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Judy

  • 34
  • reviews
  • 76
  • helpful votes
  • 103
  • ratings
  • The First Conspiracy

  • The Secret Plot Against George Washington
  • By: Brad Meltzer, Josh Mensch
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick
  • Length: 11 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,672
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,554
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,547

Taking place during the most critical period of our nation’s birth, The First Conspiracy tells a remarkable and previously untold piece of American history that not only reveals George Washington’s character, but also illuminates the origins of America’s counterintelligence movement that led to the modern day CIA. In 1776, an elite group of soldiers were handpicked to serve as George Washington’s bodyguards. Washington trusted them; relied on them. But unbeknownst to Washington, some of them were part of a treasonous plan.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliantly written and narrated!

  • By Wayne on 01-09-19

History Lite

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

Reviewed: 05-03-19

I'm all over well-researched, well-written, fact-based historical fiction (hel-LO Audible: Why aren't Gore Vidal's American historical-fiction gems - i.e. "Burr," "Lincoln," "Empire," "1876" - available as audio books?).
However, "The First Conspiracy" strikes me as a sketchy, one-off draft for a History Channel mini-series.
It's based on a tantalizing premise: members of Gen. George Washington's own elite and hand-picked "Life Guard" were key to a plot to either kidnap or kill His Excellency 1775-1776 at the behest/bribery of New York Gov. William Tryon. However, Meltzer and Mensch couch their premise in cloying Washington hagiography; chapter-to-chapter cliffhanging; telegraphing of upcoming action/conflict; and skimpy scholarship including lack of attribution: i.e. "Although available historical documents do not obviously support this supposition, etc..."
And, upping the mountain/molehill conundrum for readers/listeners, accomplished voice actor Scott Brick - who's voiced numerous earlier Meltzer fictions - presents "Conspiracy" in sustained tones of gravitas, high dudgeon, amazement and outrage.
Uh, really?
Suggestion: save your credit in the eventuality that Audible will negotiate with Vidal's estate to record and release his impressive historical-fiction catalog.
Just sayin'...

  • Nine Mil

  • By: Robert Ryan
  • Narrated by: Kevin T. Collins
  • Length: 14 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 5
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5

On a floating casino just off the New Jersey coast, two masked gunmen open fire. Their powerful Austrian machine guns shatter mirrors, crack fish tanks, and knock the grand chandelier from the ceiling. By the time the smoke clears, the men are long gone, but two clues remain: a rare weapon recovered from the swirling waters of the Atlantic and the fact that, in an inescapable barrage of bullets, nobody got shot.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Ryan Knows How It's Done

  • By Judy on 03-30-19

Ryan Knows How It's Done

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

Reviewed: 03-30-19

Be patient and see it through - well worth the effort. Characters' relationships - curious, toxic and otherwise..but mostly toxic - twine back through years. Doesn't do AC specifically or the Garden State in general any favors, but WTH. Brief violence brutal and horrific, but not gratuitous.
Tough assignment for Kevin Collins, but he rose to the challenge.

  • A Sellsword's Compassion

  • The Seven Virtues, Book 1
  • By: Jacob Peppers
  • Narrated by: Steven Brand
  • Length: 10 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 510
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 482
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 478

If life has taught the jaded sellsword Aaron Envelar anything, it’s that hope is for fools and causes are a sure remedy for breathing. But when his latest job leads him to the corpse of a prince and a conspiracy that threatens to destroy the entire realm, Aaron is forced to choose sides in a war he doesn’t want, between forces he doesn’t understand. Thrust into a world of mythical assassins, a madman with superhuman strength, and a nagging ball of light with a superiority complex who claims to be the embodiment of compassion, Aaron takes on his hardest job yet - staying alive.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • My favorite new author.

  • By David on 08-12-18

Getting there...

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

Reviewed: 03-08-19

Young author with some previous success in shorter-form sci-fi/fantasy attempts jump to epic format. Having just finished this first installment of The Seven Virtues, I really think he'll make it, so am moving on through trilogy with hope and crossed fingers. Voice actor Steven Brand a joy, as always, and voices entire series - YAY!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Web of Eyes

  • By: Rhett C. Bruno, Jaime Castle
  • Narrated by: Luke Daniels
  • Length: 11 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,083
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,031
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,029

When a piece of the crown prince's soul is stolen by a traitorous warlock, disgraced knight Torsten Unger makes it his sworn duty to get it back and save the last hope for the kingdom. But he can't do it alone. Self-proclaimed "World's Greatest Thief" Whitney Fierstown sits in the castle dungeon, destined for the gallows until Torsten offers this choice: rot and die in a dank cell or join him on a dangerous expedition to put his skills to good use and earn his freedom. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Fantasy Version of 48 Hours

  • By John Kang on 12-24-18

YA extreme

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

Reviewed: 11-24-18

Luke Daniels totally over-the-top on this YA fantasy, which could be developed - if it hasn't been already - into a marvelous vid game for 13-year-olds.

3 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • The Fairies of Sadieville

  • By: Alex Bledsoe, Claire Bloom - director
  • Narrated by: Stefan Rudnicki
  • Length: 9 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 38
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 35
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 35

"This is real." Three small words on a film canister found by graduate students Justin and Veronica, who discover a long-lost silent movie from more than a century ago. The startlingly realistic footage shows a young girl transforming into a winged being. Looking for proof behind this claim, they travel to the rural foothills of Tennessee to find Sadieville, where it had been filmed. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • a fascinating series comes to a close...

  • By apricot mango on 08-07-18

Just suspend disbelief

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

Reviewed: 11-15-18

If you're this far into the whole Tufa deal, you know you've just gotta go with it. Mechanism tossing civilians into mix is little hinky here, but story line requires that skeptical and totally human eye to shove it along. Recurring characters from previous Tufa installments well-played and true (always rewarding). Overall, a satisfying listen, and, of course, voice actor Stefan Rudnicki just plain nails it, even if he can't sing worth a lick.

  • Dodger

  • By: Terry Pratchett
  • Narrated by: Stephen Briggs
  • Length: 10 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,800
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,639
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,630

A storm. Rain-lashed city streets. A flash of lightning. A scruffy lad sees a girl leap desperately from a horse-drawn carriage in a vain attempt to escape her captors. Can the lad stand by and let her be caught again? Of course not, because he's...Dodger. Seventeen-year-old Dodger may be a street urchin, but he gleans a living from London's sewers, and he knows a jewel when he sees one. He's not about to let anything happen to the unknown girl - not even if her fate impacts the most powerful people in England.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazing Narrator, Great story

  • By Easy Reader on 01-18-13

Good fun!

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

Reviewed: 11-13-18

Pratchett's romp through Dickensian London underbelly is snappy and entertaining. Light frolic - perhaps illuminating for Dickens' die-hards: marvelous period detail, screwball takes on historical characters (Peel, Disraeli and Dickens himself). and, of course, the Dodger himself.

  • 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 4,548
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,290
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 4,281

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

Way too cute

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

Reviewed: 11-13-18

Interesting premise, but way too cute for me. Superficial, PG take on Big Bureaucracy meets Super Heroes. Narrator Turpin gave it a good shot, but it's a return for me. Save your credit.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Memory of Time

  • By: C. H. Lawler
  • Narrated by: Grainne Brookfield
  • Length: 20 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 16
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 13
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 13

1936, Shreveport, Louisiana: Pretty young New Yorker Miriam Levenson finds herself here employed in the only job she can get - interviewing the elderly for the Roosevelt Administration’s Federal Writers Project. Among the people she meets are an aging Civil War hero, a French muralist and his common-law wife, and a 95-year-old Irish immigrant named Bridget Fenerty, a woman who has known tragedy and refused to buckle under it. Winter turns to spring, and Miriam finds there are people in this town who have secrets. And as she is followed by a mysterious man in a black Cadillac, Miriam finds that she, too, has a secret.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Enchanting story

  • By Corie Gail Hebert on 12-24-18

Five Star Narrator

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

Reviewed: 11-02-18

Generally predictable multi-generational saga spanning 1840s-1930s but voice actor Brookfield is spot-on juggling myriad accents, inflections and cadences from plucky, heart-o-gold Irish brogue to Deep South drawl to Texas twang to New York wiseacre. A tough assignment well-done. Could have been a muddled mess as an audio book, but she totally nailed it. Have added her to my list of five-star Audible actors.

  • Black Swan Rising

  • By: Lisa Brackmann
  • Narrated by: Christina Delaine
  • Length: 12 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 11
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 11
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 11

Sarah Price wants a career in politics. But she has a secret past that won't stay past, threatening her job on a San Diego congressman's reelection campaign. Casey Cheng wants a story. An ambitious local television reporter, Casey needs to get her career back on track after being seriously injured in a mass shooting. When she investigates the man who nearly killed her, she finds a connection to a group of online harassers called #TrueMen - and realizes her shooter may not be the only killer they have inspired.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • All-too-timely Political Apocalypse

  • By Judy on 09-17-18

All-too-timely Political Apocalypse

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

Reviewed: 09-17-18

Tough read/listen - especially given America's currently divisive, near toxic political climate.
But, yeah, that's the point, right? Especially with a release just before mid-term elections. Would consider as "poli-sci-fi," but just barely "fi."
Having worked in local/regional journalism on both sides of the fence, I appreciate Brackmann's depiction of the near symbiotic relationship between candidates, their organizations and news outlets - not always noble or even admirable.
Swan is well worth a credit and the effort, despite a some plot-muddying side-trips, including marital discord, social media outing of a former assault victim and a LOT of stuff about CA's craft beer culture. Regardless, Brackmann spins a really scary yarn of local-level politics - and democracy in general - going pear-shaped fast.
Huge beef with narrator Christina Delaine. She's voiced a variety of genres previously (including, curiously enough, a couple true crime tomes) but struck me as better suited to the "Shades of Grey" franchise. Way too seductive, breathy and come-hither for this one, IMO. Guess Tracy Sallows, spot-on voice actor for Brackmann's Ellie McEnroe China trilogy, was unavailable - I think she'd have nailed Swan, too..
Regardless, please keep writing, Lisa, and I'll keep reading/listening.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Lane

  • A Case For Willows And Lane, Book 1
  • By: Peter Grainger
  • Narrated by: Henrietta Meire
  • Length: 5 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 349
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 331
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 327

"So I thought I might take up paragliding. You know, buy one on eBay and just jump off the cliff one morning." Emily Willows is middle-aged, widowed, wealthy, and bored. When she makes those flippant remarks to her son over coffee one Friday, she has no inkling that within a few hours she will be facing the most terrifying situation of her life.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • IT'S A DEFINITE YES

  • By Ann on 05-30-18

I'm cheap

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

Reviewed: 07-11-18

Deal with it - I'm cheap and usually want at minimum a rewarding eight-hour listen for a credit. Took a chance here and am glad I did. Being of "a certain age" myself, I resent depictions of similarly-aged people - especially women - as dithery, ditsy and dependent. Would have been so much more entertaining and rewarding had lead personae been switched. My guess? "Peter Grainger" is in his/her 30s and, to him/her, anyone older is, well, dithery etc.Regardless, blow a credit here, as I did, and cross fingers for character growth/development in coming installments.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful