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  • Demon Driven

  • The Demon Accords, Book 2
  • By: John Conroe
  • Narrated by: James Patrick Cronin
  • Length: 9 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,624
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,469
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,462

It's been seven months since Chris Gordon met Tanya Demidova, and a lot has changed. He's stronger and faster and has the senses of a vampire and the appetite of a werewolf. But even as he settles into his new position with the Special Situations Squad and his relationship with Tanya, new threats appear. From south of the border, north of the city, inside the NYPD, and the federal government. But the hardest fight Chris will face is with himself.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Jumped the shark

  • By Wesley Farriss on 08-29-16

Filled with right wing dog whistles

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

Reviewed: 02-07-18

I read a lot of urban fantasy, and when I received an email extolling this series as the BEST, I jumped at the chance to experience a brand new world.

Interestingly, the series has a male author. All the urban fantasy I have read has been from female authors, so I knew this would be from a different POV. And it is.

Here are a few examples of my issues. The first two books are chock full of references to hot babes, including the main vampire character who looks hotter than a Victoria's Secret model. This by itself is really no big deal, but obvi it's not written for women. White men are never described as such; it is merely the default. IOW, if the person isn't described by their gender, sexual orientation, or color, you know they are a white male. This jumped out at me and made me pay more attention to other bits and pieces. For instance, the good vampires are Russian, they have lots of money, own lots of property throughout the world, and can bring the US government to their knees. The main male character's grandfather is conservative and owns a huge arsenal. The main character at one point thinks about how he feels about a gay couple and decides that it's ok for them to be together because it would be worse not to have anyone to love. The good guy bear spirit at one point threatens to destroy several government agencies and CNN because he's "more of a fox news bear."

I have to say I'm really disappointed: in not being able to enjoy a new world, in Audible for saying this is the BEST (why aren't any of the numerous female urban fantasy authors the BEST?), and in the series for its bias.

In the end, I felt I needed to say something so others - both those not wanting to read and those wanting to read this type of propaganda - would know where this author is coming from.

Last, a note about the narrator: his voices seem so out of character with the books that it's uncomfortable to listen. However he did keep me from realizing at first how completely chock full of right wing stereotypes and dog whistles these books are.

  • Cast in Deception

  • The Chronicles of Elantra
  • By: Michelle Sagara
  • Narrated by: Khristine Hvam
  • Length: 16 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 443
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 408
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 410

Private Kaylin Neya thought her home couldn't possibly get more crowded. But when one of her housemates, Annarion, decides to undertake the Barrani Test of Name, his friends refuse to let him face his task alone - and Kaylin's sentient home, Helen, is the only structure capable of shielding the rest of Elantra from the magnitude of their power. Annarion and Mandoran almost caused the destruction of the High Halls once already. Add nine of their closest friends, and the danger is astronomically higher.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Maybe it's because I wait all year for these books

  • By S. Schmidt on 01-28-18

Yawn

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

Reviewed: 01-30-18

Well that was boring. More and more with each of these books, I'm left at the end wondering what the point is. The narration is great but I'm tired of the soul searching and all the usual formulae. It's just dull at this point.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Daughter of Dragons

  • The Legacy of Dragons, Book 1
  • By: Jack Campbell
  • Narrated by: MacLeod Andrews
  • Length: 11 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,188
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,973
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,961

The world of Dematr had been locked unchanging for centuries by the Great Guilds, most people living in a world of oil lamps, crossbows, and horse cavalry, the Mechanics reserving to themselves the technology for steam locomotives, rifles, and far-talkers while the Mages treated all others as if they were nothing - until Master Mechanic Mari, dragon slayer and pirate queen, and Master of Mages Alain raised the army of the new day to free their world.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Teen emotion

  • By Ray on 08-28-17

Good, but...

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

Reviewed: 01-25-18

I hadn't read any of the other books preceding this one, so had no frame of reference. Very interesting story and world. Overall I like it, and I actually liked the teen-aged angst because it's a great reminder of what my kids are feeling when they act like jerks. :) But Audible...why do you have a man narrating the story of a strong female lead? The performance is good, certainly, but surely you could have found a great female narrator?

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Cold Reign

  • Jane Yellowrock, Book 11
  • By: Faith Hunter
  • Narrated by: Khristine Hvam
  • Length: 14 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 2,238
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2,095
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 2,081

Jane Yellowrock is a shape-shifting skinwalker...and the woman rogue vampires fear most. Jane walks softly and carries a big stake to keep the peace in New Orleans, all part of her job as official Enforcer to Leo Pellissier, Master of the City. But Leo's reign is being threatened by a visit from a delegation of ancient European vampires seeking to expand their dominions. And there's another danger to the city.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Another great book fro the fantastic Faith Hunter!

  • By Teri on 05-03-17

Too hastily wrapped up

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

Reviewed: 06-01-17

I do absolutely LOVE this series, and it would have gotten 5 stars except for the fact that it seemed hastily wrapped up, like the deadline loomed nigh and writer and editor were sloppy at the end. There was one blatant error where Jane/Beast broke a vampire's neck and threw him over the fence and onto the sidewalk while in a time bubble, and then that same character was back inside by the end of the chapter, knocked out on the floor. All the stuff surrounding this character was kind of a mystery to me. Without divulging too much, he then ended up somewhere else he shouldn't have been. Jane and he made a bargain and she never fulfilled her side, and it wasn't obvious why or why he just kept ending up in interesting places. The ending was like reading a beta version of a book. It was uncharacteristically sloppy, which was kind of a bummer. I actually listened to that part again thinking the narrator might have misspoken, but nope.

Other than that: love Jane, LOVE Beast and everyone. Fantastic series! I just hope next time more editing time is taken!

  • Magic Stars

  • Grey Wolf, Book 1
  • By: Ilona Andrews
  • Narrated by: Jeffrey Kafer
  • Length: 2 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,214
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,127
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,120

Scarred, solitary Derek Gaunt has separated from his Pack and is truly a lone wolf. With no family, he answers to no one but is fiercely loyal to a chosen few. So when several of those close to him are murdered, he'll stop at nothing to hunt their killer through the magic-drenched streets of Atlanta.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Bad Narration Distracted from Story

  • By Moi_Natasha on 03-16-16

great story/horrible narrator - ugh

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

Reviewed: 03-23-16

It's a fun story, as usual. I'm a huge fan of Ilona Andrews!

But why oh WHY is this story not narrated by Renee Raudman?! Ugh, what a fall from a fantastic narrator (Raudman) to someone who is almost painful to listen to. He sounds like a play on a hackneyed penny-dreadful film noir detective. None of the humor of this excellent writing pair shines through in the flat presentation. If this guy is being set up to narrate the rest of the series, I'll be reading it instead of listening. So VERY disappointing.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Zealot

  • The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth
  • By: Reza Aslan
  • Narrated by: Reza Aslan
  • Length: 8 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,046
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,611
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,601

From the internationally bestselling author of No god but God comes a fascinating, provocative, and meticulously researched biography that challenges long-held assumptions about the man we know as Jesus of Nazareth. Sifting through centuries of mythmaking, Reza Aslan sheds new light on one of history's most influential and enigmatic characters by examining Jesus through the lens of the tumultuous era in which he lived: first-century Palestine, an age awash in apocalyptic fervor.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Palastinian Politics 4 B.C.E. - 70 C.E.

  • By Charles on 07-22-13

NOT unabridged; no notes included

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

Reviewed: 09-27-14

This is a fascinating listen, made more-so because the author - who narrates - is extremely passionate about his subject and research.

My quibble is that the book is incomplete. It is presented as a "meticulously researched biography," but there are no notes included. I know that about 30% of the Kindle and paper versions comprises extensive notes on the author's research. These are absent in their entirety from this version, and I take issue with this book being sold as unabridged. I understand the difficulty in including notes as this is an audio version, however the lack of notes should be explicitly addressed in the description and/or this version should only be sold as a bundle with the Kindle version. Disappointingly misleading.

  • Dreams of Gods & Monsters

  • Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Book 3
  • By: Laini Taylor
  • Narrated by: Khristine Hvam
  • Length: 18 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,787
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,632
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,637

In this thrilling conclusion to the Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy, Karou is still not ready to forgive Akiva for killing the only family she's ever known. When a brutal angel army trespasses into the human world, Karou and Akiva must ally their enemy armies against the threat--and against larger dangers that loom on the horizon. They begin to hope that it might forge a way forward for their people. And, perhaps, for themselves--maybe even toward love.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • So Beautiful

  • By Katherine on 07-08-14

not with a bang, but a whimper

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

Reviewed: 06-06-14

Would you try another book from Laini Taylor and/or Khristine Hvam?

I love Khristne Hvam (narrator), even though she mispronounces words that call her degree of education into question. She's a very talented voice actress and I have found some great series of books looking for her work. Laini Taylor created a fantastical world, but the third book didn't live up to the others. Though I loved the first two books in this series (especially the first one), this one was disappointing enough that I doubt I would read more of the author.

What could Laini Taylor have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

This book seemed like a huge mishmash. It was extraordinarily poorly edited. For instance, there was so much soul searching and angst that I felt it undermined the reader's ability to bond more deeply with the characters. It became tedious and annoying. Also, the book really went nowhere, fading away at the end. I understand the need to leave some open ended plot elements for possible coming installments, but this one was a poorly crafted ending. I believe the elements of a fantastic bang of an ending were all there, but they were so overcrowded with superfluous material that they lost all power and merely fizzled.

Was Dreams of Gods & Monsters worth the listening time?

I'm glad that I listened to the end, but I'm left feeling very unsatisfied.

Any additional comments?

A great editor would have made this a masterpiece.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • How the Light Gets In

  • A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel, Book 9
  • By: Louise Penny
  • Narrated by: Ralph Cosham
  • Length: 15 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,612
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 3,308
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,306

Shadows are falling on the usually festive Christmas season for Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. When Gamache receives a message from Myrna Landers that a longtime friend has failed to arrive for Christmas in the village of Three Pines, he welcomes the chance to get away from the city. Gamache soon discovers the missing woman was once one of the most famous people not just in North America, but in the world, and now goes unrecognized by virtually everyone. As events come to a head, Gamache is drawn ever deeper into the world of Three Pines.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Welcome Home!

  • By Nancy J on 09-06-13

Fan-freaking-tastic!

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

Reviewed: 10-16-13

Would you consider the audio edition of How the Light Gets In to be better than the print version?

Yes. I think the narrator adds so much to the story (which is already a great story). When I go back to reading these books, the words seem a little paler in comparison to the performance.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

Yes. I love the way Louise Penny has wrapped everything up in this one. As usual, she leaves clues all through the book and then everything comes together in the end, along with a few surprises.

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

Yes. He's gotten better and better in the role of Gamache. He's a fantastic narrator. Great pace and phrasing and huzzah for the fantastic pronunciation.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The ending. Penny always has the best ones.

Any additional comments?

After I finished listening to this book, I went back and started listening to the series from the beginning. It is really a fantastic series, with wry dialog and interesting literary, musical, and artistic commentary. History is woven in, and the Quebecois point of view makes this a fascinating read from a cultural perspective. The series was obviously thought out in great detail before Ms. Penny began writing, because it all dovetails beautifully. I can't say enough good things about the series and the performance. Highly recommended.

  • Raven Cursed

  • Jane Yellowrock, Book 4
  • By: Faith Hunter
  • Narrated by: Khristine Hvam
  • Length: 15 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,473
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,139
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,144

The vampires of Asheville, North Carolina, want to establish their own clan, but since they owe loyalty to the Master Vampire of New Orleans, they must work out the terms with him. To come up with an equitable solution, he sends an envoy with the best bodyguard blood money can buy: skinwalker Jane Yellowrock. But when a group of local campers are attacked by something fanged, Jane goes from escort to investigator. Is it a rogue-vampire, shapechanger, or witch? Or something else magical?

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Meh

  • By Rosemary on 06-04-13

Meh

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

Reviewed: 06-04-13

First, I really do love this series. This book, however, just seems to be more angsty than the rest. I found myself rolling my eyes at Jane's guilt over everything. And I mean EVERYthing. You'd think a vampire slayer who is supposed to be over 100 years old would Get. Over. It. Maybe 60 or so years ago. That is the one thing, IMHO, that makes this book less enjoyable than the others.

LOVE: Beast. She is my favorite character, and the symbiosis between her and Jane is fabulous. I love the imaginative approach and the settings. I love that the author writes well.

HATE: Will someone *please* teach the narrator how to pronounce "eschew?"

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Skinwalker

  • Jane Yellowrock, Book 1
  • By: Faith Hunter
  • Narrated by: Khristine Hvam
  • Length: 14 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 6,186
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,507
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 5,509

Jane Yellowrock is the last of her kind-a skinwalker of Cherokee descent who can turn into any creature she desires and hunts vampires for a living. But now she's been hired by Katherine Fontaneau, one of the oldest vampires in New Orleans and the madam of Katie's Ladies, to hunt a powerful rogue vampire who's killing other vamps.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • How refreshing

  • By Mobilis on 06-01-10

Fun book; strange mispronunciations

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

Reviewed: 05-24-13

Loved the book and overall really like Khristine Hvam as a narrator. Honestly though, some of her mispronunciations and downright wrong words are almost laughable. Askew instead of eschew? Condensation instead of condescension? Pronouncing fleur de lis as "floor duh lease?" Oy. I can understand why the various mispronunciations - as jarring as they are to me - were missed, but the wrong words make absolutely NO SENSE whatsoever in context and no one noticed?! Still, I like Hvam's cadence and speed, and her voices are basically good (the New Orleans accent and French could use a little work). Simon Vance as narrator is still the gold standard for me.