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Jennifer

San Francisco, CA, United States
  • 41
  • reviews
  • 101
  • helpful votes
  • 88
  • ratings
  • Thendara House

  • By: Marion Zimmer Bradley
  • Narrated by: Alyssa Bresnahan
  • Length: 20 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 13
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13

Jaelle has been raised in the harsh patriarchal environment of the Dry Towns. Her mother Mellora is a Comyn woman who has been kidnapped in order to breed laran-gifted offspring for her barbarian "husband". But when a desperate, pregnant Mellora dies in childbirth following a daring escape aided by a band of Renunciates, the still young Jaelle is adopted into the Guild, and becomes the Free Amazon Jaelle n'ha Mellora, a woman who has never known kindness from a man.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Darkover Culture & Influence of 1980's values

  • By Jennifer on 07-14-18

Darkover Culture & Influence of 1980's values

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

Reviewed: 07-14-18

Thendra House differs from many of the Darkover novels with its focus on the Renunciates - a woman-defined community within the larger patriarchial Darkover society. Though not a series in the usual sense, Threndra House does move the overall story of Darkover along, deepening a sense of the culture. Good character development, engaging plot line, a believable world (except for the degree of Terran sexism mentioned below). A must for someone wanting to fully embrace the Darkover collection, and a good book to first read, as it defines many of the key things that make Darkover distinct as a world and culture.

Reencountering Thendra House decades after first reading it, I am struck by the way in which social / political values of progressive America circa 1980's are being worked out through this novel: gender roles, sexual identity, reassertion of matriarchy, in addition to the usual themes of imperialism vs local control. While these themes at some level are timeless, how they are played out in Thendra House feels a little dated. The 1950's mentality of one of the main characters, Peter, is a bit over the top, especially as he is someone who was raised on Darkover (though Terran). The insistence of the Terrans to call a woman not only Mrs. but the classic Mrs. Husband's First and Last Name gets not only tiring but unbelievable given the futuristic technology/society of Terra. But then, I have aged with these issues as well :-) and perhaps what seemed astute, ground breaking when the novel was written now feels trite and overdone due to my own years in the world! Perhaps the usefulness of Thendra House as social commentary is as a lens into American society not too long ago.

  • AWOL on the Appalachian Trail

  • By: David Miller
  • Narrated by: Christopher Lane
  • Length: 10 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,676
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,317
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,307

In 2003, software engineer David Miller left his job, family, and friends to hike 2,172 miles of the Appalachian Trail. AWOL on the Appalachian Trail is Miller’s account of this thru-hike from Georgia to Maine. Listeners are treated to rich descriptions of the Appalachian Mountains, the isolation and reverie, the inspiration that fueled his quest, and the rewards of taking a less conventional path through life. While this book abounds with introspection and perseverance, it also provides useful passages about hiking gear and planning.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Enjoyable but severely lacking.

  • By Amazon Customer on 07-01-13

A meditative listen

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

Reviewed: 03-25-15

I listened to this in chunks rather than straight through, as it was a book to reflect on and also one that I could pick up without feeling the loss of a driving plot. I enjoyed the descriptions of the land, as well as the soft humor of personalities and situations. It awakened memories of hiking and backpacking, and I was pleased to have that without the accompanying buzz of mosquitos. It is not an action book, nor a guide for those intending to do such a hike, though the refections involved would be a good prep.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World

  • By: Robert Garland, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Robert Garland
  • Length: 24 hrs and 28 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,776
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,343
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,310

Look beyond the abstract dates and figures, kings and queens, and battles and wars that make up so many historical accounts. Over the course of 48 richly detailed lectures, Professor Garland covers the breadth and depth of human history from the perspective of the so-called ordinary people, from its earliest beginnings through the Middle Ages.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Tantalizing time trip

  • By Mark on 08-21-13

Entertaining and Educational

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

Reviewed: 03-13-14

Kept my interest...listened to it over several weeks as I often do with the Great Courses. Author anchors analysis and observations in previously mentioned facts, which laces the lectures together and keeps one in the flow of the content. What emerges overall is a rich tapestry of social life through the ages. Not many surprises for one well versed in history, but keeping the focus to the "other side of history" makes a compelling story, worldview.

  • The Grand Sophy

  • By: Georgette Heyer
  • Narrated by: Sarah Woodward
  • Length: 11 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,873
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,605
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,604

Resourceful, adventurous and utterly indefatigable, Sophy is hardly the mild-mannered girl that the Rivenhalls expect when they agree to take her in. Kind-hearted Aunt Lizzy is shocked; stern Cousin Charles and his humorless fiancée Eugenia are disapproving.With her inimitable mixture of exuberance and grace Sophy soon sets about endearing herself to her family, but finds herself increasingly drawn to her cousin. Can she really be falling in love with him, and he with her? And what of his betrothal to Eugenia?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Full Sophy

  • By Carol on 10-17-13

The Grand Heyer

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

Reviewed: 03-13-14

As longtime softee for Heyer, I enjoyed this quite a bit. The usual mix of lively heroine at cross purposes with the emerging suitor, this is among the best of the genre and Heyer's works.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Helen & Troy's Epic Road Quest

  • By: A. Lee Martinez
  • Narrated by: Khristine Hvam
  • Length: 9 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 528
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 493
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 494

Witness the epic battle of the cyclops! Visit the endangered dragon preserve! Please, no slaying. Solve the mystery of The Mystery Cottage, if you dare! Buy some knickknacks from The Fates! They might come in handy later. On a road trip across an enchanted America, Helen and Troy will discover all this and more. If the curse placed upon them by an ancient god doesn't kill them or the pack of reluctant orc assassins don't catch up to them, Helen and Troy might reach the end their journey in one piece, where they might just end up destroying the world.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A little twee but very funny.

  • By Charlene on 09-27-13

totally silly....and that is a plus!

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

Reviewed: 03-13-14

Just plain fun, this story takes you on an updated ride through ancient quests. The notion that beasts mythical in our normal world are just regular folks pokes good fun at "diversity" in gender, racial and ethnic politics. The gratuitous fighting is not so violent and the moral to "be yourself" is not too heavy-handed. A fun listen.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Purity of Vengeance

  • A Department Q Novel
  • By: Jussi Adler-Olsen
  • Narrated by: Graeme Malcolm
  • Length: 14 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,102
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,867
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,879

International superstar Jussi Adler-Olsen, with more than fourteen million copies of his books sold worldwide, returns with the fourth book in his New York Times best-selling Department Q series, about a perplexing cold case with sinister modern-day consequences. In 1987, Nete Hermansen plans revenge on those who abused her in her youth, including Curt Wad, a charismatic surgeon who was part of a movement to sterilize wayward girls in 1950s Denmark.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Love the Department Q series!

  • By Lynne F on 01-03-14

Good mix of humor and action

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

Reviewed: 03-13-14

Having read/listened to each of the earlier books of the series, this one continues to develop the key characters as well as give a fresh adventure. I enjoy that the Dept. Q stories are of a place and society other than the US, London, Paris -- often the locations of American novels. Good twists of plot and story, fun characters.

  • The Gates of Sleep

  • Elemental Masters
  • By: Mercedes Lackey
  • Narrated by: Kayla Fell
  • Length: 14 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 391
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 312
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 316

In the tradition of her acclaimed fairy-tale-inspired novel, The Serpent's Shadow, best-selling author Mercedes Lackey re-imagines Sleeping Beauty-as a dark and enchanting Edwardian fantasy.Marina is the cherished daughter of the wealthy Roeswood family, practioners of Elemental Magic. But evil portents have warned her parents that Marina will be killed before her 18th birthday-by the hand of her own aunt.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic and compelling!

  • By Kaylon on 11-11-12

Enjoyable, light yet with character

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

Reviewed: 03-13-14

As with this entire series, this book plays with a folktale. Part of the fun is to see how the author unfolds the predictable parts in a unique or clever way. Easy to listen to, good for a younger audience if you share your books with family and want to steer away from hot romance and vivid violence.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Pavane

  • By: Keith Roberts
  • Narrated by: Steven Crossley
  • Length: 9 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 433
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 385
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 387

Considered Keith Roberts' masterwork, this novel consists of linked short stories (six measures and a coda) of a 20th century in which the Roman Catholic Church controls the Western world, and has done so since Queen Elizabeth of England was assassinated in 1588. The Protestant Reformation never happened, and the world is kept in a Dark Age of steam-power transportation, with no allowance for electrical power, by a tyrannical Rome.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • It's the Characters that Outline the World

  • By Troy on 03-01-13

thoughtful bursts of story

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

Reviewed: 03-13-14

This is one I have listened to one story at a time. Each takes me into the the alternative world through a different lens, complete in its own framing and development. A thoughtful book which is a counterpoint to action-oriented fantasy/science fiction.

  • The Bone Season

  • By: Samantha Shannon
  • Narrated by: Alana Kerr Collins
  • Length: 14 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,868
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 2,613
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,622

The year is 2059. Nineteen-year-old Paige Mahoney is working in the criminal underworld of Scion London, based at Seven Dials, employed by a man named Jaxon Hall. Her job: to scout for information by breaking into people's minds. For Paige is a dreamwalker, a clairvoyant, and in the world of Scion, she commits treason simply by breathing.... It is raining the day her life changes forever. Attacked, drugged and kidnapped, Paige is transported to Oxford - a city kept secret for 200 years, controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Fabulous but mismarketed - its not Harry Potter

  • By Steph on 09-05-13

Alternative England took a bit to get into

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

Reviewed: 03-13-14

Overall I enjoyed the story, but it was slow to get into. Perhaps it is me, but it took a bit for the parts of the alternative England/Europe to create enough context to support the story. In the end the character development worked and the story came together. Ending leaves the sense that there will be a sequel without it being cliff hanger. If so, I would try the next, which is one way of saying this was a worthwhile read/listen.

  • Soldat

  • Reflections of a German Soldier, 1936-1949
  • By: Siegfried Knappe, Ted Brusaw
  • Narrated by: John Wray
  • Length: 12 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 598
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 530
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 530

A German soldier during World War II offers an inside look at the Nazi war machine, using his wartime diaries to describe how a ruthless psychopath motivated an entire generation of ordinary Germans to carry out his monstrous schemes.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • An incredible true story

  • By Erik on 09-02-13

Thoughtful voice and perspective

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

Reviewed: 02-04-14

Well constructed story line, moving forward and backward in time, that tells of a young man coming of age within the German army during WWII. The author is not the common soldier, but one of education and social skills who rises both due to his merits and the war itself. The daily life and honor of the professional military is the focus, giving clear differentiation between being a soldier in the German army and a member of the Nazi Party. Excellent perspective to add for anyone interested in WWII history.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful