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Sondra

Phoenix, AZ, United States
  • 7
  • reviews
  • 18
  • helpful votes
  • 13
  • ratings
  • The Devil's Half Mile

  • A Novel
  • By: Paddy Hirsch
  • Narrated by: Euan Morton
  • Length: 11 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 87
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 78
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 76

Seven years after a financial crisis nearly topples America, traders chafe at government regulations on Wall Street, racial tensions are rising, and corrupt financiers make backdoor deals with politicians.... 1799 was a hell of a year. When young lawyer Justy Flanagan returns to prove his father's innocence, he exposes a massive fraud that has already claimed lives, and one the perpetrators are determined to keep secret at any cost.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Not what I was expecting...

  • By Sondra on 11-28-18

Not what I was expecting...

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-28-18

Based on the brief description, this was not the story I was expecting, but I loved it. This is a time period that fascinates me and the depiction of how different New York was in 1799 only enhanced the enjoyment of the listen for me. I liked that Justice was usually in the midst of a conflict between his baser brutality and his moral compass. Given the task he has set for himself, it keeps him from being too good to be true. Well done Paddy Hirsch and I hope there will be more fiction in your future.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Woman in the Water

  • Charles Lenox Mysteries
  • By: Charles Finch
  • Narrated by: James Langton
  • Length: 8 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 340
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 300
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 295

London, 1850: A young Charles Lenox struggles to make a name for himself as a detective...without a single case. Scotland Yard refuses to take him seriously and his friends deride him for attempting a profession at all. But when an anonymous writer sends a letter to the paper claiming to have committed the perfect crime - and promising to kill again - Lenox is convinced that this is his chance to prove himself. The writer's first victim is a young woman whose body is found in a naval trunk, caught up in the rushes of a small islets in the middle of the Thames.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Satisfying prequel to this great series

  • By Gail N. on 03-01-18

Love the Lenox series

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-06-18

I read a review Sunday in the Washington Post and every word came through my head in James Langton's voice. I've listened to every Lenox book and I'm usually pretty good at naming the villain based on past endings. Not this time! I didn't have a clue. And it was like a secret I held that he would eventually get Lady Jane. Can't wait for the next one.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • This Side of Murder

  • By: Anna Lee Huber
  • Narrated by: Heather Wilds
  • Length: 9 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 105
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 95
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 96

England, 1919. Verity Kent's grief over the loss of her husband pierces anew when she receives a cryptic letter suggesting her beloved Sidney may have committed treason before his untimely death. Determined to dull her pain with revelry, Verity's first impulse is to dismiss the derogatory claim. But the mystery sender knows too much - including the fact that during the war Verity worked for the Secret Service, something not even Sidney knew.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Interesting Post WWI mystery

  • By Kathi on 10-12-17

Narrator without inflection...

Overall
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-06-17

I gave this 2 stars because I couldn't finish. It was impossible to ignore the narrator's lack of inflection and odd pauses. Put those two things together and I couldn't even concentrate on the storyline. I have listened to all of Ms. Huber's books but for some reason this time Ms. Wilde was worse than usual. I plan to get the kindle version and read it for myself so I don't miss this story altogether. Have to say, worst narration I've encountered in a long time!!!

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Edge of Eternity

  • The Century Trilogy, Book 3
  • By: Ken Follett
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 36 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,280
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,319
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,297

Throughout these books, Follett has followed the fortunes of five intertwined families - American, German, Russian, English, and Welsh - as they make their way through the twentieth century. Now they come to one of the most tumultuous eras of all: the enormous social, political, and economic turmoil of the 1960s through the 1980s, from civil rights, assassinations, mass political movements and Vietnam to the Berlin Wall, the Cuban Missile Crisis, presidential impeachment, revolution - and rock and roll.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Some good, some bad

  • By Elisa on 09-22-14

Very dissatisfied...

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

Reviewed: 10-24-14

Would you try another book from Ken Follett and/or John Lee?

Ken Follett has written 2 of my favorite books - Pillars of the Earth (which was a departure for him at the time) and Eye of the Needle. This trilogy and Edge of Eternity in particular felt very forced to me. He was attempting to do so much with so many characters that he barely had time to flesh any of them out. Hopefully he will go back to what he's really good at - historical thrillers.

Would you ever listen to anything by Ken Follett again?

Yes, depending on the genre.

What character would you cut from Edge of Eternity?

Cam - Jasper would have worked just as well as an entrée into the Nixon White House - through the media.

Any additional comments?

Seldom have I been so dissatisfied with the flow, character development and eventual conclusion of a book. And whatever happened to Billy (who you will remember began the first book) and his family? They just evaporated - that's when I knew there was going to be a problem. Most of the characters are very flat and feel completely contrived since they had to fit the history. He would have been better served if he had pared down the list of characters and given them more depth. Liberal or not, his presentation of the whole Kennedy era was a pretty cheap shot and totally un-called for. Completely gratuitous and very disappointing. If he had ended after the second installment I would have thought it was 2 credits well-spent. That 3rd credit was a complete waste. :-(

  • Dark Witch

  • The Cousins O'Dwyer Trilogy, Book 1
  • By: Nora Roberts
  • Narrated by: Katherine Kellgren
  • Length: 10 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 5,242
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 4,764
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,756

With indifferent parents, Iona Sheehan grew up craving devotion and acceptance. From her maternal grandmother, she learned where to find both: a land of lush forests, dazzling lakes, and centuries-old legends. Ireland. County Mayo, to be exact. Where her ancestors’ blood and magic have flowed through generations - and where her destiny awaits.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Turn the volume down!

  • By J. Gilbert on 10-30-13

Nothing New Here...

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

Reviewed: 11-17-13

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

A waste of time. The story is not new, she just took it to Ireland instead of somewhere on East Coast US.

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

This story is okay if predictable. What it doesn't have is a nice twist or the level of humor you usually find in one of Roberts' books. I usually listen to/read all of her stuff but I'm not sure that I will spend time or money on the remaining 2 books in this trilogy, mostly because I already know exactly how they are going to go and what the outcome will be...

How could the performance have been better?

Get a different narrator - quick! The narrator is so over the top with both her Irish accent and her reading that she makes the characters seem idiotic in their behavior. I especially disliked her interpretation of Iona - she made her seem like an idiot, or 12 (which would make the intimate portions very creepy, besides being loud and overdone). One of the worst readings I've gotten so far and I have listened to over 500 titles.

  • Princess Elizabeth's Spy

  • A Maggie Hope Mystery
  • By: Susan Elia MacNeal
  • Narrated by: Susan Duerden
  • Length: 11 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 956
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 869
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 859

Susan Elia MacNeal introduced the remarkable Maggie Hope in her acclaimed debut, Mr. Churchill's Secretary. Now Maggie returns to protect Britain's beloved royals against an international plot - one that could change the course of history. As World War II sweeps the continent and England steels itself against German attack, Maggie Hope, former secretary to Prime Minister Winston Churchill, completes her training to become a spy for MI-5.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Terrible Narration

  • By Amazon Customer on 11-22-12

Disappointed with narrator.

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

Reviewed: 04-19-13

Would you consider the audio edition of Princess Elizabeth's Spy to be better than the print version?

I do not read books that I listen to. I want to be able to "read" as many books as possible.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Maggie - a "modern" woman who is pushing back against the box most men want to put her in. In addition to the time-frame I liked that the author's main characters are accepting of relationships that would have been outside the norm at that time.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The narrator insisted on using what felt like an artificially high voice whenever she did the female voices, presumably so that the male voices would be more of a contrast - that was very distracting and Maggie's voice was particularly annoying. It would have been fine had she just stuck with her normal reading voice, at least for Maggie. The narrator from the first book was good and I was expecting the same quality here, but did not get it. If you can get by the voice thing, the story is good.

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

No

Any additional comments?

No.

  • Chomp

  • By: Carl Hiaasen
  • Narrated by: James Van Der Beek
  • Length: 6 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 634
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 549
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 553

Wahoo Cray lives in a zoo. His father is an animal wrangler, so he's grown up with all manner of gators, snakes, parrots, rats, monkeys, snappers, and more in his backyard. The critters he can handle. His father is the unpredictable one.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great book for the entire family.

  • By David on 04-09-13

Never let Van Der Beek narrate...

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

Reviewed: 04-09-12

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

I love Carl Hiaasen and wait for each book to come out. Unless I buy the book to read I might not make it through this one. Van Der Beek reads so fast I feel like I am listening 3 words behind - not a good experience.

If you???ve listened to books by Carl Hiaasen before, how does this one compare?

Can't tell how it compares - haven't been able to get past the first 5 minutes.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

He's reading so fast I can't keep up and the characters all sound alike - no real variation.

Was Chomp worth the listening time?

Not so far.

Any additional comments?

Its so bad they should re-do it with someone else.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful