements brought to the story like the Union of Progressive People and their attempts to snag the alien for their own uses. I think if this movie had been made at the time, it would have been an okay pivot from the Ripley-centric stories. Hard to say if it would have been the Halloween III of the franchise with an immediate return to Ripley in the next movie, but at least all of our favorite characters made it out of this one alive!

  • The Whispered Word

  • By: Ellery Adams
  • Narrated by: Cris Dukehart
  • Length: 8 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 378
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 350
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 348

Nora Pennington, the owner of Miracle Books, believes that a well-chosen novel can bring healing and hope. But she and the rest of the members of the Secret, Book, and Scone Society know that, sometimes, practical help is needed, too. Such is the case with the reed-thin girl hiding in the fiction section of Nora's store, wearing a hospital ID and a patchwork of faded bruises. She calls herself Abilene, and, although Nora and her friends offer work, shelter, and a supportive ear, their guest isn't ready to divulge her secrets.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • OMG! NOW WHAT DO I DO?

  • By Anonymous User on 11-09-18

Just as wonderful & cozy as the first book!

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

Reviewed: 01-07-19

There is something so warm and cozy about knowing what to expect from a book. Cozy mysteries are by no means something I read all the time, but I really enjoyed the first book in this series. And this sequel did not disappoint. The heavy focus on books (and the book title dropping!) is something I love about this series. And although it seemed like we learned all about the secrets of the Secret, Book, & Scone Society in the last book, there were still secrets to be learned about them and situations that brought out sensitive spots. What I really appreciate is that although there are dips into some romance tropes (an almost-love triangle, wondering if the other person is just working through their own damage through you) and even drama tropes (misunderstandings, dramatic walk-outs), the story doesn't run with them. The focus always remains the central mystery and the close friendships of the Secret, Book, & Scone Society. Don't get me wrong: I love romance novels and even dramas. But it's a sign of a great writer (and editor) to read a book where the story and tone remain so clear even while expanding the characters' horizons.

The mystery got a little complicated, but more in an intriguing way, like I couldn't figure out how the pieces were all connected and was eager to find out how they were connected. And the solution was satisfying because even though I didn't figure it out ahead of time, it still made sense. Honestly, though, I don't spend a lot of time trying to figure out the whodunnit with these books; I just enjoy the reading experience and let it all unfold, which is a nice change from other books where I'm spending a lot of energy just trying to figure it all out. Both are good experiences, but sometimes you just want to enjoy the warm scone and not try to figure out what's in it, you know?

I also have to say I'm sold on the audiobook editions. Cris Dukehart is a pretty great narrator. I originally bought the audiobook of the first book when it was on sale on Audible and now I feel like audiobook is the best format for this book. Dukehart does a good job differentiating voices, especially of the Secret, Book, & Scone Society members. And she keeps up a good pace when it gets to the thriller-like scenes too. I'll definitely keep reading this series and definitely on audiobook!

  • The Secret, Book & Scone Society

  • By: Ellery Adams
  • Narrated by: Cris Dukehart
  • Length: 8 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,289
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 2,963
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,967

Miracle Springs is a place of healing. Strangers flock there hoping that the natural hot springs, five-star cuisine, and renowned spa can cure their ills. And, if none of that works, they often find their way to Miracle Books, where, over a fresh-baked scone from the Gingerbread House bakery, they exchange their stories with owner Nora Pennington in return for a carefully chosen book. That's Nora's special talent: prescribing the perfect novel to ease a person's deepest pain and lighten their heaviest burden.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Pretty good

  • By Beatrice on 11-04-17

A pleasant surprise

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

Reviewed: 08-06-18

I bought this when it was an Audible daily deal and it was certainly worth it. I don’t read a lot of cozy mysteries but I very much enjoyed this one. I’m a sucker for characters who are librarians or booksellers as well as bakers...so this was right up my alley! And the themes of healing and trust might have been too much in other circumstances but at the moment I found it appealing to have so many characters move to Miracle Springs in search of healing. The mystery itself was pretty good; it wasn’t completely obvious from the start whodunnit but it also wasn’t impossible to have figured out on your own. Ultimately like many good mysteries, it was more about the characters than the mystery.

I would say if you like cozy mysteries, this will be right up your alley. And if you think cozy mysteries might be too saccharine for you, this is not too sweet to give a try. I’ll definitely try more books by the author and in this series.

  • Wanderlust

  • By: Lauren Blakely
  • Narrated by: Richard Armitage, Grace Grant
  • Length: 8 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,386
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,200
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,195

They say Paris is always a good idea.... You know what I say? Paris would be a much better idea if I spoke the dang language. I can't even board the metro to visit the Louvre without ending up at the Moulin Rouge, and let's not even mention how I'll ever make it through a day at my new office. Fortunately my company hooks me up with my own personal translator. Ooh la la. Or should I say bloody hell? Because he's charming, witty, and British, and he brings the city to life for me.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • ✫✫ 5 Stars ✫✫ Romantic with great narration!

  • By Cyndi Marie on 02-06-18

This is one I will listen to again and again

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

Reviewed: 08-06-18

** spoiler alert ** I truly enjoyed this audiobook but I suspect much of it really works because the audiobook is so good. Specifically Richard Armitage reading incredibly hot sex scenes and speaking French. Ooh la la! The story itself isn’t bad; a woman moves to Paris after a bad breakup to work on fragrances and she needs a translator to help her with the tricky French words to communicate with her colleagues. Said translator is hot, British, and working through his grief at losing his brother by completing a “bucket list” created by his brother. All of the elements of a good story are there. And what is keeping the heroine and hero from having their happily ever after is a somewhat understandable obstacle: the hero is going to Indonesia to run a marathon as part of the bucket list and he doesn’t think he’ll be coming back to Paris. Yeah, okay, I get going to Indonesia and the titular wanderlust but I just didn’t quite believe why Griffin had to stay in Indonesia indefinitely. “Because dead brother” seemed to be the answer. And then there was the somewhat maddening circle in which both characters wanted to ask the other to stay or come with them but they didn’t. Argh! I hate that trope where it could just be solved by a conversation. I’m oversimplifying but it’s a pet peeve of mine when both characters are thinking the same thing but just don’t use their words.

Now I will be honest: I’m going to listen to this again. And probably buy it too. Because it is so much French catnip and Richard Armitage sounds sexy and the sex scenes are great. I just feel like I wouldn’t have enjoyed it half as much in the print version and there was just something about the execution of the story and characters that just didn’t deliver all that the premise promised.

  • Bleak Expectations

  • The Complete BBC Radio 4 Series
  • By: Mark Evans
  • Narrated by: Anthony Head, Celia Imrie, David Mitchell, and others
  • Length: 14 hrs and 33 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 21
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20

The complete collected series 1-5 of the gloriously daft Victorian romp Bleak Expectations. Gasp at the evil Mr Gently Benevolent, played by Mr Anthony Head! Weep at the trials of our young hero, Pip Bin, played by Master Tom Allen! Be moved to joy and sorrow by the remarkable narration of Mr Richard Johnson! Swoon at the fragile beauty of Pip's poor mama, played by Miss Celia Imrie! Wonder at the thespian prowess of Mr Geoffrey Whitehead as six different siblings!

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 😂😂😂😂😂

  • By Mark on 03-25-18

Utterly delightful and so very fun

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

Reviewed: 08-06-18

I am a fan of Charles Dickens and this parody/satire seemed right up my alley. And it was! This is so different from the "typical" British comedy which is funny but not laugh out loud funny. Bleak Expectations is laugh out loud funny. Some of the jokes are incredibly witty and clever...and some of them are just the most obvious puns. But honestly, I didn't even care because 1) I love puns and 2) it had earned my delight long before that. The story just gets more and more ridiculous as it goes on (there is an alien invasion at one point) and somewhat repetitive since it's pretty much always the same bad guy who just doesn't seem to be able to stay dead. But again, honestly I didn't care because I just enjoyed the ride. The performances were really great; I've loved Anthony Head since Buffy the Vampire Slayer and he is just phenomenal at voice acting here.

Some small technical notations: I was frustrated that each episode of the series is not a separate chapter so it would be really difficult to jump to a specific episode. The last series seems to be grouped into episodes as chapters but the others are not. Not sure if this is something Audible could fix, but listeners should be aware. Also, there is a technical issue with chapter 216: there is about 30 minutes of dead air after the episode ends. It doesn't appear that any episodes are missing; there's just a few minutes you have to fast forward through to get to the next episode.

Overall, very highly recommended if you have any affection for Charles Dickens or ridiculous comedies. This series was a bright spot during a difficult time and I will absolutely listen to it over and over again.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Alien: Out of the Shadows

  • An Audible Original Drama
  • By: Tim Lebbon, Dirk Maggs
  • Narrated by: Rutger Hauer, Corey Johnson, Matthew Lewis, and others
  • Length: 4 hrs and 28 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 27,230
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 25,333
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 25,264

As a child, Chris Hooper dreamed of monsters. But in deep space, he found only darkness and isolation. Then, on planet LV178, he and his fellow miners discovered a storm-scoured, sand-blasted hell - and trimonite, the hardest material known to man. When a shuttle crashes into the mining ship Marion, the miners learn that there was more than trimonite deep in the caverns. There was evil, hibernating and waiting for suitable prey.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • a work that I highly recommend

  • By AudioBook Reviewer on 05-02-16

Fantastic performance of mediocre story

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

Reviewed: 05-12-18

This production was really great: all of the performances were fantastic and I love the atmosphere created by the sound effects and music. Laurel Lefkow is a great Ripley.

As for the story...well did you ever wish that the events of Aliens happened to the crew in Alien? With a side of Prometheus? You’re in luck! That’s what this story is. It’s not a bad story per se, it just completely undercuts the entire story in Aliens by having Ripley meet an Alien queen. She also seems to be more of an expert on the aliens than she is in Aliens. And then this story undercuts itself by wiping Ripley’s memory of this whole book. And then Ash the Android is a secondary villain, filing endless reports that will never be sent and essentially repeat the same information over and over. Dude, I get it! You uploaded yourself into the computer and you can control any connected computer system...I heard you the first fifty times. That all being said, the story does get scary and tense at times. I think much of that is down to the performances but I racked on another star because it may be a rehash Alien story but it’s a good Alien story.

I think you can skip this one. Listen to the River of Pain book instead which is about the doomed colony on LV-426. You still kind of know what is going to happen (I.e., everyone dies) but it’s actually got a plot and interesting characters in addition to the scary moments.

  • Alien: River of Pain

  • An Audible Original Drama
  • By: Christopher Golden, Dirk Maggs
  • Narrated by: Anna Friel, Philip Glenister, Colin Salmon, and others
  • Length: 4 hrs and 52 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,076
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,761
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,743

Ellen Ripley finally returns to Earth, only to discover that LV-426 — where the crew of the Nostromo first came into contact with the deadly xenomorphs — has been renamed Acheron. Protected by Colonial Marines, the colonists seek to terraform the storm-swept planet against all the odds. But in the face of brutal living conditions and the daily struggles of a new world, there is humanity and hope.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Please make more of these! These are excellent!

  • By Brian on 04-28-17

Excellent performances, story is okay

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

Reviewed: 04-17-18

Full disclosure: this is the first Alien book I've read, although I have seen all of the movies. I picked this one up as part of an Audible sale.

I enjoyed this production quite a bit. The story managed to provide a lot of dramatic tension even when I knew what the outcome was going to be for most of the characters. The cast was really great; I enjoyed the performances a lot. It wasn't too hard to track all of the characters owing to the great performances and the characters greeting each other by name frequently. Where I found some difficulty is with visualizing the layout of the colony. I've seen Aliens a bunch of times, but I felt like I needed a schematic. Sometimes the story would mention a location and I knew I was supposed to put 2 and 2 together to realize something (e.g., aliens were near there or something) but I just couldn't keep it all straight in my head. I missed having the written descriptions along with the dialogue in this respect.

Overall, I liked the story too. It was super scary and tense at times, plus I found myself doing extra chores just to keep listening to the story. I definitely got a similar feeling to when I'm watching the movies (and I totally re-watched Aliens again after listening to this!). And based on the ending, I'm definitely interested in seeing how the survivors' story continues. And I'm definitely interested in reading other stories in the series and in the Alien canon. Not sure I would buy another one unless it was on sale; I can see myself listening to this one again, but I don't know that I would say it's good enough to buy at full price.

  • Still the One

  • Animal Magnetism, Book 6
  • By: Jill Shalvis
  • Narrated by: Karen White
  • Length: 9 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 283
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 258
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 260

Darcy Stone is game for anything - except sexy navy vet and physical therapist AJ Colten, the guy who'd rejected her when she'd needed him most. Now the shoe is on the other foot, and he needs her to play nice and help him secure grants for his patients. She needs the money to fund her passion project: rescuing S&R dogs and placing them with emotionally wounded soldiers.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • amazing

  • By Tina Ratttay-Green on 02-14-18

Would have been four stars except for the ending

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

Reviewed: 01-10-18

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Maybe? It was recommended by a romance blog I follow and I liked it (and will definitely read more by the author) but I was annoyed by some of the tropes used at the end. I think I would say it's not worth an Audible credit but if you have the Romance package like I do (or your library has it), it's worth listening to.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

Miscommunication as a trope is a difficult one to do well. Usually it just makes the characters seem like idiots. And unfortunately this trope was used several times. I get where Darcy's abandonment issues played into her seeming determination to willfully misinterpret A.J. But I can't stand when a character says they don't understand what they did wrong and the other character says "you know what you did!" UGH. No, clearly if someone is asking what they did wrong, they don't know and they want to know so they can explain or make things right. Darcy's refusal to tell A.J. what was wrong when he asked, coupled with the disastrously stupid decision she made after overhearing part of a conversation (and misinterpreting it!) almost moved Darcy into TSTL (too stupid to live) territory. I get how it set up the ending, but I just wish there had been a way to get there without Darcy having to be quite so stupid.

Which scene was your favorite?

Oh the sex scenes were quite hot.

What would have made this romance irresistible?

Not relying on the miscommunication/misinterpretation trope quite so heavily.

Any additional comments?

The humor and dialogue was delightful. That is in large part due to the narrator who was PERFECT. She did a good job even with differentiating the male characters and it's often tough for narrators to do multiple voices for the opposite sex. She even did a good job of differentiating what the characters were thinking rather than saying. She is so good that she's on my list of narrators to search out.

  • Dark Road to Darjeeling

  • By: Deanna Raybourn
  • Narrated by: Ellen Archer
  • Length: 11 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 955
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 780
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 783

Lady Julia Grey travels through India, accompanied by her sister, Portia, her brother, Plum, and occasionally her husband - Brisbane. Along the way, Portia becomes convinced of a murder, and all four are pulled into the dark underbelly of 19th-century India....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I love this series!

  • By Nereida on 10-23-10

This series continues to be wonderful

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

Reviewed: 01-04-18

Where does Dark Road to Darjeeling rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Very good! Deanna Raybourn is a favorite author of mine and Ellen Archer is a wonderful narrator. I don't think this is my favorite book in the Julia Grey series, but I did appreciate that Raybourn was trying to break a few of her molds for the series, starting with the title. Some of the story beats did feel overly familiar (Julia is NEVER right the first time about anything), but the characters are so likable that I didn't mind too much.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Dark Road to Darjeeling?

I don't want to say because it's a huge spoiler.

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

Ellen Archer is a fantastic narrator. She continues to amaze me with her abilities to differentiate characters, even with different accents. She is better with female characters (her Portia is a delight), but even among the male characters she has tiny touches that are lovely (Brisbane's very slight Scottish accent is great). Sometimes her Indian characters sound very similar (as the Roma characters did in the previous book) but fortunately the story is done well enough that it's easy to figure out who is talking. This entire series is made better by her excellent narration.

However, I am a little wary of trying her with other books only because I so associate her with Julia Grey that I worry that I've typecast her in my mind. Nevertheless, an audiobook would move to the top of my list if she was narrating it and I do want to try other books she has narrated.

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

SPOILERS At the end, YES. It feels like Raybourn doesn't want to ruin Julia's happy ending, so she ruins Portia's. I felt so bad for Portia. It's not like I wanted Brisbane to die and that would have been even worse. But Portia seems to be the current punching bag; Jane left her instead of Brisbane leaving Julia in a previous book and now Jane died instead of Brisbane dying. I have no doubt Portia will excel at motherhood and hopefully will find love again, but it does aggravate me a little that Raybourn is torturing secondary characters to avoid having to do the same for her heroine and hero.

Any additional comments?

This whole series is not only readable but re-readable. I own several in the series and am just waiting for others to go on sale so I can add them to my forever library.

  • Mistletoe Magic

  • By: Melissa McClone
  • Narrated by: Loretta Rawlins
  • Length: 1 hr and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 48
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 46
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 46

Spending a quiet Christmas housesitting and reading novels about hot cowboys sounds perfect to Caitlin--until a stray kitten brings her face to face with Noah, her crush from college. Watching the handsome vet in action melts Caitlin's heart and brings back long-forgotten emotion. She would be safer back at the house lost in the pages of a book. But a toe-curling mistletoe kiss tempts her to stay. Maybe she won't be spending this Christmas alone.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Tale of Second Chances at Love

  • By Sara on 12-08-18

A sweet little Christmas story

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

Reviewed: 01-04-18

What did you like best about Mistletoe Magic? What did you like least?

Having just listened to several lengthy audiobooks, I wanted a short and sweet Christmas story. Who could resist a Christmas story about a woman who saves an adorable kitten (that she names Mistletoe) and ends up reconnecting with the vet who broke her heart years ago? It was exactly what I wanted at the time.

Novellas and short stories in romance are tricky beasts because you don't get a lot of time to set up the romance and the characters. The "second chance" trope is an easy way around that. In this case, the hero thinks of the heroine as "the one who got away" and almost immediately starts letting her know he wants to rekindle their relationship. So the "tension" is just the heroine almost deliberately misinterpreting his interest for some vague fear that he's not saying he wants to try their relationship again; he's just saying he'd like to be friends now that they've reconnected. It didn't bother me much since it wasn't as melodramatic or overdone (i.e., the lady doth protest too much) as some romances I've read. But having read some really stellar novellas/short stories, I know this could have been done better.

Would you be willing to try another book from Melissa McClone? Why or why not?

Absolutely! There is a time and a place for sweet Christmas romances and I very much appreciated that neither character was overcoming serious doubts or reservations and neither lost their agency or changed who they were to be with the other. I hope her other books are just as good!

Would you listen to another book narrated by Loretta Rawlins?

Yes. I wasn't sure about her at first, but she grew on me. I think she might struggle with multiple male characters in a book, but she was okay for this story which didn't feature multiple male characters in a single scene.

Could you see Mistletoe Magic being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

Actually...I would kind of like that. It would definitely be a Hallmark movie and would need to be fleshed out story-wise since it's so short, but I can see it. Although I'm sure there is probably already a Hallmark movie about a sick kitten bringing two people together at Christmas.

Any additional comments?

Know what you're getting into and you'll enjoy this book!