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Michalena

Buckeye, AZ
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  • Patient Zero

  • The Joe Ledger Novels, Book 1
  • By: Jonathan Maberry
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Length: 14 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,254
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,054
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,031

When you have to kill the same terrorist twice in one week there’s either something wrong with your world or something wrong with your skills - and there’s nothing wrong with Joe Ledger’s skills. And that’s both a good and a bad thing. It’s good because he’s a Baltimore detective who has just been secretly recruited by the government to lead a new task force created to deal with the problems that Homeland Security can’t handle....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Yes! It IS that good. Five stars and more.

  • By Kim Venatries on 10-05-12

New Twist on ''Zombies''

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

Reviewed: 05-04-18

I loved this book overall and I already have the next few in the series. I also recommended it to my father and boyfriend.

Things I found slightly annoying:

1. The chapters were really, really short. In fact, the first chapter was 2 sentences long! Anytime a scene changed, the chapter changed as well. Many of the chapters were only a few paragraphs long. I don't think this would have been quite so jarring in book form but listening to a narrator announce ''Chapter such and such'' every 2 or 3 minutes got on my nerves. The author could have made the chapters much more logical, and just had the scene changes were needed. Procedural TV shows do this all the time, showing you location and time of the different scenes. They don't do a commercial break every time they go to a different location!
​​
​​​2. The traitor was very obvious.

Things I loved:

1. The snarky sense of humor of Joe Ledger. He kicked ass but was blase about it, just his normal operating mode. He made me laugh quite a few times. He was also a guy that believed in justice and that sometimes that meant bypassing the courts and laws. At the same time he was loyal to this country and humanity in general. The parts of his back story that were revealed made me sympathetic and left me wanting to know more.

2. The psychologist friend of Joe's. So nice to see a military/sci-fi thriller admit that psychologists can be useful and even helpful.

3. All the characters were well-developed, there were even a few times were I felt sympathy for one of the villains.

4. The plot was interesting and believable considering we don't know the limits of science. And the pacing of the plot was excellent.

  • Embrace the Grim Reaper

  • The Grim Reaper Mysteries, Book 1
  • By: Judy Clemens
  • Narrated by: Tavia Gilbert
  • Length: 9 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 114
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 80
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 79

After a near fatal car accident, Casey Maldonado's life is over. So she packs up, puts her house on the market, and leaves town, her only companion Death, who won't take her but won't leave her alone.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Interesting idea

  • By Carol on 09-15-11

Ending Left me Unsatisfied and Upset

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

Reviewed: 02-01-18

I was enjoying this book until I reached the end....then it all fell apart.

Here's what I liked:
1. The owners of the bed and breakfast
2. Good pacing
3. Casey's backstory
4. Love, Love, Love Tavia Gilbert. She's the reason I originally purchased this book.
5. Death/Grim Reaper was awesome



********************Slight Spoilers Below***************************





What I absolutely hated:

The last 1/3 of the book. Casey is presented as a law abiding citizen even though she's on the run from her past. So when she accidentally kills a known criminal in an obvious situation of self-defense, what's her reaction??? To go on the run and have a warrant out for her arrest!! Why??? And because of that decision it also ruined the end of the book when it came to the big reveal of the killer. Only 2 other people besides Casey was there when the killer is revealed. One of them tells Casey that they'll take care of it, she needs to leave town. And that's how the book ends. You never find out if the killer is arrested or brought to justice. The town never learns that the murder victim didn't commit suicide and the main character goes on the run for a stupid reason!!

As someone who watches and reads murder mysteries I enjoy the sense of justice at the end of the story and I want to see it happen! Even if it's just an arrest! This book completely denies me this and then tries to convince me that the main character had no choice but to become a fugitive. I was left feeling betrayed and upset.

If that type of ending doesn't bother you then the book is decent. However, I won't be continuing the series myself.

  • Midnight Riot

  • Peter Grant, Book 1
  • By: Ben Aaronovitch
  • Narrated by: Kobna Holdbrook-Smith
  • Length: 9 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 4,509
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,137
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 4,131

Probationary constable Peter Grant dreams of being a detective in London's Metropolitan Police. Too bad his superior plans to assign him to the Case Progression Unit, where the biggest threat he'll face is a paper cut. But Peter's prospects change in the aftermath of a puzzling murder, when he gains exclusive information from an eyewitness who happens to be a ghost. Peter's ability to speak with the lingering dead brings him to the attention of Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I LOVE this Book!

  • By Nancy J on 02-26-13

Simply Amazing!

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

Reviewed: 12-16-17

A combo police procedural and urban fantasy with the perfect narrator and a very likable characters. I learned a lot about modern London and the different neighborhoods. And that's besides the engrossing story of murder and magic. But it's magic that's more physics and science based with a little of the divine thrown in! And that a few people in the government and police seem to be in the ''know.''

And a lot of little things caught my attention in this book as well. I loved the fact that the Thames and it's tributaries have it's own demi-gods/goddesses attached to them. That each chapter starts with a small jazz melody. In fact, I learned some new things about jazz!

  • Marrying Winterborne

  • By: Lisa Kleypas
  • Narrated by: Mary Jane Wells
  • Length: 10 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,474
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,356
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,352

Savage ambition has brought common-born Rhys Winterborne vast wealth and success. In business and beyond, Rhys gets exactly what he wants. And from the moment he meets the shy, aristocratic Lady Helen Ravenel, he is determined to possess her. If he must take her virtue to ensure she marries him, so much the better....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Read "Cold Hearted Rake" first...

  • By I like to shop on 10-06-17

My First Lisa Kleypas and I'm Hooked!!

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

Reviewed: 12-16-17

Most of my Romance the past few years has been Paranormal so I was looking for a good Historical for a change of pace. Audible had a sale, so I picked this one because it sounded interesting. I didn't realize it was the second of a series but I was able to follow along quite easily. And I loved it so much I immediately went and bought the other 3 books related to it.

Mary Jane Wells Welsh accent is just amazing and makes Winterborne sound extremely hot! All her voices are distinctive and her pacing is good. Overall excellent narrator.

I loved the little side details Ms. Kleypas added separate from Rhys and Helen's relationship. I had no idea department stores became so popular so early or that the French were allowing women doctors well before the British and there methods were much more cutting edge as well.

I fell in love with Rhys. A self-made man who faces classism on a regular basis even though a few of his friends are titled. His upbringing was rough but he was still a gentlemen in the ways that counted. I actually really liked Helen. Hers was a quiet strength, certainly no push-over but not in an in-your-face, fighting against the grain strength. She had her values and stuck firmly to them but she also knew when to choose her battles as well. The two were well matched.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Ride the Storm

  • By: Karen Chance
  • Narrated by: Jorjeana Marie
  • Length: 21 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 200
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 185
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 185

Ever since being stuck with the job of pythia, the chief seer of the supernatural world, Cassie Palmer has been playing catch up. Catch up to the lifetime's worth of training she missed being raised by a psychotic vampire instead of at the fabled pythian court. Catch up to the powerful, and sometimes seductive, forces trying to mold her to their will. It's been a trial by fire that has left her more than a little burned. But now she realizes that all that was just the warm up for the real race.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Never-Ending Slog!!

  • By Michalena on 12-05-17

Never-Ending Slog!!

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

Reviewed: 12-05-17

I don't know what happened with this book. I took me over a month to get through. Narrator didn't help but the story line was weak and repetitive. It consisted off, ''Traveling back in time to save Pritkin, getting chased, getting in trouble, getting beat up or thrown around, panicking, getting shoved back to her own time, rinse, repeat'' for 90% of the book. I seriously took naps while listening to this book and missed nothing. By this time I would expect Cassie to be getting a handle on her power and be half-way competent. But she's still reacting to everything and everyone. I understand she's under a lot of stress but by the second or third time the Past Pythias keep showing up to stop her, she should start planning for it!! Instead she keeps bumbling along.

I hope the next book is more streamlined, some actual plot happens (we got a nice cliffhanger at the end of this book) and Cassie actually puts what she's learned to use!!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • The Brightest Fell

  • October Daye, Book 11
  • By: Seanan McGuire
  • Narrated by: Mary Robinette Kowal
  • Length: 11 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 636
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 599
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 594

When Toby's mother, Amandine, appears on her doorstep with a demand for help, refusing her seems like the right thing to do...until Amandine starts taking hostages, and everything changes. Now, Toby doesn't have a choice about whether or not she does as her mother asks. Not with Jazz and Tybalt's lives hanging in the balance. But who could possibly help her find a pureblood she's never met, one who's been missing for over 100 years?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Mother From Hell and the Start of a Redemption

  • By Michalena on 11-17-17

Mother From Hell and the Start of a Redemption

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

Reviewed: 11-17-17

As always, an outstanding book from one of my favorite authors. This one is heavy with character development for Amandine and Simon.

The more I learn about Amandine, the more violence I want to do to her. It was bad enough in the earlier books when she was presented as a neglectful mother, who blamed October for the loss of her human husband and didn't bat an eye when October ran away to live on the streets with other Changelings. But in this book Amandine is even more emotionally abusive, cruel and capricious.

Simon on the other hand, who was originally presented as a basic ''bad guy'' who we didn't have a lot of info on, is really fleshed out in this book. We learned a few books ago that he was trying to ''save'' October by turning her into a fish but I really got to like Simon in this book and felt sorry for him at times. The Road to Hell and all that.

The ending made me tear up and I hope Simon is able to complete his redemption by the end of this series.

We also get to see Pixies, and that a good turn is never forgotten.

I still love Mary Robinette Kowal as a narrator, her accents are the reason why I listen instead of read this series!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Redshirts

  • A Novel with Three Codas
  • By: John Scalzi
  • Narrated by: Wil Wheaton
  • Length: 7 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 16,484
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,446
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 15,428

Ensign Andrew Dahl has just been assigned to the Universal Union Capital Ship Intrepid, flagship of the Universal Union since the year 2456. Life couldn’t be better…until Andrew begins to pick up on the facts that (1) every Away Mission involves some kind of lethal confrontation with alien forces; (2) the ship’s captain, its chief science officer, and the handsome Lieutenant Kerensky always survive these confrontations; and (3) at least one low-ranked crew member is, sadly, always killed.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Clever, creative, and FUN!

  • By Kent on 04-18-13

Okay, if you're a fan of Star Trek

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

Reviewed: 11-14-17

This is my first book by John Scalzi and while I enjoyed it for the Star Trek inside jokes, it had some problems. In fact, if I wasn't such a huge fan of Star Trek I most likely wouldn't have continued listening to it.

The Good: The humor, the inside jokes, where a fan could see the corrolation between the Star Trek universe and this universe. I enjoyed the over-dramics, the poking fun of having to run up to the bridge to deliver a message instead of just using a phone, the various ways the Redshirts died, etc. The main character was also good, open-minded and was able to think on his feet.

The Bad: Wil Wheaton. I love this guy. I watch Tabletop on a regular basis, I find him hilarious in Big Bang Theory and I even like Wesley Crusher. But a narrator this guy is not!! I understand and appreciate why he narrated this book. But while he can put emotion into his words, he can't give each character any voice variation, and there are a lot of characters!! Unless someone is angry, I lost track of what dialogue, who was talking and when it was just prose.

The Ugly: "He said" "She Said" "They Said" "And then this happened" In short, John Scalzi's writing leaves much to be desired. I think another reviewer mentioned, that if reading the constant dialogue switches may not have been so bad. But this books doesn't hold up for audio. I was always taught to be very sparse with the "He said/She said" in my writing. And if I used it, it was better to add some verbs and maybe an action. Such as: "......" Peter said reflectively. He poured himself a cup of coffee and continued, "......."

But Mr. Scalzi's writing is a constant barrage of every sentence ending with "he said." Even if the character only said "Hi"!!! If there are only 2 people involved in a convo, the reader can very easily figure out who is speaking. Especially if you've developed your characters.

AUDIBLE 20 REVIEW SWEEPSTAKES ENTRY

  • Wildfire

  • A Hidden Legacy Novel
  • By: Ilona Andrews
  • Narrated by: Renee Raudman
  • Length: 12 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 1,834
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,718
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 1,711

Nevada Baylor can't decide which is more frustrating - harnessing her truthseeker abilities or dealing with Connor "Mad" Rogan and their evolving relationship. Yes, the billionaire Prime is helping her navigate the complex magical world in which she's become a crucial player - and sometimes a pawn - but she also has to deal with his ex-fiancée, whose husband has disappeared and whose damsel-in-distress act is wearing very, very thin.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Just as wonderful as Daniels world and Innkeeper.

  • By Michael Harmon on 08-25-17

Everything this Husband/Wife Does is Gold!!

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

Reviewed: 10-11-17

****Slight Spoilers below:****

I have to mention that I have yet to read a book by Illona Andrews that I'm not completely in love with! Even with this series being published under Romance and having more sex scenes then say Kate Daniels or the Innkeeper Chronicles, anyone can be happy reading it, even if you don't normally listen to Romance. Their intricate world building is some of the best I've seen and they aren't slouches when it comes to character development either!!


The 3rd book of Hidden Legacy wraps up everything nicely, although it does leave possibility of future books or spin offs with other Baylor family members. (Hint, Hint dear authors!!) Baylor and Rogan get their HEA and the spectre of the "evil grandmother" is taken care of quite nicely. Nevada handled the situation with Rogan's ex very nicely, and was secure enough not to let jealousy influence her. Also more about the conspiracy involving some of the Prime families trying to create a new Rome is revealed including who Caesar is!! It's subtle but if you're paying attention it's obvious.

  • Hell Divers

  • The Hell Divers Series, Book 1
  • By: Nicholas Sansbury Smith
  • Narrated by: R. C. Bray
  • Length: 10 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14,552
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13,664
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 13,623

More than two centuries after World War III poisoned the planet, the final bastion of humanity lives on massive airships circling the globe in search of a habitable area to call home. Aging and outdated, most of the ships plummeted back to Earth long ago. The only thing keeping the two surviving lifeboats in the sky are Hell Divers - men and women who risk their lives by diving to the surface to scavenge for parts the ships desperately need.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I usually don't read my SciFi however....!!

  • By Michalena on 10-06-17

I usually don't read my SciFi however....!!

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

Reviewed: 10-06-17

So, I'm kind of strange...I love SciFI TV, all the way back to Star Trek: Next Gen when I was a kid. But...reading it in book form I usually find tedious and a struggle to get through, with a few exceptions (thank you Douglas Adams!!). But this book was on sale, the premise sounded really interesting and my boyfriend had recently made me listen to the Gears of War books on Audible which greatly enjoyed, so I took a chance. So glad I did!!

This book is an adrenaline ride from beginning to end. It doesn't flinch from the realities of nuclear fallout and using nuclear power to run a ship. It's not just the Hell Divers that are in danger when jumping to a destroyed earth. Cancer, deformities, radiation sickness and other diseases rampant on the ship, especially in the lower decks near the reactors.

You're taken along for the same ride the Hell Divers go on as well as getting insight to life on the ship, the social state of affairs, humanity's fight to survive and heroism and compassion that exists even in this hard future.

I will definitely be buying the second book in the series and I hope Audible comes out with the 3rd real soon.

"We dive so that humanity survives"

47 of 48 people found this review helpful

  • Grave Ransom

  • An Alex Craft Novel, Book 5
  • By: Kalayna Price
  • Narrated by: Emily Durante
  • Length: 10 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 188
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 175
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 176

Grave witch Alex Craft is no stranger to the dead talking. She raises shades, works with ghosts, and is dating Death himself. But the dead walking? That's not supposed to happen. And yet reanimated corpses are committing crimes across Nekros City. Alex's investigation leads her deep into a web of sinister magic. When Briar Darque of the Magical Crimes Investigation Bureau gets involved, Alex finds herself with an unexpected ally of sorts. But as the dead continue to rise and wreak havoc on the living, can she get to the soul of the matter in time?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Finally on Audible!!! Good continuation of plot

  • By Michalena on 10-06-17

Finally on Audible!!! Good continuation of plot

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

Reviewed: 10-06-17

Grave Ransom was released earlier this year but was not available for Pre-order on Audible. I put the paper copy aside, (I tend to read/listen to both at same time) hoping that Audible would release an audio soon. It took a few months but just as I was about to give up and just read my paperback copy, Audible released a copy on October 3!! Thank you Audible!!

I was well worth the wait and credit. The story and world progressed nicely. I love the fact that Grave Witches have terrible vision and go blind for short periods of time. Ms. Price hasn't taken the easy way out and made Alex immune to this as her powers grow. Too many authors start with their heroes having weaknesses and they get too over-powered and infallible as the series continues. Not so with Alex, in fact Alex's eyesight is even worse as she's seeing not only into the Realm of the Dead but other planes of reality.

I really liked the storyline in this one, it was a nice twist on zombies and necromancers. And I really wanted to punch Briar in the nose a few times on Alex's behalf!! I don't want to give away anymore then that. However, I will warn you that the ending is sad so be prepared!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful