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  • Soul of An Octopus

  • A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness
  • By: Sy Montgomery
  • Narrated by: Sy Montgomery
  • Length: 9 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,220
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,130
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,131

Sy Montgomery's popular 2011 Orion magazine piece, "Deep Intellect", about her friendship with a sensitive, sweet-natured octopus named Athena and the grief she felt at her death, went viral, indicating the widespread fascination with these mysterious, almost alien-like creatures. Since then Sy has practiced true immersion journalism, from New England aquarium tanks to the reefs of French Polynesia and the Gulf of Mexico, pursuing these wild, solitary shape-shifters.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Something different

  • By Carol on 01-02-16

Juxtaposition

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

Reviewed: 08-24-18

There were some fantastic facts offered in this book. It is light-hearted in nature and enjoyable overall.

This book seems to swing from hardcore science to extreme speculation that is at best, incredulous.
This book could have been shorter by omitting excessively emotional dialogue. Her style is certainly descriptive and that helps to create a very clear mental visual. There is a fair amount of the mundane day to day kind of stuff, which for me, is really not that interesting.

If you are interested in hardcore science, this is not your book.
If you prefer a fast pace flow of information, this is not your book,
If you dislike airy spiritual speculation, you may be better to pass this one up.
(Not that there is an overabundance, but there is certainly some)

Some things that are crystal clear, is that the author LOVES her animals, and I found she was immediately likable.
She is very knowledgeable and packages the same in mini stories and quips throughout the narration,

It is not a bad book by any stretch, it was just not MY kind of book - I am very much the hardcore science type, and having ADHD, I found that this book required a bit of extra effort. I prefer short bursts of info, rapid-fire - this book does not do that. In fact, I did not actually finish it, but very close.

I doubt I will listen to this book again but am satisfied with the purchase,

The Narrator is pleasant, but sounds like she has a very slight mania towards being happy - You can tell she smiles a lot while reading this book - While this does help to make up for the mundane parts that drag, there comes a point when it begins to become slightly annoying - Not that being happy is horrible of course, it is just that a 9 hour book with Pollyanna is a bit wearing after awhile.

  • Samantha Watkins, Book 1

  • Chronicles of an Extraordinary Ordinary Life
  • By: Aurélie Venem, Stacey E. Battis - translator
  • Narrated by: Amy McFadden
  • Length: 13 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 886
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 818
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 813

Young librarian Samantha Watkins has always been perfectly content with her humdrum existence. Never easily fitting in with anyone anywhere, she feels most at ease in silence, among stacks of books. Sam believes in leaving fantasy and drama to the characters in her beloved novels. But one night when she leaves work late, she finds herself center stage in a tale of vengeance and terror.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Outstanding Supernatural Tale

  • By GH on 03-14-16

Moments of brilliance peeking through the fog

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

Reviewed: 10-13-17

Not the best... this book was translated, and it shows. This explains the jagged reading sometimes encountered. However, there are other things of concern that far outstrip the translations.

*Spoiler alert*

There are inconsistencies.

One time, the main character runs into a vampire and she bounces off. At other times, she tackles them, sending them sprawling. Please oh please... any author should be consistent with the physics they try to establish early on in the book.

The author wants us to believe/accept that a young, scrawny, socially inhibited female nerd, who has previously shown zero athletic ability starts training, and in eight weeks, makes HUGE advances in the ability of combat to where she is able to protect herself from vampires... Creatures who could easily dispatch pretty much any human, regardless of how well they are trained... Oh, and it turns out she just happens to be deadly with a gun... though it did take a bit longer for her to master throwing knives... Really?

In one place, vampires move so fast, our main character can't even see it happen, and in another, she not only throws a knife deadly accurate and kills a very old and powerful vampire assassin, but she did so by predicting where that vampire would be as it was moving towards her in a crowded room... ? Sorry, it is a very hard sell.

Along with the physical inconsistencies (and there are many, not just the ones mentioned), there are also the character discrepancies. A five-hundred-year-old vampire, responsible for dealing out death as an enforcer for two very powerful rulers of a large district who MUST maintain a strict code of; "humans must not find out we exist at all costs" does not suddenly decide to hire a human as a secretary because he is tired of writing his own reports... especially when he has already done so for over three hundred years... Sorry, this is simply ridiculous.

In terms of the writing craft found in this book, the nuts and bolts are basically there - and in most cases, very much so. There are very enjoyable passages in this book - very well written parts. Sadly though, it is obvious that the author is female, as this book naturally flows in the direction of a female audience... Sad because as a male, some of this is very hard to relate to.

There is a painful amount of emotional exploration in the internal universe of our main character - as she is female, that may well be appropriate, but as a male reader, it got very tedious. (did I mention, VERY TEDIOUS) It comes across as the character being a whiny teen, more so than a kick-ass heroine. As much as the reader does need to know what the characters emotional states are, there comes a point to where it becomes the author is more so interested in living vicariously through the characters she created, instead of telling a good story.

Frankly, there was too much time spent on what the main character was wearing... I am happy she felt good wearing this or that thing, but really... I am more interested in what she was DOING, more so than what she was wearing and how that made her FEEL.

She is also rebellious and in a more than a few cases, defiant to her vampire boss - another hard sell. He simply has no reasonable motivator to put up with the aggravation.

As far as the length of this book... It would have been 2/3s better by reducing this overly long book by at least 1/5. I stopped listening at one point, simply because of how it meandered on and on. I forced myself to continue simply because I paid for this, and also, I wanted to be sure I was not just simply bored. NOPE - the book is overly long and would be told better with far fewer words. This story is predictable... but it is a good kind of predictable.

In terms of plot resolution... the author breaks a few established rules... and not for the better. it takes forever to catch the bad guy... FOREVER. Far too many near catches/misses as it were.

If you like books geared more so for emotional exploration, then this is a reasonable one - if you prefer a story consistent within an established construct, best to move on from this one.

  • Ghosted

  • A Novel of Life, Love, and Moving On
  • By: Judith Docken
  • Narrated by: Lynnae Stanwick
  • Length: 9 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 4
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 4
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 4

Hannah wants to relocate herself and her cat, Jimi, to the countryside of Calgary. So, when she finds a home in a small town at a good price she jumps at the opportunity. Shortly after she moves in, strange noises, disturbances, and slamming doors hamper her efforts to make any changes in the house. Jimi starts acting odd, and the disturbances increase in intensity. But Hannah is no quitter, and with the help of a psychic, Hannah pieces together the tragic story of her resident ghost.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wow - great read

  • By William on 01-24-17

Wow - great read

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

Reviewed: 01-24-17

I finished this book in a single day. I usually gravitate more toward the action genre, but have to admit, this is a real gem. The craft (the actual writing) of this book does not disappoint - a great balance between discription

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • God's Bankers

  • A History of Money and Power at the Vatican
  • By: Gerald Posner
  • Narrated by: Tom Parks
  • Length: 21 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 357
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 318
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 319

From a master chronicler of legal and financial misconduct, a magnificent investigation nine years in the making, this book traces the political intrigue and inner workings of the Catholic Church. Decidedly not about faith, belief in God, or religious doctrine, this audiobook is about the church's accumulation of wealth and its byzantine entanglements with financial markets across the world.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The title does not do this book justice!

  • By Megatron on 11-01-16

LONG - LONG - LONG - But Interesting

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

Reviewed: 09-03-16

A great account of history inside the Catholic Church and how they amassed so much wealth - but it is not for the casual listener.

I have studied the history of the Catholic Church, and the beginning part of this book dovetails well - the rest of it, is more recent history.

  • The Republic of Pirates

  • Being the True and Surprising Story of the Caribbean Pirates and the Man Who Brought Them Down
  • By: Colin Woodard
  • Narrated by: Lewis Grenville
  • Length: 13 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,952
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,775
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,759

In the early 18th century, the Pirate Republic was home to some of the great pirate captains, including Blackbeard, "Black Sam" Bellamy, and Charles Vane. Along with their fellow pirates - former sailors, indentured servants, and runaway slaves - this "Flying Gang" established a crude but distinctive democracy in the Bahamas, carving out their own zone of freedom in which servants were free, blacks could be equal citizens, and leaders were chosen or deposed by a vote.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Reads like a novel

  • By Abbie on 02-02-16

Arrrrrrr There Be Treasure Here

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

Reviewed: 09-03-16

What a fun and interesting romp through history.

The author is a considerate guide as we travel down through the hallways of time and visit the various stops along the way. He does a fantastic job of not jumping around too much, but is linear in how he unpacks adventure and mishap on the high seas. So much is covered in this work; I will be listening to this one again at some near future point.

I would recommend this book if you are at all interested in actual history, not the Hollywood gibberish about pirates.

Enjoy

  • The Girl with All the Gifts

  • By: M. R. Carey
  • Narrated by: Finty Williams
  • Length: 13 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 31,959
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 29,523
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 29,530

Melanie is a very special girl. Dr Caldwell calls her "our little genius". Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don't like her. She jokes that she won't bite, but they don't laugh. Melanie loves school. She loves learning about spelling and sums and the world outside the classroom and the children's cells. She tells her favorite teacher all the things she'll do when she grows up. Melanie doesn't know why this makes Miss Justineau look sad.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • FLEETWOOD MAC

  • By Jim "The Impatient" on 09-04-15

A stand out from the standard "End Game" novels

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

Reviewed: 01-19-16

Let's start with the obvious: this author has talent. In fact, it is quite likely that M.R. Carey could write a dinner menu for Burger King and hold the reader spellbound.

This book is a welcome change from the standard "end game" zombie apocalypse shtick that seems to litter the fiction shelves of the local bookstores. The writer of this work, clearly cares for the reader in that the story, while requiring a certain amount of the standard suspension of disbelief, does not assume the reader will simply go along for the ride because it is expected. The author earns the readers appreciation as the journey moves forward. (at a comfortable pace it should be noted)

This story will keep the listener contented, it does not disappoint, it IS worth the credit. One does not require a tightrope act to bridge the gap between fiction and reality with this book. The author has a very good working knowledge of of biology, but does not beat the reader over the head with it. Instead, as the story moves along at a comfortable pace, the reader gains insight into how a pathogen could plausibly be the ultimate demise of society as it is now. The concept of this work is based on an existing pathogen thriving in the animal kingdom - It makes the jump to humans - Sound familiar? Perhaps to some degree, but we are in good hands with this writer, and narrator.

The characters of this book to be far removed from the all too familiar cardboard characters found in fiction - I found myself emotionally involved with the story and rather wishing I could meet some of these folks over a cup of Rosy and chat about their experiences. The main character of this book is a little girl, and she wins the reader's best wishes quickly on.

Sit back and enjoy the journey - So well done.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Alas, Babylon

  • By: Pat Frank
  • Narrated by: Will Patton
  • Length: 11 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,191
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,756
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,757

This true modern masterpiece is built around the two fateful words that make up the title and herald the end - “Alas, Babylon.” When a nuclear holocaust ravages the United States, a thousand years of civilization are stripped away overnight, and tens of millions of people are killed instantly. But for one small town in Florida, miraculously spared, the struggle is just beginning, as men and women of all backgrounds join together to confront the darkness....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazingly contemporary

  • By SomervilleWhereElse on 12-25-10

Chilling

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

Reviewed: 09-16-15

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

No.

The reason is because the author did such an amazing job with this work, that I actually noticed my body tense up after certain sections. It is an amazing book... Scary - but amazing.

Any additional comments?

I have not finished this book yet. Most of it - Yes. I got so wound up in it that needed to take a bit of a rest. I am looking forward to the continuing.

This revue is more so about the mental and emotional impact this topic
(when presented correctly) can have.

Worth the Money - (Shiver)

  • The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner

  • An Eclipse Novella (Twilight Saga)
  • By: Stephenie Meyer
  • Narrated by: Emma Galvin
  • Length: 4 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,467
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 736
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 745

Fans of The Twilight Saga will be enthralled by this riveting story of Bree Tanner, a character first introduced in Eclipse, and the darker side of the newborn vampire world she inhabits. In another irresistible combination of danger, mystery, and romance, Stephenie Meyer tells the devastating story of Bree and the newborn army as they prepare to close in on Bella Swan and the Cullens, following their encounter to an unforgettable conclusion.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • TwiMom gives it a thumbs up

  • By Sarah on 06-09-10

I like this short better than the series

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

Reviewed: 04-25-14

If you could sum up The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner in three words, what would they be?

Sad She Died

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner?

The whole book actually - I am not being lazy - it was VERY well written. Right from the off, you are immersed into her world - a scary world where death and loss are an everyday part of existence. One of lies and deception, of being controlled and fighting that control the best the main character is able. I was sad for Bree - I actually wanted her to live - It makes you hate Jane and Felix for not allowing her to live on. I could not help but think her death was such a waste - I liked this kid and wanted her to be taught by the Cullen's - to find a place in life - but alas ... Well, it is a good short story

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

Not so much extreme, but I LIKE the main character - I would love it if it turned out that she somehow survived and lived on, hidden from the Vampire Rulers... (Please Stephanie?)

Any additional comments?

So worth it as part of the series, or as a stand alone

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Twilight

  • The Twilight Saga, Book 1
  • By: Stephenie Meyer
  • Narrated by: Ilyana Kadushin
  • Length: 12 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,235
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,189
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,235

About three things I was certain. First, Edward was a vampire. Second, there was a part of him, and I didn't know how dominant that part might be, that thirsted for my blood. And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • True Vampire Romance...

  • By Adam on 10-22-05

I have mixed thoughts on this one

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

Reviewed: 04-25-14

Where to start...

I have to admit, that I tried to read the hard copy book, and put it down after 111 pages. I then reconsidered and read it through... I enjoyed it the second time better.

The problem with the first time through, was that I was over critical and expected too much for all the hype.

I have since bought all of the audio books in this series. The audio book was much better than the read through.

The truth? This is a fun book that was written for a youth, not for a more mature or an overly discriminating audience. That is not to say there were not interesting/fun/enjoyable parts, but to be honest, as an older male, I found it hard to relate to Bella's perspective.

It was not the suspension of disbelief - that part was easy enough. The world that the author creates is fine - just immature second guessing the character(s) do - goofy choices that some of the characters make - that was the hard part.

Edward's character seems to morph from cold control freak, to over the top care giver. (albeit while crossing Bella's boundaries) The book does explain this, but for someone who understands and practices the importance of healthy relationship choices, some of it makes you cringe a bit - Is it forgivable? I thought so - It works in the story, and over all Edward is by no means the worse character ever produced in a book.

As for Miss Swan? She actually did make sense as a character, though it is hard to describe why at times. Mostly, the emotional flow was tedious, but understandable.

I WOULD recommend this book for someone who is looking for an easy read: Someone who is not going to get caught up on the writing, which was painful at some points.

As a first effort for writing a novel, Twilight is actually rather amazing. The writing certainly DOES improve as the series continues.

  • The Da Vinci Code

  • By: Dan Brown
  • Narrated by: Paul Michael
  • Length: 17 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,127
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,654
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,707

While in Paris on business, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon receives an urgent late-night phone call. The elderly curator of the Louvre has been murdered inside the museum, a baffling cipher found near the body. As Langdon and gifted French cryptologist, Sophie Neveu, sort through the bizarre riddle, they are stunned to discover a trail of clues hidden in the works of Da Vinci, clues visible for all to see and yet ingeniously disguised by the painter.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Adjust Your Perspective...

  • By E. Baxter on 11-13-03

What a ride!

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

Reviewed: 03-06-14

Yup - It is every bit as good as the hype.

I love the book much better than the movie. I have recently got ALL the books in this series, and am looking forward to going through this one again.

Cloak and dagger? Yup! This book has it.
Cliff Hanger Chapters? Yup! This book has it.
Enjoyable fiction? Yup! This book has it.

The author does a great job of moving the story forward, clear description, believable characters and suspension of disbelief is not taxing.

LOVED the narration on this one! Very Engaging.

So worth the money