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AlliDone

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  • reviews
  • 3
  • helpful votes
  • 74
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  • The Last Mrs. Parrish

  • A Novel
  • By: Liv Constantine
  • Narrated by: Suzanne Elise Freeman, Meghan Wolf
  • Length: 12 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,510
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,689
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 8,666

Amber Patterson is fed up. She's tired of being a nobody: a plain, invisible woman who blends into the background. She deserves more - a life of money and power like the one blond-haired, blue-eyed goddess Daphne Parrish takes for granted. To everyone in the exclusive town of Bishops Harbor, Connecticut, Daphne - a socialite and philanthropist - and her real-estate mogul husband, Jackson, are a couple straight out of a fairy tale. Amber's envy could eat her alive...if she didn't have a plan.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Up in the Air

  • By Amazon Customer on 04-05-18

How is this so recommended?

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

Reviewed: 08-03-18

Seriously? How is this book so recommended? The synopsis is interesting and it seems like it would be interesting... until you start reading/listening.

I barely got through part one. Amber is the most obnoxiously entitled person in this entire mess of a book. She whines about everyone else acting like they're entitled to things but she's the one that feels entitled to what everyone else has because "she deserves it". She thinks she's next level smart, talks about art and books like she's the only person on the planet that has ever been interested in either. She's entitled to another woman's husband simply because she feels like she deserves it more.

Then part two starts and suddenly absolutely everyone was a caricature of a person. No depth, simple personalities to serve only the plot line. I won't go into details about the plot or the twists because I know someone out there is going to want to read this and will enjoy it.... but I made it through it simply because I refused to quit. I made it through it because the narrators made it interesting. I refused to quit because Reese Witherspoon told me to like this book and she was right about the last one. I made it through this book by sheer force of will, it had nothing to do with actual entertainment value.

  • The Witch's Daughter

  • By: Paula Brackston
  • Narrated by: Marisa Calin
  • Length: 13 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,758
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,533
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,513

In the spring of 1628, the Witchfinder of Wessex finds himself a true Witch. As Bess Hawksmith watches her mother swing from the Hanging Tree she knows that only one man can save her from the same fate at the hands of the panicked mob: the Warlock Gideon Masters, and his Book of Shadows. Secluded at his cottage in the woods, Gideon instructs Bess in the Craft, awakening formidable powers she didn’t know she had and making her immortal. She couldn't have foreseen that even now, centuries later, he would be hunting her across time, determined to claim payment for saving her life.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Lots of potential...

  • By Paisley on 03-09-13

The Most Boring Book

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

Reviewed: 06-21-18

I was on a supernatural kick at the time, having just wrapped up the 'Discover of Witches' trilogy and I thought this sounded fun, somewhat in the same vein... it was not.

It covers several hundred years of history without any of the real interesting parts about history in it. It plays into the medieval culture of witches, with all the familiars and devil's teets and suckling the devil and his demons and all that crap that played into the hysteria of witches throughout history. Coming off a time traveling series with witches and vampires and demons where they all worked together and one family...

The narrator was good, she had a good voice and ability to almost make it interesting but the material just wasn't there for her. It was just so boring and there was no real conclusion and there was nothing about this book that I felt was interesting. There's a sequel but I just cannot bring myself to care enough to even want to try and listen to/read that.

  • Rich People Problems

  • A Novel
  • By: Kevin Kwan
  • Narrated by: Lydia Look
  • Length: 16 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,859
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,359
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,337

When Nicholas Young hears that his grandmother, Su Yi, is on her deathbed, he rushes to be by her bedside - but he's not alone. The entire Shang-Young clan has convened from all corners of the globe to stake claim on their matriarch's massive fortune. With each family member vying to inherit Tyersall Park - a trophy estate on 64 prime acres in the heart of Singapore - Nicholas' childhood home turns into a hotbed of speculation and sabotage.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fabulous and Fun

  • By maxine on 05-30-17

Why on Earth did they switch narrators??!

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

Reviewed: 06-21-18

I probably would have liked this better if the narrator was better. I wish that they would have stuck with the narrator of the first novel, who was far superior to this one.

  • China Rich Girlfriend

  • A Novel
  • By: Kevin Kwan
  • Narrated by: Lydia Look
  • Length: 15 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,723
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,134
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,114

Kevin Kwan, best-selling author of Crazy Rich Asians, is back with a wickedly funny new novel of social climbing, secret emails, art-world scandal, lovesick billionaires, and the outrageous story of what happens when Rachel Chu, engaged to marry Asia's most eligible bachelor, discovers her birth father.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Fun Story. Discontinuity of narrators.

  • By Rachel on 08-17-15

Why on Earth did they switch narrators??!

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

Reviewed: 06-06-18

First of all... the new narrator was AWFUL! I didn't like her delivery at all and often it was hard to understand the differences between characters.

Aside from the story, which I didn't love, the narrator borderline ruined the whole book for me

  • Three Dark Crowns

  • By: Kendare Blake
  • Narrated by: Amy Landon
  • Length: 9 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,006
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 930
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 933

In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. But becoming the Queen Crowned isn't solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it's not just a game of win or lose...it's life or death. The night the sisters turn 16, the battle begins. The last queen standing gets the crown.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Good writing ruined by poor performance

  • By Emma on 10-17-16

If you can get past the first 80%

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

Reviewed: 12-18-17

This book was slow... like, really slow, for the first 80% of the book. It was a lot of world building and, at times, became somewhat tedious, but here's hoping that it's all out of the way and we won't have the bulk of the world building laid out for us.

I was ready to hate one queen... but it's really hard because while they're all supernatural and extra special, they're also flawed girls that have only been give a single option for their lives. Weak Katharine, 'powerless' Arsinoe and powerful Mirabella, all forced into the tiny box of what their lives will be, determined at the moment of their births.

The thing about this series is that it features some pretty powerful women. This is a world/island where the women are in control, the women are the seat of power and the men are there to serve their stories and further them along and not the other way around. There are a couple of great male characters in Billy and Peityr, I'm not so much a Joseph fan but he wasn't a horrible character and he does make some mistakes because he's a flawed person too, there are no Prince Charmings here.

This book, however, is not for the faint of heart. It's bloody and violent, the women in the story are fully realized and don't bow to the 'power' of a man. They're in control of their destinies (well, all but the queens) and sexuality and power, they're not bred to be wives and mothers (a point made by mainlander Billy). It is a feminist YA novel that I can get behind.

  • One Dark Throne

  • By: Kendare Blake
  • Narrated by: Amy Landon
  • Length: 11 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 654
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 606
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 608

With the unforgettable events of the Quickening behind them and the Ascension Year underway, all bets are off. Katharine, once the weak and feeble sister, is stronger than ever before. Arsinoe, after discovering the truth about her powers, must figure out how to make her secret talent work in her favor without anyone finding out. And Mirabella, once thought to be the strongest sister of all and the certain Queen Crowned, faces attacks like never before - ones that put those around her in danger she can't seem to prevent.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • One Murder Attempt after the other...

  • By AlliDone on 12-18-17

One Murder Attempt after the other...

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

Reviewed: 12-18-17

So... basically almost all the world building was done in book one, and this one is almost pure action. It's Ascension Year and the queens are trying to kill each other, because apparently that's what sisters do here. It hasn't been explained exactly why the goddess needs one sister to kill the other two, but it's basically just how it is here.
It's easier to pick a queen as a villain in this book as Katharine has gone completely off the deep end after her boyfriend/love pushed her into a pit in an attempt to kill her a 'more human' way. She pulls a complete 180 in her personality and goes full on pyscho on... basically everyone.
Mirabella and Arsinoe have an epic little team up along with Jules - who it turns out is a bit more powerful than we thought.
This book is one murder attempt after another, and there's even more blood as people are shot, poisoned, stabbed and just generally murdered (either successfully or not). There's some horror elements in here (because that Breccia Domain thing...) as well, so this one is even less for the faint at heart.

I definitely recommend this one, especially if you soldiered through the rather slow part (the first 80%) of the first book, this one is your reward.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Under Different Stars

  • The Kricket, Book 1
  • By: Amy A. Bartol
  • Narrated by: Kate Rudd
  • Length: 9 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,666
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,399
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,404

Kricket Hollowell never wished upon stars. She was too busy hiding in plain sight, eluding Chicago's foster care system. As her eighteenth birthday approaches, she now eagerly anticipates the day she'll stop running and finally find her place in the world. That day comes when she meets a young Etharian soldier named Trey Allairis, who has been charged with coming to Earth to find Kricket and transport her to her true home.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Good setting, but annoying romance

  • By 5ismyfavoritenumber on 05-23-15

Fun but definitely has some flaws

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

Reviewed: 11-20-17

So... There's a lot of problems with this one. I liked the story on a first listen, but afterwards a few things sink in.
I'm not normally a sci-fi fan, I like world building but I almost always hate the introduction of a bunch of tech and their tech names and the tech things they do. This one didn't bother me as much... until I thought about the whole translator in the brain thing they specifically mention. It's supposed to translate from alien speak (Etharian?) to English (and vice versa for the Etharians) but some words get through without translation? She hears 'swank' instead of 'party' for example, when they describe what 'swank' is it's clearly a party or a ball or a gala, so why wouldn't they just auto translate? If you're going to make a shortcut so your clearly not English (Earthling) speaking aliens and your 'human' can communicate, then you should definitely stick to the rules you made for it. That goes the same for all the tech, if you create tech with rules then you should 100% stick to the rules you created, otherwise... why?

Also... this futuristic society is very sexist. Yeah, there are huge leaps in technology and they live a long time (like, several millennia) but what good is that when the women of this world are delegated to second class citizens. Unless you're a priestess that is. You're treated higher than royalty but on the flip side you are a literal slave. You have special powers, but you're owned by the actual royals of the house.

Speaking of the House of Alameeda, who 'own' the priestesses... They're super Nazi-esque. Not just in their philosophy that they're the superior race and that they need to wipe out everyone else that doesn't share their superior bloodlines (like the other houses) but in their idolization of the features of the 'perfect race'. Blond. Blue Eyes. White. They are clearly the Aryan House, whether they're straight up called that or not. This world is, like, SUPER DUPER racist.

The romance(s). I like Trey. I have no issue with him as a romantic lead. Not a fan of Kyon, but that's not a surprise as the author has not given him any redeemable qualities. At all. But I have the feeling that at some point a triangle situation, so there's a huge challenge of trying to humanize the psychopath that has been created in this first book. Moving on from the impending triangle situation... The age difference. Trey looks like he's in his 20s but it's quickly established that they live A LOT longer than people and he's already 100+ years old (I think the trio of army guys that go to abduct Kricket mention that they're all at least a could of leagues old, and a league is said to be 50 years). She's 17. He's 100+ and trying to hook up with a 17 year old girl. Granted HE doesn't admit to his feelings for her until after she's turned 18... which doesn't make any sense why that would be at all significant in this situation since they've clearly established that in this world she's still a child because their legal age of adulthood is 20 'floans' (a year... another issue with the translator). Which, if you're going to live thousands of years, you'd think that your trip to adulthood would take longer than that of a human (in the face of 4,000 years, an extra 2 years of childhood seems utterly ridiculous). On top of that... Trey literally abducted her, like alien abduction. He took her against her will and then exposes her to all these super dangerous situations where she only has him to depend on... hello Stockholm Syndrome, nice to see you're alive and well.

Kricket is repeated spoken about like she's perfect. She complains that she looks like a Barbie before she's even abducted. The guys she's with continually talk about how beautiful she is, how perfect and little. She's super smart, so smart that it has to be mentioned (repeatedly) how incredibly smart she is and how she seems so much older. She's perfect, we get it. Even her ignorance of the cultures customs is adorable and endearing, they all love her for it. Everyone loves her. She's the best. She's annoyingly perfect because the author hasn't given her any actual flaws.

I am moving onto the second book as I don't like leaving a series unfinished... so hopefully some of the issues will be addressed.

There's no actual sex in this book, but there's a few rather obvious references to it and some situations that fall just short. There's swearing-ish since it's implied by the creation of alien profanity. It's an easy out of the swearing loop hole. It's not in there but the implication of the words are behind the made up ones.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Shadow of Night

  • By: Deborah Harkness
  • Narrated by: Jennifer Ikeda
  • Length: 24 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16,419
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14,869
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14,858

Picking up from A Discovery of Witches’ cliffhanger ending, Shadow of Night takes Diana and Matthew on a trip through time to Elizabethan London, where they are plunged into a world of spies, magic, and a coterie of Matthew’s old friends, the School of Night. As the search for Ashmole 782 deepens and Diana seeks out a witch to tutor her in magic, the net of Matthew’s past tightens around them, and they embark on a very different - and vastly more dangerous - journey.   

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended, however....

  • By J. Lunsford on 07-15-12

An excellent performance

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

Reviewed: 06-19-17

What made the experience of listening to Shadow of Night the most enjoyable?

The narrator is excellent. Her voice changes, changes in accent but also giving each character a specific and identifiable speech pattern made recognizing the characters (before the inevitable "said so and so" is read aloud). I had 2 days of (plane) travel that were made much more bearable having a story that I had 'already made friends with' keep me company.

Who was your favorite character and why?

While Diana and Matthew are still my favorites, I absolutely adored a couple of their 'new' friends in Elizabethan England: Henry Percy. Walter Raleigh. Mary Sydney. Even George Chapman. and of course I loved Matthew's father, Philippe. I normally dislike when fiction writers rope historical figures in as characters, but I feel like this was done well.
Out of all the new characters however, Galloglass is my favorite. His loyalty to the couple, as well as his fierce protectiveness of Diana, was lovely and I truly enjoyed him.

What about Jennifer Ikeda’s performance did you like?

Her subtle vocal changes for each individual character was quite well done. I fully believe, at this point, there really isn't an accent that this woman cannot do. From French to British to German to American to a subtle Jewish accent. She also read the lines of foreign language (French, Latin, Spanish, German and I think some Czech) without any hesitation over the words. I'm sure she had rehearsed the phrases, but they're done so well.

Who was the most memorable character of Shadow of Night and why?

Diana and Matthew continue to be the most memorable, mostly because they were basically the only characters from the previous novel to be in this one in any significant way.

Any additional comments?

While I truly enjoyed the story, there were some issues I had, specifically with the time traveling and the observations made by Diana... I don't think that the time traveling was done as well as it could have been, and I especially think that Matthew was made out a little more careless than the first novel version of him would be with not only his safety but Diana's as well. They both seemed rather too reckless with changing the past as well. There weren't many attempts made after the first couple of 'weeks' to minimize themselves. Matthew constantly meddled with things that he had no interest in during his first go around, he tried to save people that died in the original timeline. After some initial reluctance on his part he pretty much encouraged Diana to engage with some historical figures, whose work later reflected their experiences with her. Matthew and Diana caused an international incident between England and Prague, stealing from a ruler's private collection and basically blaming it on another. Another instance of it not fitting together: Edward Kelly's ripping pages from Ashmole 782 is a direct result of Diana & Matthew's presence (as I understood it) which means that since the pages were missing from the manuscript before they went back then it means that their decision to go to the past should have been predestined and their impact in the past was already evident in the future. But then there were instances that what they did in the past didn't impact the future until the events played out in the past according to the modern timeline (example, they had been in the past a month before Philippe hid his note, which means that the note didn't appear in the present Matthew & Diana were in the past for two months).

Then there's Diana's observations of the past, one that bothered me in particular was her observation that the carriages used in Elizabethan England were very unlike the carriages used in Jane Austen movies... While this comment might be excusable from a lot of people, it is really not excusable coming from a historian that should know there would be a difference in carriage styles between the two eras that are two centuries apart. Georgian England and Elizabethan England are very different, stylistically, and a historian should know that basic information.

  • Anne of Green Gables

  • By: Lucy Maud Montgomery
  • Narrated by: Rachel McAdams
  • Length: 9 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 6,989
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 6,459
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 6,430

With all of the pluck and charm of its eponymous young hero, Rachel McAdams ( The Notebook, Spotlight, Midnight in Paris) delivers a spectacular reading of Montgomery's beloved bildungsroman. In moments both funny and bittersweet, McAdams' voice is imbued with the spark that has made Anne a much-loved symbol of individualism and cheer for over a century.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Great Book! under impressed by the reader

  • By nascarchvy88 on 01-13-17

Amazingly Read

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

Reviewed: 05-28-17

Would you listen to Anne of Green Gables again? Why?

Probably, it was such a joy of a narration that I could barely stop listening. This is something that I'll share with my nieces and my own children. The story is one that I've always loved since I was a little girl. Anne is such a bright and optimistic story. I read all the books when I was quite small, and I'm an avid watcher of the 1985 & 1987 miniseries with Megan Follows.

What did you like best about this story?

Even though I had read them all as a little girl, there was a lot that I had missed or forgotten. Since I have watched the series quite a bit more than I have read the books there's a lot of details in the mini-series that I forgot wasn't in the books originally.
Another thing I forgot, how completely romantic Gilbert Blythe actually is.

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

I think this is the only book she has performed, but I would be more than willing to listen to any other's she performs. She was simply delightful and she brought everything to life so vividly that I could just imagine it playing out in front of me.
I am slightly disappointed to see that this is the only book in the series she has read, I don't know how I'll feel about any other narrator after this, they certainly will pale in comparison.

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

While I could possibly listen to this all in one sitting I do rather like listening to it over the course of a few days. Dragging it out over about a week made me look forward to the story when I had a moment to listen.

Any additional comments?

While I've purchased the next two books in the series by a different narrator I would be more than willing to re-purchase them if there was anyway for Rachel McAdams to narrate them as well in the future.